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Jun 21, 2006 11:34 AM

Best Kosher Wine or Scotch whiskey

  • c

I need to give a major Thanky you/ congratulations to someone who appreciates GOOD wine/booze.

My local wine guy recommended Yarden's Merlot....somehow, I bet that's not necesarily the best kosher wine on the market (Yarden is rarely excellent)

Please recommmend some amazing Red wines and kosher high end- high quality.... (good doesn't have to be expensive...)

Tasting is the best way to do this of course

Also, if their are any scotch drinkers out there, please make reccomendations.... This is for the real l'chaim shots to celebrate a milestone. His home is strictly i want to get the right thing.

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  1. All varieties of domestic whiskeys are acceptable and most Scotch ones are too, as long as they are not sherry aged. Blended whiskeys can be tricky though.

    As for a good kosher red, there are a few good cabs out there, like Herzog and Golan Heights. They'll run you 25-35 bucks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DeisCane

      my favorite is from the Herzog Selection
      Valflore - a Semi Dry Red, from France
      10% alcohol, OU-Passover only $8 750ml
      Because it's lightly sweet high proof,
      you can drink it cold or room temp.
      it comes in an simple cork bottle.
      This is not an "impressive" wine,
      simply a very drinkable one, so it's
      best as a generous table beverage,
      not just for sampling.

    2. As with wine, tastes in single malts are also very varied.

      A few recommendations based on my tastes:
      1. Glenmorangie - their 18 year old in plain wood is excellent.
      2. Dalwhinnie
      3. Glen Ord
      4. Edradour

      As a comment to a previous poster, some scotches in the wine and sherry casks are kosher (they are served at some of the better kosher restaurants (e.g., Park East). There are some details in the issue of sherry and wine casks that are taken into account.

      Good luck and lechayim!

      10 Replies
      1. re: Ralph

        Yes, I worded it poorly. I meant to say that Whiskeys don't need a hechsher except those in wine/sherry casks.

        1. re: Ralph
          Cheesehead in Recovery

          Todah L'Culam...
          But here's what i don't "get" about Kashrut and Liquor...Why are all of these such as Glenlivet,Chivas and others kosher? Whereas kosher wines are so carefully scruitinized, boiled, and under watchful eye of mashgiach, whiskey is not necessarily prepared under supervision? (I'm of the "semikosher" persuasion, but have studied enough halacha to respect the differances!)

          Maybe someone can explain it to me over a good shot of something! (in the greater boston area)

          1. re: Cheesehead in Recovery

            As I understand it is because wine is to be used for sacremental purposes - in wee early times of yore wine was cut with many things including blood so to insure that the wine was ure and kosher it had to be watched from the vinyard to the winery -

            1. re: Cheesehead in Recovery

              since you already appreciate the Kosher issues
              of wine, then the whiskey answer is simple.

              whiskey itself is NOT the problem regarding Kosher.
              the problem is most whiskeys, especially from Europe,
              are "finished" in barrels that were previously used
              to ferment grape products such as Port or Sherry
              which were not Kosher.

              even if a whiskey was not "finished" it could still
              be aged in barrels that were used for grape products,
              since many whiskey makers prefer the cheaper used
              barrels, even when whiskeys are "wood finished".

              many Kosher people will still drink whiskeys from
              Sherry barrels or casts because any trace of grape
              in the whiskey is so minuscule, while others will
              insist that the casts had never been used before.

              1. re: Cheesehead in Recovery

                I don't think many kosher wines are actually boiled anymore.

                1. re: DeisCane

                  sadly, yes, all "mevushal" wines are flash boiled killing all of the bacteria and wonderful tiny things that make a wine a "living" aging wonderful drink. If the bottle say "non-mevushal" or "not" mevushal, then the wine has not been boiled.

                  1. re: gotcholent


                    What a load of horsepucky, gotcholent. Mevushal wines can be excellent if made properly, and they can age beautifully. I don't know about you, but I don't want "bacteria and wonderful tiny things that make a wine a "living" aging wonderful drink." I filtered them out in my nonmevushal wines, and everyone removes them one way or another. Even in "unfined, unfiltered" wines, they're removed by multiple rackings. If they get into the bottle, they can cause gas production and turbidity. The typical mevushal wine of today is flash pasteurized at the juice stage in terms of whites, and soon after pressing in terms of reds. The time/temperature profile of the bishul, while it can kill some organisms, is certainly not enough to kill sporulated organisms, nor many bacteria- typically 185 degrees F for just long enough to measure the temperature. That means DeisCane is correct in fact- not many kosher wines are actually boiled. And it means that while some microorganisms may indeed be compromised, life continues to go on. And it means that in any case, pure cultures are added to at least white wines after bishul, which reintroduces some of those "wonderful tiny things" you were discussing. And it means that maybe you should do your homework before perpetuating bubbamaisas which have no factual basis whatsoever, no matter who actually believes them, especially in a 2.5 year old thread.

                    1. re: ganeden

                      Sorry to say, but your response to this "bubbamaise" (who is this Bubba character?) is the real bubbe-meise. Meshuval wine is indeed stripped of most of the qualities that any serious wine drinker would say differentiates between a very good wine, and a fairly terrible one. I won't brag on my credentials too much here, but suffice to say I speak with authority on this subject. A nice 185 degree "bath" will kill anything. Actually the conservative tempurature used in the restaurant industry is just 140 degrees. Just using common sense though, if the process were "safer" in any significant way, shape, or form and didn't affect flavor, then all wineries would use this method wouldn't they?

                      1. re: randallhank

                        Randall....GanEden speak on authority as well (remember Gan Eden wines?), but I have to say as a more than novice but less than "expert" wine drinker, I find your comments elitist...a yummy wine is a yummy wine. Sometimes it's a $12 bottle sometimes it's a $72 bottle, and sometimes it's Moscato D'Asti.

                      2. re: ganeden

                        Ganeden, as far as bbq goes, your word is the Gospel to me, in the world of smoke you are my Rebbe. But I must join Randal in saying you're wrong on this one (a bit rude too). A perfectly apt example would be one of my once favorite kosher reds...a Rioja by Ramon Cordava, non-mevushal until the end of 2006 after which time they switched over to mevushal . For less the $10 a bottle it was better then the most kosher $50-100 bottles available at the time. Jill Santopierto, at that time a food stylist for the NY Times, and later editor for CHOW, introduced it to us at our first meal together years ago, not knowing (or caring) that it was kosher. If you look at the 2007 label the "non" has actually been blacked off of each of the bottles they produced that year. When I heard they switched I was so excited to hear as it meant I could use this fantastic (and inexpensive) wine for my kosher catering. But alas, after the flash pasteurization, it had just lost that love and feeling, still drinkable, still a good deal for the price, but totally lacking the "WOW". Those bottles are now enigmatic, and while somehow still winning awards, impossible to find even for those of us fairly well connected. I realize that Kashrut is Kashrut, I accept that, respect it, but don't fool yourself or others into thinking that the bishul process has no or little effect other then making it unfit for the Mizbeyach, but ok for our bellies.

              2. chivas regal, Johnny Walker black are also good scotchs

                1 Reply
                1. re: berel

                  Please tell me you're kidding. There are good blended whiskies out there but those are not two of them.

                  If you're going the blended route, go with Compass Box Hedonism. It's spectacular.

                2. Glenmorangie, Glenrothies and Highland Park are all excellent single malt scotches -

                  1. My favorite scotch is Lagavulin. It has a stong flavor of peat (ie, smoke), so not everyone loves it, but I do. Bowmore 15 yr is also excellent. You couldn't go wrong with Glenlivet 18 - no particularly strong, unique flavor, so everyone likes it.

                    I'm not sure you should buy Glenmorangie. First, I don't like it that much (personal taste). Also, I think they age in sherry casks which many people are okay with, but some are not (kashrus-wise).