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All You Need To Know About Kosher Wine

Many Jewish holidays require blessings over wine that is later consumed, such as Passover Seder, Shabbat, and Purim. Because of these blessings, kosher wine (or a similar drink, such as grape juice) is required for these holidays.

While many Jewish people drink grape juice during the holiday, it may not appeal to everyone during Shabbat. In this case, kosher wine is typically consumed. Another option for those participating in Shabbat is mevushal wine, which is a cooked wine that can be consumed by those of the Jewish faith and non-Jewish people.

Kosher wine is produced similarly to standard wine. However, it must meet the Jewish dietary law to be considered kosher. Meaning the process must be performed with strict Orthodox rabbinical supervision.

Below, we explore kosher wine in more detail, including where to find good kosher wine.

So, What Makes Wine Kosher?

A strict process is required for creating kosher wine, including a Rabbi overlooking the wine production (as mentioned above). Additionally, wine producers can use only kosher ingredients, and Sabbath-observant Jews must produce all wines (must be males) from start to finish. All kosher wines must be made on machines or with tools certified by a rabbi for kosher wine creation.

Anything produced using grapes or with grape flavoring must have kosher certification, which confirms that the process and ingredients adhere to Jewish religious laws. When looking for kosher wines, checking the label to see if it features a kosher certification is an excellent way to ensure you avoid non-kosher wine options. Kosher wine will have a hechsher on the label, a rabbinical marking. The wines which do not contain this marking are not kosher.

Note: Even if a wine uses kosher ingredients and follows the exact procedure necessary for kosher wine, if it does not have a hechsher, it cannot be consumed during Jewish religious holidays as it is not considered kosher.

What Could Invalidate A Wine’s Kosher Status?

Multiple scenarios can cause a kosher wine to lose its status, making it undrinkable during Jewish holidays. Here are a few examples:

Suppose additives or ingredients, which are not kosher, are used during the wine production process. The wine is not considered kosher even if all other steps and regular procedures are followed.

A male Sabbath-observant Jew must produce kosher wine. If at any point this is not the case, the wine is no longer kosher. Additionally, kosher wine must be poured (and opened) by a Sabbath-observant Jew.

Some note that if a fly lands in your kosher wine, it is considered non-kosher if it stays in the wine for over 24 hours. However, this is highly debated as some say removing the fly and drinking the wine is permissible. Interestingly, if the fly in your wine disgusts you, it’s also acceptable to discard the wine.

What Are Mevushal Wines?

As mentioned, mevushal wines are cooked wines that can be consumed during religious holidays for Jewish people. These wines go through a flash pasteurization process. The grape must be heated at a high temperature for a short time. Initially, mevushal wines were boiled, removing much of the flavor from the wine.

However, the process of flash pasteurization has helped better preserve the taste. By creating mevushal wine, it is permissible for those who are non-Jews to serve the wine. This has become a crucial step in broadening the ability for those to participate in Jewish religious holidays in places like the US, where it may be more challenging to find an establishment or servers who are Sabbath-observant Jews.

You’ll know which wines are mevushal as they typically feature a mevushal or non-mevushal note on the bottle near the kosher symbol. Some wines may not note whether the wine is mevushal or not. In this case, it’s best to assume it is non-mevushal wine every time.

Kosher Wine From Israel

Israel has a long history with wines and winemaking, likely dating back to 5000 years. However, due to a ban on alcohol in Israel, it was unavailable for many years in the country. In the 1800s, it was revived with help from Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who also imparted winemaking methods to the country.

This resurgence in winemaking using world-class processes has pushed Israel to the forefront of the winemaking industry. In recent years, more grape varietals have emerged, which were initially native to the Holy Land. For example, Bittuni and Marawi varietals have returned to Israel’s wine production.

Many people assume all wines produced in Israel are kosher. However, this is not the case. Most Israeli wines are kosher, but not all of them.

Best Brands Of Kosher Wine From Israel and The US

While Kedem and Manischewitz, two major kosher wine companies, often come to mind when consumers think of kosher wines, other companies are excellent choices for Jewish holidays. Below are some top brand choices to explore when seeking kosher wine options.


This company has produced wine since 1896 when Baron Edmond de Rothschild created it. It is the oldest wine-producing company in the country and is considered the most beloved. The kosher wines available from this company include basic red and white wine choices and special edition options. Carmel wines are known for being fruity and light, as they are young wines.


The Dalton Winery creates high-quality kosher reds near the Lebanese border in the Upper Galilee of Israel. This winery is run by the Haruni family, local farmers, winemakers, and a viticulturist. Among the top options from Dalton, you’ll find cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, and petite syrah. This company differentiates itself by using grapes not native to Israel to produce its wines.


Yarden is an award-winning wine brand nestled under the Golan Heights Winery. It has won wine competitions worldwide, from London to Chicago. This wine company produces wines in Golan Heights, known for its high altitude and Mediterranean-style wines. Two of the most popular wines produced by Yarden include a cabernet sauvignon and a red blend named Mt Hermon Red.


This wine brand has its beginnings in the 1700s in Russia. Originally, Segal was a family winery. However, it has quickly become one of the most popular brands in Israel after the family moved from Russia to Israel. This company boasts of creating wines harmoniously with nature to provide high-quality options.

Baron Herzog

This wine-producing company has a long history dating back to 1948, when Eugene Herzog began working for the Royal Wine Company and eventually became a majority stakeholder. From there, he opened Kedem Winery. In 1985, the Herzog family created the Baron Herzog wine line, the first premium kosher option in the US. It is still one of the nation’s top options for high-quality kosher wine.

Hagafen Cellars

Hagafen Cellars was founded in 1979 to provide more high-quality kosher wine options. This company grows and produces its wine in Napa Valley, making it the first kosher winery in the region. This couple-run company uses innovative techniques to create and offer wines from various grape varietals. Hagafen Cellars has even had multiple instances where their wine was served in the US White House.

Where To Buy Kosher Wines?

Luckily, kosher wine is increasing in demand, making it easier for those who consume this type of wine during holidays to find acceptable wine options. This demand increase has allowed more kosher wine to be available in the US, Germany, and Israel. There are currently about 4,000 different kosher wine options you can purchase.

These kosher wines are also being produced in areas not specifically known for kosher wine, such as regions of France. Additionally, kosher wine is available online, making it even easier for those celebrating Jewish holidays to find appropriate wine options.

The Future of Kosher Wine

With the trend of increasing popularity of kosher wine, it’s clear the market for this type of wine will continue to grow and diversify as time passes. Additionally, non-Jewish people are also beginning to gravitate toward kosher items, especially those who want more sustainable products.

Kosher items are known for being created with eco-friendly methods. For example, it is necessary for land to “return to nature” every seven years. This break from agriculture allows the land to recuperate and produce a more high-quality yield the following year.

As kosher products and wine progress, fewer additives and chemicals are used to produce them, which is another benefit for conscientious consumers. With these notes in mind, it’s clear why kosher wine’s popularity continues to grow.

Related FAQ

Is Kosher Wine Halal?

Kosher and Halal regulations are quite different, originating from different religions. For an item to be Halal, it cannot have any alcohol. As kosher wine has alcoholic content, it is not considered Halal even though it goes through a rigorous process according to Jewish law. You may hear grape wine/alcohol referred to as haram in Islamic culture, which means it is forbidden to consume it.

Is There A Difference Between Kosher Wine And Kosher For Passover Seder Wine?

There is a difference between kosher wine and kosher wine for Passover. However, most kosher wines can be consumed during Passover. A few necessary precautions must be taken when creating kosher for Passover wine. For example, Passover wine must not be made with yeast used for making bread (like sugar).

Additionally, Passover wine needs to exclude specific preservatives, including potassium sorbate. Drinking wine deemed acceptable for Passover cannot be made using grains or bread (also known as chametz). Your best bet is to purchase white or red wine with the hechsher marking.

When considering kosher beverages for the next Jewish holiday, know the options are vast. No longer is it necessary to drink mevushal wine or grape juice (unless you want to). With choices like Baron Herzog providing sophisticated kosher wines and Dalton offering unique wines from non-native grapes, it’s clear many kosher wines are available for every type of wine drinker.

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