Kosher Wines

One category that we’ve never looked at specifically is that of kosher wines. Perhaps we’ve been overlooking a good thing, at least according to Tastings: Top Kosher Wines in the Times Herald-Record, quoting wine critic David Rogov:

“As recently as a decade ago, had anyone asked me to compile a list of 50 world-class kosher wines, I would have smiled politely and tried hard not to start giggling,” he says. “Today, with fine kosher wines becoming increasingly available, it is becoming rapidly apparent that there is no contradiction whatever between the laws of kashrut and the production of truly excellent wines.”

Rogov’s top value picks for kosher red wines were,

1. Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Israel, 2005. 89 points. Medium- to full-bodied, with near-sweet tannins and plum and berry fruits, spices and a tantalizing overlay of mushrooms. ($13)
2. Dalton, Shiraz, Reserve, Israel, 2004. 88 points. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and moderate smoky oak, highlighting aromas and flavors of plums, currants and berries. ($12)
3. Baron Philippe, Mouton Cadet, Bordeaux, France, 2005. 87 points. Garnet toward purple, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating well. Light spicy wood highlights blackberry and currant fruits. ($11)”

It looks like the best overall were kosher dessert wines:

1. Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes, France, 2001 (kosher edition). 95 points. Deep golden yellow, with a creamy texture and herbal sweetness. On the nose and palate, honeyed peaches, apples and citrus matched nicely by generous spiciness. ($80)

2. Yarden, Noble Semillon Botrytis, Israel, 2004. 92 points. Golden in color, concentrated and balanced. Shows dried apricots, orange peel, toasty oak and tropical fruits along with deep honeyed spices. ($34)

3. Langer, Tokaji, Aszu, Hungary, 1998. 91 points. On the nose and palate, dried summer fruits, citrus peel and oriental spices, matched by fine acidity to balance the generous sweetness. Long and elegant. ($55)”

Check out the full article for more kosher wine ideas just in time for Passover. We wandered around the blogosphere a bit, and found quite a few recent posts on the topic. The Kosher Blog commented in The Annual WSJ Kosher Wine Column that the column was mostly a rehash of previous years’ efforts. has a lengthy philosophical discussion of the topic in Reform Movement: Drunk on kosher wine? In Kosher Wine, Not Like It Used To Be! the Wine Store Blog points out that kosher wines are no longer “very sweet, or painfully dry” but come in a range of varietals.

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