This 2016 Herzog Lineage Pinot Noir from Clarksburg, CA is an affordable kosher wine at an MSRP of $19.99. Ruby colored and light bodied, it is a typical fruit forward Californian wine with red cherry and a touch of oak.
8 Fast Facts about Good Kosher Wine
- Kosher wine is made in the exact same process as “regular” wine, the process of making it is simply overseen by Sabbath-observing rabbis.
- In the 1980’s, there were very few kosher wines in the U.S. Market. Royal Wines only imported three kosher wines from Bordeaux. Today, they have over 60 in their portfolio.
- Not all Israeli wines are kosher. Only about 30% of Israel’s wineries are certified kosher, but these wineries produce over 90% of Israel’s wine.
- A number of well known wines from Argentina, France, Italy, and Spain have kosher runs of their standard wines. For example, Perrier-Jouet makes a kosher champagne. California wines do not have special runs for kosher wines. Instead, all kosher wines from California are made from a fully kosher winery, such as Herzog Wine Cellars, Covenant and Hagafen. There is one exception: a kosher run on Terra Gratia by the Marciano Estate.
- The reason many Passover dinners feature red wine is because rabbinic opinion states that red wine is preferable as the Jewish people drank it after they escaped Egypt.
- Kosher wines can range from $5 to $500. Good kosher wine starts at about $20; some of the best kosher wine starts around $50.
- Current trends in wine drinking show an uptick in consumption of wine produced by high-end, kosher, Israeli producers. Some of my favorites are Castel, Bravdo, and Yatir.
- Wine is not the only alcoholic beverage that is kosher. Anything can be kosher if blessed and produced with rabbinical oversight. LVOV Vodka and Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata Tequila are also kosher.
What is the Best Kosher Wine to Serve?
The catalog of good kosher wine available is great. As mentioned above, 90% of wines coming out of Israel are kosher. Considering that they’ve been making wine for about four millenia, you’ll be able to find something you like. I think purchasing something at $20/bottle is a good place to start for a new wine.
The Herzog Lineage wine is a nice entry level light-to-medium bodied pinot noir that pairs well with fish or lamb that may be served for dinner. (Average price: $19.99)
Looking for something a little bolder? The Flechas de Los Andes Gran Malbec from Argentina has a strong berry taste with some tobacco, smoke, and spice. (Average price: $27.99)
Bravdo’s Landmark 2B 2014 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot cultivated from selected outstanding quality vineyards. Blends are such a crowd pleaser, you can’t go wrong with this one. (Average Price: $47.99)
Did you know that former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire is producing kosher wine in Israel? His portfolio is varied, with reserve wine starting at $59.99 and private collection wines at a whopping $299.99. I haven’t tried them, but I’ve heard good things from some of my other wine blogging friends.
Looking for bubbles? I’ve been on a real prosecco kick recently. Bartenura’s prosecco is dry, has light bubbles, comes kosher and is affordable. (Average price: $15.99)
Can you Recommend any Good Kosher Wine?
With passover just around the corner, consider purchasing some kosher wine this weekend. Or, share the best kosher wine you’ve ever had in the comments below. I’ll certainly be drinking some wine this weekend.
Thank you to Bravdo and Royal Wine for providing samples to analyze for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.