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What Makes Wine Kosher?

The wine industry is a major component of Judaism are inextricably tied. In all time, wine has been always been an integral part of the rituals of Jewish life. Wine is considered a beverage with significant significance and its own blessing before and after drinking it is an integral part of several crucial Jewish celebrations in our calendars. Between two and three millennia ago, wine was a part of the sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem. In the Passover Seder relegates a central function in drinking the Four Cups of wine, representing our liberation from slavery as well as our freedom from the Jewish Exodus. Every Shabbat as well as the holiday feast starts with the recitation of Kiddush with a cup of wine. Jewish weddings include wine in the chuppah, and ending with “Seven Blessings” ending the wedding. The list is long.

There is nothing in the legal requirements for creating an kosher wine bottle that could distinguish its quality finished product from that of a non-kosher version. There are many myths surrounding wine that is kosher, but the basic reality is that kosher wine is just as good or as bad — as non-kosher wines. Kosher does not indicate the quality or quality of the wine. It’s simply a proof that the wine inside the bottle has been monitored by a kosher producer. We’re fortunate to enjoy a time in which we can easily enjoy world-class kosher wine from a variety of the world’s most renowned wine regions.

So What is it that makes wine Kosher?

You’ve probably heard the urban myth that the Rabbi should bless wine in order to confer kosher status to it. You’ve been told the wrong thing. In essence, in order for wine to be considered to be kosher the entire process of making wine from crushing to bottling has to be performed in a Sabbath-observant manner by Jews and no non-kosher additives or finings are allowed.

However, there is nothing in Jewish law is ever as easy, so let’s get deeper into the subject.

Wine has traditionally held an important place in Jewish laws and in the history of the Jewish people and the associated Jewish law is important. In essence, wine must be made from only Kosher ingredients. Grapes, of course remain kosher even in their original state, however, as with any kosher law, the process is a bit complicated. Any additions or finings have to be kosher. In most cases, they must be they must be kosher for Passover.

What exactly is Mevushal?

If you are buying a bottle Kosher wine, it’s possible to be able to see the words “mevushal,” or “non-mevushal” on the label alongside the kosher symbol. (Occasionally you’ll not see either, and have to assume that the wine is as not mevushal.) Literally translated, mevushal means “cooked.” It is actual the majority of cases the term “cooked” is now used to mean that the wine is subjected to flash-pasteurization, also known as flash detente in which it is the wine’s must (the crushed and destemmed product) gets heated up for a short amount of time, bringing it to a very high temperature. This method has gained popularity in certain non-kosher areas of the nations, because it’s beneficial in eliminating the defects of grapes that are not ripe and other conditions.

The mevushal method allows it to be served by anybody. However, from the moment the grapes are crushed until the wine is bottle-sealed as well as sealed. Non-mevushal wines can only be handled only by Sabbath-observing Jews who are Kosher. Equally an unmevushal bottle wine is only open and consumed by those who are a Sabbath-observant Jew in addition. Mevushal allows wine to be handled without restriction by anyone, a feature which makes it much easier to use wine in commercial settings, e.g. in restaurants, or during events like weddings and bar mitzvahs. This is why the demand for mevushal wines in America is a common requirement. Over the last few decades, the method of making mevushal has been altered by certain experts so that the wine can be distinct from those that are not mevushal. In reality, mevushal wines have been proven to last for a long time.

However, the majority of premium wines are not made with mevushal because many winemakers desire absolute control over their wine and as little influence from outside as is possible on their product.

So What Can Be the Cause of the Wine’s Kosher Status?

If a Sabbath-observant individual is handling the process from crushing until bottling, all that remains to be considered to be kosher is the essential kosher ingredients such as yeasts and fining agents, aswell for cleaning agents used during the process of making wine. Fining agents are utilized by some winemakers in order to eliminate “colloids,” or unwanted components of a wine which include clarification to remove flavor, aroma, or bitterness, as in addition to stabilizing the wine. They bind to the component that is undesirable and then filter it out. Traditionally , these agents comprised dried blood powder. However, nowadays, they are more often divided into two types of compounds organic compounds made from animals and solid mineral compounds.

Organic compounds are:

egg whites
isinglass (from the bladder of a fish)
gelatin (from animal collagen)
Casein (derived by milk).

Mineral and solid materials comprise:

Bentonite clay pulverized
carbon from activated charcoal
potassium ferrocyanide.

In the process of making kosher wine, excluding out complex agents like gelatin, isinglass or the casein (as casein is dairy) The most widely-used agent is bentonite. egg whites could be (and sometimes can be) utilized in smaller productions outside of the U.S., though egg whites could make a wine unsuitable for those who are vegans. Some winemakers choose not to refine their wines due to concerns about losing crucial compounds for flavor and aroma. Furthermore, the increasing demands for non-vegan and kosher items has influenced what fining agents — if any– are employed. In addition, as the demand in “natural winemaking” grows, winemakers are seeking for the highest quality and “natural” final product, and are not averse to fining agents.

Does Kosher wine count as hallal?

It is evident that the similarities among Jewish restriction on dietary choices (kosher) in addition to Islamic food limitations (halal) are numerous, but there are some major differences. Since the focus of this review is about kosher wine, we will be discussing the specifics of kosher wine. Although a lot of the things that are generally kosher could be considered halal, it does not apply to wines that are kosher. The prohibition against halal isn’t exclusive to wine , however it applies to drinking all alcohol-based drinks in any type. It’s not so much that kosher wines are not an acceptable drink, but there is no way to say that all alcohol is considered to be halal.

Kosher Wine from Israel:

Excavated archaeological sites throughout across the Land of Israel prove that it is far from being a “new area of wine” around the world, Israel, and the “Eastern Mediterranean Region,” is likely to be the oldest, clocking at five thousand years. After the Islamic conquer and Turkish rule the prohibition of alcohol was imposed throughout The Holy Land, but was revived in the 19th century , with the assistance from the Baron Edmond de Rothschild of the famous Chateau Lafite Rothschild who brought modern winemaking techniques to Israel. Since the creation of the current State of Israel in 1948 the production of wine increased in the coastal regions, however it was still primarily made for use in religious ceremonies. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was the Golan Heights, due to its high altitude and cool climate, emerged as the leading Terroir for Israeli winemaking.

So while Israel is still considered a newly-emerging viticultural area and many of its wineries are in their infancy, the coupling of internationally-trained winemakers with the latest farming technologies are birthing wines receiving worldwide recognition. The last few years have witnessed an increase in the (re)emergence in grapes from varieties that are native to Israel including Marawi, Bittuni, and Argaman and, while the traditional Bordeaux varieties have been proven to be successful and are very popular for this region, Mediterranean-based grapes like Marselan and Carignan make stunning wines that are equally warm in this climate. Israel is now home to over 300 wineries in the six major wine regions:

Golan: Upper and Lower Golan Northern Israel
Galilee: Upper Galilee East, Upper Galilee West, and Lower Galilee, northern Israel
Coastal Plain: Zichron Yaacov-Hanadiv Valley, Judean Coast, Mediterranean Coast
Central Mountain: Gilboa, Shomron, Judean Hills, Negev Judea, central Israel
Judea: Judean Foothills, Lachish, central Israel
Negev: Ramat Arad, Mizpe Ramon, southern Israel

The most common misconception is that all wine produced in Israel is Kosher. Although the vast majority of wine exported by Israel for American consumers American market is actually Kosher (over 90 percent) and the vast majority of exports of Israeli wines are exported to America However, some Israeli wines are not produced under kosher supervision.

Kosher wine that is produced inside Israel is also required to adhere to additional laws, including many Biblical agriculture laws. Certain laws from the Biblical laws are used today in international viticulture and not for reasons of religion however, for the improvement and development of vineyards.
Jewish agricultural laws cover:


Orlah is a reference to the Biblical prohibition against eating the fruits of trees during the first three years following the planting. The fruit is to be left to themselves because one will not get any benefits from the fruits. This is one of the few agricultural prohibitions in the Bible that also applies to fruit produced outside Israel although there are some leniencies.

Terumot & Ma’aserot

There is a requirement to separate ma’aser and terumah from Israeli products. In the Jewish Temple era, these separate portions were distributed to the members from the Priestly Tribe, Levites, and to the less fortunate, or eaten in Jerusalem. While we do not consume these portions in Jerusalem however, the portions are still classified and even the fruits that are produced in Israel cannot be eaten in the Diaspora in the absence of these portions being consumed.


Each year In Israel this land required to observe a sabbatical year and then to lay in the fields and take a take a break. Any agricultural activity is not permitted. The shmittah year that will follow within Israel can be described as the Jewish year 5782 or 2021-2022. There are a few ways in the shmittah year’s produce could be sold or consumed.

Kilai Ha’Kerem

In Israel the Bible says that it is prohibited to plant any other plant species in between the vineyard’s vines. This is not a common method of cultivation in the modern world.

What’s the Future of Kosher Wine

If the current trend continues the market for anything and everything kosher is set to expand exponentially and not only for those who keep kosher. Kosher has become a massive market that represents the huge industry of top brands worldwide and iconic products. Kosher marks are sought-after by people who want products that are healthier and conform to the guidelines that define ingredients that are safe for those suffering from lactose intolerance, allergies, as well as other restrictions on diet, such as Halal or only vegan or vegetarian products. It is important to note that kosher is a reliable choice without any further investigation due to the additional levels of supervision and control and due to the truthfulness of the way that they are labeled.

Kosher wine is still shedding its reputation as sacramental, sweet wines (we do have them for those who are looking for these! ) It is also further separated into wines that happen to be Kosher. Kosher wines are being made across the wine-producing world, offering an ever-growing selection of styles and varieties. Kosher wines are available at all prices and is accessible in many cities as well as online for the majority of consumers. As the demand for kosher wine continues to rise and increase, the future of Kosher wine is better.