Kosher Wine: The Rise and Fall of Manischewitz

Kosher wine is no longer a joke. These days it’s winning awards and accolades.

Comments (14)

(11) Ellen Terry Wald, January 11, 2020 11:47 PM

Well done on wines. What about Rxs for seniors ?

Wines were perfect. A great problem is when a working person becomes Medicare eligible. Rxs are now 25% of the full cost. Insulin runs $200 to $400 in copay and drugs that never cost anything are as much as $50 copay. That’s how seniors are taken care of.

(10) Jay Silverman, January 7, 2020 4:34 AM

Please make a video about The Mitzvah Project

I enjoyed your video about Kosher wine. I would like you to make a video about The Mitzvah Project. You can view my website at

Thank You

(9) Zamira Rajchgod, January 6, 2020 10:41 AM

Info stuff I never knew

Good & interesting, including things I didn't know b4. Thx for this article.

(8) Jeffrey Stevenson, January 5, 2020 10:49 PM


enjoyed the story abut Manischewitz

(7) Raymond, January 3, 2020 4:04 PM

And He Always Had Some Mighty Fine Wine

As much as I enjoy eating food, that is about as much as I do NOT enjoy drinking alcohol at all. I just never saw the point of reducing one's mental capacity, even when it is temporary.

However, the one exception for me to all this, is Manischewitz red grape wine. Yes, I realize it has the reputation of being sickeningly sweet, but that is precisely why I enjoy drinking it. For the lower the alcohol content and the sweeter the wine, the more I like it.

On the other hand, before anybody reading this gets the wrong idea about me, I still prefer drinking grape juice over even the sweetest of wines. I guess I am a party pooper, because while I like the religious meaning behind the holiday of Purim, the drinking aspect of it is a turn-off for me.

(6) Mike, January 3, 2020 10:54 AM

More wine choices is a welcomed change.

It is nice to walk into a liquor store and have so many kosher wine choices. Thank you for the history lesson on kosher wine. Now I know why the kosher wines of my youth were so thick and sweet.

(5) Anonymous, January 3, 2020 8:36 AM

Your video neglects to mention the most important historical point Part 2

In almost every country to which we were exiled, they issued decrees that Jews were forbidden from owning land or even being partners with a gentile in having a share in a field. [See for example, “The Rochester Chronicle manuscript”, 1355, British Library]. Consequently, the Jewish community was forced to buy grapes from local food markets in order to make kosher wine. These grapes were of course of the eating variety, high in acidity and totally unsuitable for wine making. So, to compensate for bitter wine which resulted in using these grapes, the kosher wine maker was forced to add copious amounts of sugar in order to make the wine palatable. This is how we came to associate kosher wines with sweet alcoholic syrup which is paradoxically known as “Kiddush Wine”, even though its halachic suitability for Kiddush is based on a minority opinion. Quite simply, throughout the years of exile, there has been no other choice.
Now that, Baruch Hashem, we have returned to our land after 2,000 years of exile, Israelis have once again relearned wine making skills from the French and Californians and have even resurrected a few ancient practices of our own from examinations of archaeological digs.
Today’s kosher wines are actually ranked amongst the best in the world with Israeli wines frequently winning medals in International competitions. There are currently around 100 Kosher wineries all over Israel (with new ones popping up every year), many of them with visitor’s centres.
If you think about it, continuing to drink “Kiddush wine” is actually perpetuating this ancient anti-Semitic decree.

By the way, Viognier is pronounced “Ve-Onn-Yai” וא-אונ-יאה

My Kosher Whisky Blog "Reb Mordechai Reviews"

Anonymous, January 6, 2020 8:35 AM

Hi Reb Mordechai!

I am the producer of this video, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
To address your comments:

We didn't neglect any the historical reasons for the sweet wine, nor did we fail to mention that Biblical Israel was known for it's wine. We did, however, shorten the entire story for sake of time.
We don't claim that "kiddush wine" is preferred, and definitely don't go into the halachic debate regarding if/how kosher it is for kiddush and 4 cups.

This video is meant to give the viewer - in particular one that assumes that there aren't any quality kosher wines - a glimpse into the growing world of kosher wine.


BTW - our host Claire, while not a French speaker does a pretty good job at saying Viognier in my opinion. It matches pretty well with the way the French say it (Vee-Oh-nyeh) as you can see in these videos:

(4) Reb Mordechai, January 3, 2020 8:34 AM

Your video neglects to mention the most important historical point Part 1

I am one of Israel’s leading Kosher Single Malt Whisky experts but also know something about wine.

Your video neglects to mention the most important historical point when it comes to the reason why Kiddush wine is associated with sweet syrup.
From a Jewish point of view, historically there has been a tragic misconception that wine over which we say Kiddush and other mitzvot involving wine, must resemble sugary alcoholic syrup! In fact, the opposite is true!
The gemara in Menachot informs us that the wine we use for mitzvot today is associated with the wine which was poured over the mizbeiyach in the Beit HaMikdash. The Shulchan Aruch informs us that it is preferable to use good quality unsweetened wine for all the mitzvot as, just like mevushal (cooked) wine, artificially sweetened wine was considered unsuitable for use in the Temple service. [See OC 272:8, MB272(21), MB472:(40), Mesechet Menachot 86b-87a].
Moreover, before the destruction of the Temple and exile of the Jewish people, the Land of Israel was famous throughout the world for its wine. This is confirmed by many Mishniyot that describe our national wine industry as well as the remains of hundreds of ancient wineries found throughout the Land of Israel. The knowledge of making good kosher wine was sadly lost however when we were sent into Exile.

(Continued in next comment...)

(3) art, January 3, 2020 12:39 AM

kosher wine

one way to make wine kosher is to "boil" the wine.. is manischewitz go through this production process ? btw.. I don't recommend boiling wine to make it kosher.. if possible..

Reb Mordechai, January 3, 2020 8:44 AM

Cooked Wine

Hi Art,
There is a common misconception when it comes to cooked kosher wine.

The source of our drinking wine for Jewish rituals such as Kiddush is based on the use of wine in the Temple service.

In general, whenever wine is used for a mitzvah today, , "lo mevushal" (uncooked) wine should be used as mevushal (cooked) wine was not suitable for use in the Beit HaMikdash (The Holy Temple) service. However, if a non-observant Jew (or non-Jew) touches "lo mevusha"l wine then they potentially render the wine unusable.

Therefore, if one knows in advance that there will be non-observant Jews at your Shabbos or Yom Tov table then it is perhaps best to use only mevushal (cooked) wine to avoid any embarrassment.

[see Avodah Zarah 30a for definition of Yayin Mevushal, see TB Bava Batra 97a-b - One may not recite Kiddush over wine which is unfit to be poured over the Mizbeiach. See Rama to OC272:8; MB472:(39). He should choose quality lo mevushal wine over other types]

Gavi, January 6, 2020 8:27 AM

Boiling wine

The mere act of boiling the wine doesn't make it kosher, though as Reb Mordechai said - mevushal wine (kosher wine that was boiled) prevents issues with non-Jews handling the wine.

(2) Joseph Katzman, January 2, 2020 8:40 PM

Give us a list of companies/ links, not just a video

A video telling us that other choices exist is nice. A boost in exploring those options would be even better.

(1) Nalinaksha Mutsuddi, January 2, 2020 2:19 PM


Very interesting & informative video about kosher wine. ThAnks


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