EP 839 Expanding Palates on Passover with New Kosher Wines

Gary tries out 3 interesting Kosher wines that have been getting some buzz around the store just in time for Passover.

Wines tasted in this episode:

Elvi Adar Sparkling CavaSpanish Kosher
2004 Carmel Kayoumi Cabernet SauvignonIsraeli Kosher Wine
Porto Cordovero Vintage Character Port

Links mentioned in todays episode.

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘this wine had a good fourth quarter…it was getting ugly there for a second’

pretty lacklustre wines and no Mott…not really a winning combination

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  • JayZee13

    Nice show, but the kosher wines weren't as good this time around. Still an interesting category. As a non-Jewish person, it isn't that I think I SHOULDN'T have kosher wines, it's simply that I don't see any reason to HAVE a kosher wine. I learned a little bit about the kosher process a few years ago and there really isn't any reason that a kosher wine would necessarily be better or worse than a non-kosher wine, and it seems to me that they cost a little more. On other hand, I would be interesting in trying some wine from Israel (kosher or non-kosher) since I am intrigued by the area as a wine region.

    QOTD1: I don't think I've ever had a kosher wine – at least not to my knowledge.
    QOTD2: Best wine I had over the weekend was a 2004 Delille Cellars Doyenne Syrah from Washington State. 91 points for my palate.

  • MichaelMA

    QOTD: Didn't have much wine this weekend, but just saw this episode today. Keeping with the kosher wine theme — on Monday night, Galil Mountain Yiron 2006. Cab/Merlot/Syrah blend. Really great. Rogov has consistently rated these 91 and over, and I think it is easily one of the best kosher wines I have ever had. I would rate it around 90/91.

  • ChicagoMatt

    GV – Would love to review some wines for you on Cork'd. I already review on my own on the site.

    QOTD: Had a very nice A. Rafanelli Merlot on Friday night. Took it to a BYOB Mexican place. Not the best food/wine pairing in the world, but it held up.

  • cellarrat5

    Just about to send 28 cases of Zin to the dirty Jers… In the words of wyanooo


  • Gotellit

    I'm flipping through all of your facebook friends and comments, and i don't see many so young. You have changed the wine world, but is there something that can't be unlocked about the 20-somethings? (22 years old, i've been drinking decent wine since i was 14) Which walls have you come up against when bringing very young people into the wine world?

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo

    Heeeeey cellarrat5, You're steeeaaliiin' meee Thuuundeerrr !!!!!! :o)

  • cellarrat5

    My bad waynooo, but the highest form of flattery is imitation!!

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo

    Gary & Family, Happy Passover !!!! Yo Mottster, Hope Yur on da Way to
    Recovery !!! :o)

    qotd1: Had a Kosher Vino (don't remember the Producer) a whiiiiiiile back, i can
    remember i had Noooooo Prooooobleeeeem Drinkin' IT……..

    qotd2: Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf daaa Pape 2006 edged-out a Williams Selyem
    Central Coast Pinot Noir 2004……..

  • cellarrat5

    Gotellit, had some info you may or may not be interested in. I was attending a marketing seminar the other day and was shocked to hear that we (as in our “millennial” generation) are drinking wine faster and more frequently than the baby boomers ever were. Our generation (I am 27 by the way) does not tend to drink in bulk or buy cases, but we buy many different things consistently. From the numbers that I have heard the younger wine drinkers make up approximately 35% of the market share. Most Vayniacs, as far as I can tell, are in their 30's-40's; but there are a lot of us 20 something?s out there drinking a ton of wine! Cheers!

  • cellarrat5

    P.S. These are numbers and trends for American wine drinkers, I am not sure as to the accuracy of this info regarding other locations.

  • D_Rod

    QOTD 1: I don't believe so. Not that I have anything against them, but there is presumably a premium to be paid for making a wine Kosher. I'm not Jewish so I have no need for any extra such cost on my wine and no real reason to seek it out.

    QOTD 2: Lost most of the weekend because I flied from NYC to Seoul Friday night, only got here Sunday night. Some crappy Bourgogne Red on the flight here is what they gave us on the flight. Yeech.

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo


  • CharlieTN

    New ep today?

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo

    I WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS MY WLTVeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

  • QOTD: Yes, but not a very good one. It was a Manischewitz Blackberry Kosher Wine…very sweet and awkward. I really want to taste some of the newer world class kosher wines.

  • castello

    Vaca over????????????????????????

  • NY Pete

    hey Chris Mott, get well soon.

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo


  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo

    Yo NY Pete, i thought You were goin' into “Lurker” mode ??????? :o)

  • dream_team_sf

    I've had a few kosher wines, none of which have really thrilled me. the two i tasted recently, both from Israel, were just a little hot on the finish.

    QOTD- This weekend I had two different reds from the Loire Valley, both of which were blends made by biodynamic producers. 2007 Chaussard “You Are So Nice,” a blend of Cot and Gamay, which had clean, pretty fruit. The wine felt vibrant and alive. Then I had the 2008 Clos Roche Blanche Cuvee Pif, a blend of Cot and Cabernet Franc, which had great structure, with good acid and tannins. A real pleasure to drink.

  • Glad you decided to take a break without the laptop and just focus on the family! I'm sure they appreciated it and I'm glad you also did!!! 😉

    Correction: I hate being a nerd but Cava is one of the few DO's that are NOT geographically delimited. While most of the Cavas come from the Penedes area in Catalonia some of them do NOT and there is no area that you can call “Cava”. There are some Cavas made in Rioja, Ribera del Duero even Andalucia. So saying “you feel like you are in Cava” doesn't make any sense.

    I'd definitely be interested in reviewing some vino for you! 😛

    QOTD. I tasted through the Finca Torremilanos from Ribera del Duero lineup that Aurelio from Grapes of Spain imports and it was awesome indeed. From the entry level Montecastrillo, the affordable Los Cantos, the Crianza and to the upscale Cyclo they were all fenomenal. The 2005 Cyclo would have to take the best of the weekend award. I'll do my best to top it off this weekend, though!

  • I think it's telling that you made the comment “not apalling” multiple times.

    QOTD1: no kosher wine for me – it costs more than comparable wines that aren't certified, and I'm not required to drink it. So, no real reason for me to choose it over a non-kosher product.

    QOTD2: Best of the weekend -a 1999 red Burgundy from Chassagne-Montrachet. Gave it as a gift to my pops years ago, and we pulled it out of his cellar to drink. Leathery, earthy, barnyard-y, with soft tannins and just the right touch of red fruit.

  • winelou

    For those in NY/NJ area interested in Israeli wines, there is a pretty good french restaurant in Tribecca — Capsouto Freres — that promotes Israeli wines and has a good selection on its largely French list. As someone who has had a fair share of Kosher wines over the years, there is no doubt that there is generally a premium for them. This is most clearly seen in the prices of top french wines that have both a kosher and non-kosher version (e.g. Smith Haut Lafite, Giscours, Leoville Poyferre, Laurent Perrier Brut Rose), where the premium can be 30%. There are exceptions. The Domaine du Castel Grand Vin I had recently (see below) was clearly a bargain as it compared favorably to all but the very top left bank Bordeaux from that good vintage. I used to deal with a manager of a rather large Manhattan wine shop who wasn't jewish but bought the Hagafen Napa Cab for himself by the case as he thought it was consistently among the top QPRs in California cabs. And in the lower priced category, one can often find some exceptional wines that are clearly values, see. e.g., the Segal's Reserve Cabernet that was reviewed on WLTV, and some of the Five Stones (formerly Beckett's Flat) wines from Australia. But one has to try too many of these to find the good ones, and I can't imagine why anyone who didn't have a need to drink kosher wine would go to the trouble.

  • pawncop

    Good episode, good basic wines as it appears.

    Have not had a Kosher wine that I am aware of.

    The best wine during the last week, had to work all weekend so no wine for me, Dashwood, 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

    Glad you had good time with the family. Very important.

  • chukheadted

    perrin et fils cotes du rhone reserve 07 was a beast for under $10

  • chukheadted

    perrin et fils cotes du rhone reserve 07 was a beast for under $10

  • boughtrecords

    Kosher wines are very popular for communion at many Christian churches. I have had it many times but they are usually way too sweet for me….

  • QQOTD : Negatory

    QOTD : I didn't! 🙁

  • slimdogny

    Latest in the Kosher wines: Barkan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Altitude something. Also just had Binyamina Cab/Petite Verdot which was really nice as well as Ramona Cardova Rioja Riserva. Passover baby, lots of wine to be drunk. Barkan 2007 Chard too. Surprisingly serviceable once it came up to room temp from the ice cold it had been.

    Latest wine, last night, was 2005 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva that I bought on a whime from Italian Wine Merchants a few months ago when I was killing time in Union Square.

  • jj

    Only drink kosher wines, have a bottle of the ADAR that I plan to have next week.

  • jcrazy

    I'm not sure if it was Kosher but I had the Yarden Cab a few weeks back that wasn't bad at all.

  • Hey Gary

    I really have no idea if I drink Kosher wine, though I do try (and often enjoy) quite a few wines from Israel.

    QOTD: Back in Melbourne and looking through the cellar. Favourites unearthed so far have been a Seppelt Chalmber Shiraz 2003 and a Miranda Park Merlot 2001.


  • joelbombardier

    Yep about the Kosher wine.

    Though, more importantly, QOTD: I coincidentally had a great port over the weekend it was the Kopke Colheita 1988 Vintage Tawny Port – delicious! rasins and brown sugar for days with lovely tones of strawberries and caramel.

  • Best wine this weekend, somewhat embarrassed to say: Layer Cake – Malbec.

    As for Kosher wines, even though I'm Jewish I have never searched for a good Kosher wine. That will be my mission for the next Jewish holiday.

    Glad to have you back, glad you enjoyed your well deserved time away.

  • aarontewalt

    I am not a huge port fan and have never had the 1988 but the Kopke 1985 Cohleita is fantastic. Great pecan, caramel, raisin flavors.

  • erikwait

    QOTD: Have I had a Kosher wine? Yep, in fact I visited Hagafen Cellars (which makes such wines) a couple years ago on the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. They were fine wines. You'd never guess they were kosher or any different than other wines.

    Erik Wait
    “Adventures in Wine Tasting”

  • you look rested and im so happy you had a wonderful time. i have many jewish friends so yes im sure i have tried kosher wine i cant name the brands but i didiinheret a lovely set of cook ware when my friend harriet goldshire decided to go completely kosher so she purchased all new cooking stuff and gve me the practiclly new stuff. glad your back and im attempting to be more regularin my viewing get jiggy with it. love gyfooma

  • lawrenceleichtman

    I've had a ton of kosher wine starting with Mogen David, Carmel, Manischewitz to the more modern ones. Mostly bad wine though just tasted some of the Hagafen wines from Silverado trail over the last week that were intriguing but not great for the price. Had the Mauritson Petit Syrah on GV recommendation and really liked the depth of flavors.

  • Never had a kosher wine, at least to the best of my knowledge, might be something to hunt out on future expeditions. No amazing wines this past weekend, but a very interesting viscous cabernet – lots of sweet red berries going on.

  • bob

    First, never had a kosher wine to my knowledge.
    Second, spent the weekend with my son in boston, although I took three bottles of wine to drink, we only managed to get to one of them as we drank some different beers instead…

  • Weston3220

    It's all wine Kosher, or they slipping pork in there that I dont know about?!?!

    qotd: its either the 2005 Château Haut-Marbuzet or the 2008 Y. et J. Huchet (Domaine de la Chauvinière) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie both pretty damn tasty, and the 2008
    was the last wine of the night and it was memorable…mmmmmm

  • lawschooldrunk

    QOTD1: Hmm, let me think about that one a sec… 😉

    gary, about time you did this episode. do more kosher episodes.

    And, let the port breathe!

  • richardvinifera

    QOTD: Only had mevushal (intentionally cooked) wines which were obviously pretty bad, but would consider kosher wines if I ever came across any!

  • jayhitek

    QOTD1: 2000 Newton Unfiltered Merlot
    QOTD2: GV big fan! Keep up the good work.

  • John_Kenneth_J

    qotd 2005 Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Romanus Pinot Gris unbelievable q.p.r.

  • susan k

    How do you make a wine kosher?

  • A wine is kosher if every step of its production is carried out by an observant Jew. In reality, most kosher wineries can be (and are) staffed by both Jews and non-Jews, and the Jews that work there can be of any and all levels of observance. There is, however, an orthodox Jew on the staff whose job it is to either supervise or to directly carry out each step of the winemaking process. This typically involves “pushing the big red button” – i.e. operating the press and other equipment. When the wine is later released for consumption it is labeled kosher, but it cannot be consumed (read: considered kosher) if opened/handled by non-Jews UNLESS it was “mevushal” or pasteurized. Many kosher wines under $20 are mevushal, and will always indicate so somewhere on the label. This last process aside (its effects are the topic of some debate), there is, in essence, nothing that makes a kosher wine substantially different from any other wine on the production side.

    Susan, my apologies if this explanation went too far…

  • As opposed to many of the kosher tastings where the wine selections were not great, this show had three good wines across the board. I think Gary’s general disappointment easily reflects one of the biggest problems kosher wines have now that the quality and diversity issues have been reasolved and that is price (the other is having Israeli wines being recognized as “Israeli” as opposed to kosher). The kosher-only consumer is still required to pay a 20-30% premium for quality kosher wines over what the comparative non-kosher wine would taste. So, while its great that the kosher consumer has many more and some great options, the price needs to come down for people to be able to get excited about some of the good stuff.


  • Anonymous

    Can’t say I have had that many Kosher wines, Yardin comes to mind. QOTD-this past weekend was 2005 Pago Alto Landon Manchuela Altolandon from Spain which was great. http://www.winelx.com

  • luca bercelli


    line of the day – ‘this wine had a good fourth quarter…it was getting ugly there for a second’

    pretty lacklustre wines and no Mott…not really a winning combination


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