HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >


Any suggestions for GOOD kosher wine?

I am visiting my parents soon and am pretty sick of drinking the Manishevitz that for some reason stays in their frig year round. I want them to expand their taste, but I don't really know what is good. Suggestions would be much appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. White? Red?

    For white and not much money, I'd go with Baron Herzog Chardonnay
    For red and not much money, I'd go with Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon

    1. On the assumption that you do not have access to some of the larger selections available in a few stores, I would recommend a Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon.

      1. We just visited the Rimon winery in Israel. They make pomegranate wine and we had a wine tasting at the winery (I also understand they just won Kosherfest's award for best new kosher product). they had 3 types of wine, dry, semisweet and dessert wine.
        I enjoyed the dry wine very much. Pomegranate wine is a very good anti-oxident too (even better that pomegranate juice). I'm pretty sure it can be obtained in the states

        1. It depends on what you have access to, but for the mass market Kosher wines, I prefer Baron Herzog and Hagafen. One of my favorite Kosher wines however is Spanish, Celler de Cap├žanes Montsant Peraj Ha'Abib Kosher. Their Flor de Primavera is also Kosher and enjoys a good reputation worldwide.

          1. My two favorite kosher wines:

            Red - Baron Herzog Zinfindel (red, not white)
            White: Hagafen Riesling

            1 Reply
            1. re: craigcep

              There are many excellent kosher wines on the market these days. Goose Bay, out of New Zealand, makes a delicious pinot noir and a wonderful sauvignon blanc, both at a reasonable price. I would happily drink them even if they were not kosher. Yarden, an Israeli winemaker, makes fabulous wine. Their dessert wine, a muscat, is particularly drinkable, although sweet.
              Several Italian winemakers are also producing excellent kosher wines, these days.

            2. If they're used to drinking Manishewitz then they're not going to suddenly enjoy a full-bodied dry red. I'd suggest easing them in with a quality wine that's on the fruitier side, like Baron Herzog Zinfandel that craigcep recommends (they make a late harvest version that's very fruity) or jeunesse, or maybe a less fruity but still relatively soft red like the rioja from Ramon Cardova.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LI Guy

                I second the recommendation of Baron Herzog jeunesse.

                Recently I've been drinking the Gabriele wines from Italy. I've tried several varieties and found them all very good, especially the pinot noir.

                1. re: zsero

                  I third the recommendation of Jeunesse. We love it and it's not too dry.

                2. re: LI Guy


                  So many use the term "fruity" when what they really mean is "sweet". Why? "Fruity" really means having a fruit aroma, and can run the spectrum from sweet to totally dry wine, most often describing a ripe wine, sometimes one with a very slight amount of residual sugar. But Jeunesse has far more than just a slight amount of residual sugar. I prefer to call a spade a spade. Why serve a mediocre example of a sweet red wine, when you can serve a very good example of a sweet wine. If red, you might want to try Herzog's Black Muscat, which at least has some quality. And even better are some of the late harvest whites available, some from Herzog, some from various Israeli wineries, some from Hungary (Tokay), or from the Loire, or perhaps a Sauternes, of which several good ones are kosher. If they like sweet, turn them on to something that will make them say "wow", rather than just another mediocre wannabe wine like Jeunesse. Herzog makes excellent Cabs, but they're dry. They have good late harvest Rieslings and Chenins, and the Black Muscat is quite decent too.

                3. There are some truly wonderful kosher wines. I agree with Goose Bay and Yarden. Baron Herzog is overhyped; some of the wines are good & others are just passable. Here is my suggestion, since the quality truly varies year to year: call around to the shuls & see if anyone (usually mens' clubs) is doing a kosher wine tasting prior to Pesach. And call a few well-stocked local wine stores. Even if you can't taste it, you'll come across at least a few knowledgeable people who can help you out. Some of the kosher wines occasionally get reviewed by Wine Spectator & other such publications, and I've found those reviews (plus the tastings) to really give me good guidance when I buy my kosher wines.

                  1. Is it hard to find kosher wines by you? If you or your parents live near a large Jewish area you should be able to find a kosher wine and spirits store. It may even be worth it to travel a little out of your way to get a little stock of wines for them to keep for your visits. I second the recommendations for the Rimon winery it is really special and makes a great gift, I also prefer the dry. The Herzog Black Muscat is good if they like a little sweet. Golan winery has great wines, Tishbi winery has a great emerald reisling. The French Fortant has a good Merlot. Nowadays there is no reason to suffer the Manischevits wine, sorry. There are superb kosher Israeli wines.

                    1. To slightly redirect, does anyone have recommendations for more expensive kosher wines. I see plenty of wines in the $40 to $70 range at my usual wine shop (a lot of French reds, in particular), but have been hesitant to buy without having a sense for their quality. Any recommendations (either pro or con)? Ganeden, as the professional, I'm particularly interested in your thoughts on this. Thanks.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: aivri

                        The Celler de Cap├žanes Montsant Peraj Ha'Abib mentioned by dinwiddie earlier in this thread is well worth the $40-50 it typically sells for.

                        Have you tried asking the shop owner for recommendations? In my experience most are quite knowledgeable and happy to help, especially in smaller shops.

                        1. re: aivri


                          You know, I'm still sitting on 900 cases of my own wine, so I don't purchase others- any time I drink them, it's provided by someone else. A year or 2 ago, I did have a Petite Castel that I thought was terrific. Of the few expensive wines I drink each year, only 1 or 2 stand out as being worth the price, to my perspective. I have, however, heard good things about some of the classified growths that have recently sprouted up kosher. The Leoville Poyferre in particular. And I'v eheard excellent things about the kosher Sauternes. I haven't had them. The special selections of Herzog have always struck me as high quality and worthy, if a little boring stylistically. And the Israeli Cabs I've had have most frequesntly struck me as high quality, but produced in that fruity, international style that I despise, made famous by Parker's tastes. Mostly, I just enjoy drinking my Cab, which used to be $40 but now is considerably less. Other people, though, either love or hate it. Bottom line is I'm out of touch with the industry, as I sold the winery 3 years ago, and have been drinking mostly my own wine since. However, I can tell you that any of the wines in those price ranges will provide you with a far different experience than the Jeunesse that seems to be all the rage in this thread (grin).

                        2. The Juenesse wine is great but might be too dry for them after Manishewitz. Try Rashi Claret Red fruity semi sweet delicious.It's very flavorful yet not sweet a perfect mix if you ask me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lickety

                            Best wine i've tasted hands down, is Baron Herzog Chalk Hill. around $50 a bottle. The best. (not sweet though)

                          2. I agree with the Goose Bay suggestions, they make an excellent wine. Teal Lake, an Australian wine maker, may be available. Teal Lake has a large selection of various reds.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: rorkesdrift

                              Teal Lake and Goose Bay are made by the same people.

                              1. re: zsero

                                If you're not near a wine store that sells kosher wine you may want to try www.kosherwine.com who have a huge selection and will ship. If you buy a case, it usually runs around $2 per bottle for shipping, and their prices are pretty good, especially when they have sales or clearance.

                                1. re: zsero

                                  zsero, if that's true, Goose Bay is making a mistake.
                                  Teal Lake is certified by O-U with P and Mevushal
                                  Goose Bay is certified by [KA] with P and Mevushal
                                  while I would drink both, I would hesitate to give any
                                  [KA] certified item as a house gift because my people
                                  are not familiar with that organization. so if these two
                                  Teal Lake (Australia) and Goose Bay (New Zealand)
                                  are in fact the same company, they are hurting their
                                  more premium priced Goose Bay bottles, by avoiding
                                  the O-U certification.

                                  I would like to thank everyone contributing to these wine
                                  threads including: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361936
                                  as I needed to buy a "well informed" wine for my Lunch hosts.
                                  after reading both threads, I settled on a bottle of;
                                  2004 Teal Lake Shiraz - only $13 here in Flushing NY.
                                  they also had a "Special Reserve" version for $18,
                                  but unless someone tells me it's really worth $5+
                                  for a prettier bottle with allegedly premium grapes,
                                  I'm not going to bother upgrading it.

                                  I look forward to trying some of the Goose Bay,
                                  Rimon, Bartenura and Herzog's recommended by
                                  my fellow Chowhounders by this coming Pessach IYH.

                                  I noticed nobody mentioned Tishbi wines from Israel.
                                  are they subpar or simply not well known yet.

                                  1. re: Joe Berger

                                    You think the OU sends anyone to Australia to certify the wine? They take their fee and rely on the KA. Look at the cork on Teal Lake wine, and it has KA imprinted on it, not OU. I guess the OU haven't been paid for the Goose Bay production yet...

                                  2. re: zsero

                                    The US distributor of both brands is Royal Wine but they are different wineries.

                                    1. re: rorkesdrift

                                      Nope. They're obviously made in different countries, but it is the same business.

                                2. Oy! Go to www.KosherWine.com and enjoy--there are reviews to guide you and very good choices from around $12 a bottle to $120 and up. That way you can select what you'd like and call your local wine store to see if it is in stock or can be ordered.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Foodie18

                                    note most local wine stores require that you order so many bottles. I'd also recommend you check out total wine and more if they are in your area.

                                  2. I too am looking for recommendations. I am not a wine drinker. So far the best wine that I tasted is Kedem Cream Malaga. I also like Bartenura (don't remember the name, it is bubbly and comes in a blue bottle). My son in law once gave me a "good" wine, I believe it was Merlot - vile tasting; I had to pour it down the drain. I am looking for options without spending a small fortune trying all the variations and manufactures.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MartyB

                                      the creme malaga is good but I like the Creme concord better. the liquor store next to Shop and Stop seems to always be out of the creme concord so I guess I'm not the only one who likes it.

                                    2. Robert Parker recently rated 97 Israeli wines (beware, some are not mevushal and some are even not Kosher, so please check them out before you buy)


                                      The consistently high ratings are for Castel and Golan Heights/Yarden.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: cweissman

                                        The list has no meaning to me. Could you pick out a sweet (kosher) wine(s) from the list for me to try?

                                        1. re: MartyB

                                          Sure. These are good sweet wines:

                                          Golan Heights Winery,Yarden, Muscat
                                          Golan Heights Winery,Yarden, Heightswine
                                          Tzora, Or, Dessert Wine
                                          Carmel, Gewurztraminer

                                          If you want to try a good beginners red wine, slightly sweet but just a tad sophisticated, you might like the Baron Herzog Jeunesse.

                                      2. You've probably already had your visit and am curious to know which wine you ended up bringing to them. Why do you want your parents to expand their tastes? I know it just so that YOU have something decent to drink when you visit. But that's cool, they might end up liking it too....if not, more for you to enjoy!
                                        It's apparent that too many people didn't pay attention to your question when they responded. Why people would think that a dry wine would be warmly received after a lifetime of drinking Manishewitz escapes me. As far as my suggestions go (for your future visits), I'd say that you'd be pretty safe with a Moscato D'asti or Malvasia. Both very light, sweet and fruity (some brands more fruity, some more sweet) and generally enjoyed by people who aren't serious wine drinkers. Want something a little more sophisticated? Go with almost anything late harvest. Some will be cloyingly sweet (good for the Manishewitz drinkers), and others less so - one of my mainstream favorites is Herzog's Late Harvest Zinfandel. Other wines you can try and expect at least moderate success would be Herzog's Black Muscat or Byblos semi-sweet Bonarda (distributed by Abarbanel). Don't be fooled by the "semi-sweet" - it's rich and definitely sweet. Another suggestion is, depending on where you or your parents live, go into the wine shop that carries a nice kosher selection and tell them exactly what you've told us. If they're any good, they'll direct you properly.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ChefDude

                                          Herzog has a "Prix" wine that I've read about, but have been unable to find in my local Teaneck and Riverdale wine stores. Anyone see it around?

                                        2. By the way, for those of you out there who enjoy real wines, I recommend virtually anything coming out of South Africa. I only drink kosher and Rothberg Cellars wines have been blowing me away! I just had their Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet...my friends don't do real wines, so I drank the whole bottle myself. Okay, it was a 4 hour dinner, but still, that may be one of my Seder wines.
                                          Also, Beckett's Flat coming out of Australia - phenomenal. It's apparent that they know how to make wine the right way. Their Cerise (rose) is super. Don't be fooled because it's a rose - it's NOTHING like Herzog's white zin.
                                          And an old standby of mine has been Rashi's Barbera D'Alba.
                                          In general the wines I buy are in the $14-$20 range.

                                          1. Reds only-weinstock cabernet sauvignon or tepperberg silver. Both excellent dry wines. not too pricey either. As for whites, I'm still tasting.