Courtesy of Covenant Wines

Because "kosher" is not actually a style of wine, the options are as wide-ranging as in the rest of the wine world.

Jonathan Cristaldi
September 19, 2017

It’s the dawn of a new era for those seeking pure, crisp whites, and bold, elegant, beautifully structured red wines—that happen to be kosher. These days, you can’t talk about the evolution of kosher wine without mentioning California winemaker, cookbook author, and the king of kosher, Jeff Morgan of Covenant Wines. Morgan and his business partner, Napa Valley Vintner Leslie Rudd, make an array of mind-bogglingly delicious kosher wines in both America and in Israel.

“There is no ‘kosher style,’” says Morgan. “Kosher is a religious designation. What makes it kosher is simply who touches it during winemaking.” Those who come in contact with the wine, from crush to bottling, must be Sabbath-observant Jews. The American kosher wines of the last century, made with Concord grapes, are hardly typical of quality-driven kosher wines today, which are made from the European species vitis vinifera—grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Today there are a number of top-flight kosher wine producers hailing from Israel, France, Spain and California. Incredibly, there are over 300 wineries in Israel alone and in addition to Covenant Israel, top producers include Domaine du Castel, Flam, and Matar. Some well-known French Châteaus are also producing excellent kosher cuvées, like Smith Haut Lafitte, Château Giscours Margaux and Léoville Poyferré. Look for Capçanes from Spain, and in California the Herzogs are the largest and best known producer of kosher wines, and they produce a broad range of wines that include very affordable to very expensive; all widely available nationwide.

This list of kosher wines is your best bet for the upcoming holidays and every day in between.   

2014 Covenant Israel Syrah ($75)

Morgan and Rudd founded Covenant Israel in 2013 and this is the first vintage of their stellar Syrah. Full-bodied, with loads of black fruit, finishing with silky tannins and terrific spice. The 2015 vintage is also available in the U.S. Additionally, look for Covenant’s California wines: Red C Red (Syrah, Cabernet, Malbec blend), Red C Rosé and Red C Sauvignon Blanc. They take care of whatever your culinary needs may be—something for everything.

2014 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel, Judean Hills, Israel ($48)

Opaque ruby in the glass, bursting with classic blackberry fruit, graphite and sweet oak spice. Full-bodied, round and rich with powerful, gripping tannins and finishing with great persistence.

2016 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc Kosher, South Island, New Zealand ($19)

Courtesy of Spencer Hill Wine

Brilliant aromatics lift out of a shimmering pale lemon colored wine with silver slivers, delivering aromas and flavors of tart citrus, creamy pear and dried wild herbs. Excellent acidity makes this a great option for an array of foods — especially dishes with spicy herbs and vinegar.

2016 Dalton Reserve Wild Yeast Viognier, Galilee, Israel ($20)

This is one fun wine. Aged in French oak barrels, it is a terrifically creamy and smooth wine, with pops of white flowers and honeycomb and juicy stone fruit notes hinting at sweet spice tinged with caramel on the finish.  

2015 Celler Capcanes Peraj Petita Tinto, Montsant, Spain ($19)

Courtesy of Celler de Capçanes Montsant

A decadent blend of 60 percent Grenache, Tempranillo, Merlot and Syrah, crimson in color, infused with luscious dark cherry and black plum fruit. The palate is rich, with a terrific saline minerality and is loaded with dark berry fruit and mocha spice.

NV Herzog Wine Cellars Selection Blanc de Blanc, France ($15)

A sparkling wine from France, made in the Champagne style with Chenin Blanc grapes from the Loire Valley. Clean, bright, with persistent bubbles, creamy on entry and featuring a mix of lemon and lime citrus, green apple, jasmine and toasty buttered brioche notes.  

2014 Flam Winery Classico, Judean Hills, Israel ($31)

Courtesy of Flam Winery

Full-bodied, elegant, Bordeaux-style classic blend boasting lofty red floral notes and savory spice. Sappy dark berry fruit, toasty oak and vanilla give way to a spicy finish.

2016 Carmel Single Vineyard Sha'Al Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Galilee, Israel ($44)  

Beautifully unctuous, backed by mouthwatering acidity, with poached pear and honeysuckle aromas that meld perfectly together with creamy citrus, apricot and vanilla, all harmonized by a distinctly white-floral finish.   

2014 Herzog Wine Cellars Variations Five Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($23)

Bold, powerful and packed with terrific aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, blue-fruit compote, crème-de-cassis and sweet oak spice. The finish is savory and tinged with licorice and tobacco notes.