wpid-img_20150331_194542.jpgWith Passover approaching this weekend, I tried really hard to find a Kosher for Passover wine produced in Ontario. I took to Twitter and Facebook, I reached out to Chabad, but I came up empty handed. I heard a rumour about a Kosher wine from B.C., but the LCBO only had a small handful of North American offerings. Steering clear of Manischewitz, we decided to try Jeunesse Black Muscat by Royal Wine Corp out of California.

Kosher wines are considered to be kosher if the entire winemaking process and any ingredients used must be considered kosher, and the whole process must be supervised by male Sabbath-observant Jews. Kosher for Passover wines take it a step further, and must be kept free from all grain, bread or dough. I was a little surprised that I couldn’t find any Kosher vineyards in Ontario, as we have several thriving wine regions and a fair sized Jewish population.

Mevushal wines keep their kosher status even if they are handled by non-obervant Jews, aka, Toronto Booze Hound. These wines are typically boiled, and this affects the maturation capacity of the wine.

We’ve had good Kosher wines from Italy and Argentina at previous Seders. At $16.95 a bottle with 13% ABV, this is a mid-range option that will help you sit through the many required glasses of wine, ask four questions, and listen to your uncle’s shpiel about income taxes. Or something. Serve this semi-sweet wine chilled.

Appearance: Red like cheap grape juice. Sugary residue on the glass.
Aroma: Syrupy sweet. Sickly sweet alcohol burn.
Taste: Grape popsicle. Did not go well with tomato sauce, but could pair well with gefilte fish and guilt about why you don’t call often enough. Wipe that grin off your punim.
Aftertaste: Sugar. More sugar.
Overall: Spend a little more and get an Italian Kosher wine. Or leave this one for your younger cousins. It’s a step up from Manischewitz, but I won’t seek this one out again.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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