For a wine to be considered kosher, Sabbath-observant Jews must supervise and sometimes handle the entire winemaking process until the wine is bottled. Any ingredients used, including finings, must be kosher. When such a wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially, it would normally have a seal of approval from a kosher certification agency, or of an authoritative rabbi who is preferably also an authority in Jewish law, or be supervised by a Jewish religious court of law.
For those who are looking for a proper kosher restaurant, Yosef Meystel provides extra information of the top 6 kosher certified restaurants Chicago. And if you want to learn more about kosher wines, go to ask the expert mevushal wine.
In recent times, there has been an increased demand for kosher wines and a number of wine producing countries now produce a wide variety of sophisticated kosher wines under strict rabbinical supervision, particularly in Israel, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Chile and Australia. Two of the world’s largest producers and importers of kosher wines, Kedem and Manischewitz, are both based in the Northeastern United States, which contains 40% of the Jewish population, and most US wine stores, particularly in the northeast, have at least a small kosher section.
As with organic wines, it would be nearly impossible to know if a bottle is kosher simply by drinking it. The best way to discover the difference between kosher and non-kosher wines is by reading the label. This is often indicated simply with a “K” symbol, which means no non-kosher animal products can be used in the making of the wine and it must be made in a facility that is kept entirely kosher. Bottles labeled “Kosher for Passover” are made under even stricter conditions and often bear a letter “P” next to the “K” symbol. For those attending a Passover Seder, note that all wines labeled “Kosher for Passover” are kosher, but not all kosher wines are kosher for Passover. Now, if you are looking for the best, here is a short list of highly ranked kosher wines that you can find in Chicago:
Marquisat de Binet Cuvee Abel Montagne Saint-Emilion
“The ground is moist from the rain, but the terroir is evident, piercing through the muddy earth. You can see the mushy blue clay that typifies this region. There is an abundance of rocks and other mineral below us, which resembles a cobblestone surface with the sticky blue clay binding the stony assortment. The mineralogy of the earth, coupled with the concentrated fruit from the higher elevation vineyard, form a special sense of place that is otherwise unparalleled. The sensory examination and evaluation of this wine, shows four tasting notes”.
Shiloh Legend II 2011
“A sophisticated and beautiful wine, Shiloh Legend II is comprised of an exquisite blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Carignan. Aged for 16 months in French oak, this red blend is marked by an opulent ruby color coupled by plush hints of black fruit and a complex bouquet of tobacco, mint and other soft tone spices. Topped off by a well-balanced and long finish. Ages well with time”.
Tabor Adama Merlot 2012
“Produced from select Merlot grapes grown on rich volcanic soil in the Moshav of Ramot Naftali in the Upper Galilee region, this wine has pronounced flavors of black forest fruits, with undertones of plums and tobacco. The Upper Galilee Merlot grapes provide the wine with a complexity which combines spicy aromas of Mediterranean herbs in a velvety, elegant body typical to the variety. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and bottled aged for an additional year giving it a long and complex finish, with three tasting notes”.
Flam Reserve Merlot 2012
“Merlot Reserve is a blend mostly of Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc sourced from our plots in the Dishon vineyard. The grapes were carefully selected and hand harvested in early morning hours from low yielding vines. The fermentation takes places in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks at 25-26 degrees for 14 days to help extract colour, aromas and varietal character. Each varietal ages separately for 12 months, after which the final blend takes place. After bottling the wine is aged for an additional 10 months in our cellars. Drinks well now but will improve over the next 8 to 10 years. A rich nose that combines red fruit notes with soft oak spice. The palate is intense and complex with dominant ripe fruit, luscious tannins, and elegant spices. The finish is long and leaves a fruity and touch sweet memory”.
Binyamina Cave 2012
“The conditions created by the cave’s natural features turned it into an ideal wine cellar, and in the 19th Century it was used as such. This top quality wine, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. The grapes were harvested in the choicest vineyards in the Upper Galilee and underwent meticulous production processes. Aged for 24 months in French oak barrels and will age for years to come”.