I am a winer and occasionally a whiner. In this blog I will write about all my wining experiences (and occasionally whine about the wine horror stories, yes they do exist!). I will review and describe in detail all the good, the bad, and the ugly wines, and provide my own rating system, which is much simpler than the Wine Spectator, et al (and what does 92 points really mean anyway??).

As I am also a writer, be prepared for the long-winded sentences of wine description, and the use of many a metaphor in my wining adventures.

Swirl, sniff, sip, and enjoy!



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oy Vey, Mevushal!

I love my people.  I truly have nothing against my people, except they complicate everything.  Thank God we are allowed, even prescribed, to drink wine for religious practices.  But there's a catch, or three.  The wine has to be kosher.

So, how kosher is really kosher?  Well, it depends.  If you are like me, a practically non-practicing Jew, you'll drink anything from any winery in the world, for any occasion, provided it tastes better than Manischewitz. 

But for some more traditional Jews, I'd  be a shiksa, so use caution if you are sharing your wine with me.  If you are a more practicing, good Jewish girl, you must be careful to check your wine label for the Kosher hechsher ("seal of approval").   What makes the wine kosher?  Apparently, the wine making process must be handled only by observant Jews to be considered kosher.  (It's fine for illegal non-Jewish immigrants to collect the grapes for minimum wage at your vineyard, however).   

You still have to be careful during the time of Passover, which is coming soon, so read and memorize this before you go to Premiere or any other wine store and buy your Kosher for Passover wine, which should not have any contact with bread, dough, or grain.  It's ok if it comes in contact with matzos, though, especially immediately following them and gefilte fish with horseradish into your stomach.

And finally, if you are a very observant Jew and you never drive or light electricity on Sabbath (you can always ask your gentile husband to do that), be extremely careful about who pours the wine for you.  It's always better to pour the wine yourself and freely control the amount in your wine glass.  Don't forget to top that glass off!  However, if you must have somebody else pour the wine for you because of a hand
injury or plain old laziness, here comes a concept of mevushal.

While it sounds like some exotic disease, it just means "cooked" or "boiled" in Hebrew, which is not really appetizing when you think about your wine going through this process.  Basically, the wine has to be pasteurized so that it could be poured by non-observant Jews (like myself) into your pure Jewish princess wine glass.  Otherwise, if the wine is not mevushal, just be careful not to drink it with your goyim friends. 

Sounds a little meshugga, no?  But remember, the laws of kashrut date back thousands of years, so a lot of things that made sense then, do not now.  There are even some radical Jews who suggest that most American wine process is so automated that it's kosher by default.  God forbid that you listen to them, though, because you are a good mensch and you must make your Yiddishe mama proud.

DISCLAIMER:  By no means, am I an expert on the subject, so please check some reputable sources on the laws of kashrut and production of kosher wine.  All of the above information is summarized from the Internet sources and Premier wine tasting class on the wines of Israel.



  1. Wow! That's deep! It's like a pretty serious piece of work with some research done on the topic. Like it!