Kosher Wines Are Not Just for The Jewish High Holidays

At the time of the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,  there is much written in the wine press about Kosher wines.  Regardless of your religious affiliation, these are fine and delicious wines.  Try some. If they’re not available locally, shop on the internet. 

“Kosher wine is made just like other table wine, with an extra set of rules to make it consistent with Jewish dietary law,” explains Nick Fauchauld in The Wine Spectator. “In order for a wine to be deemed kosher (Yiddish for "proper" or "fit"), it must be made under the supervision of a rabbi. The wine must contain only kosher ingredients (including yeast and fining agents), and it must be processed using equipment rabbinically certified to make kosher wines. No preservatives or artificial colors may be added.”

The list and commentary below was supplied by the experts at Wine Spectator Magazine. They rounded up the best and most budget-friendly kosher wine picks, from Israel and California, and scored them with their rating system. For more recommendations, see the full article at; the link is at the end of this article.


COVENANT Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain Lavan 2011 Score: 88 | $38 A lighter style, with toned-down citrus, green apple, floral and spicy scents, ending on a delicate note. Drink now through 2018. 500 cases made.

BARON HERZOG Chenin Blanc Clarksburg 2011 Score: 86 | $8 Tangy lemon, peach and apple flavors are ripe and juicy, with a smooth body and a lip-smacking finish. Drink now. 4,000 cases made.

COVENANT Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley Red C Allan Nelson Vineyard 2012 Score: 86 | $24 Clear, bright, focused and extremely juicy, with plenty of lime, lemon, grapefruit and apple flavors. Drink now. 450 cases made


RECANATI Merlot Galilee Reserve Manara Vineyard 2010 Score: 90 | $25 Offers a perfumed, floral aroma, with nicely sculpted flavors of dark currant, plum tart, pomegranate and mocha. Medium-grained tannins give this backbone. Finishes with dark chocolate, raspberry jam and minty overtones. Drink now through 2016. 3,000 cases made.

BINYAMINA Merlot Galilee Reserve 2009 Score: 89 | $25 Color is a sinewy red. Dried red fruit and crushed berry notes, and tea flavors are joined by bittersweet chocolate on the long, supple finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.

BARKAN Tzafit Assemblage Judean Hills 2010 Score: 88 | $34 An interesting mix of sage, sandalwood and wild currant flavors that have notes of raspberry jam and iodine, followed by a long finish of pepper and cardamom. Marselan, Caledoc, Carignane and Pinotage. Drink now. 250 cases imported.

My thanks to the editorial staff at the Wine Spectator for supplying this information. To read the complete article, go

This article appears in the September 12 issue of my column Wine Time, for the Tahoe Weekly newspaper,

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