Passover is just around the corner, which means many people will swap regular bottles of wine for those that are kosher-certified. So just how different is kosher wine from the normal stuff? Jay Buchsbaum, who works as the director of education for Royal Wine Corp. — the top kosher wine importer in America — sat down with the Wall Street Journal to "clarify a few misconceptions." And if you need a recommendation, Eater Drinks has you covered. Seven facts worth knowing about kosher wine below:
1) Kosher wine is made "in precisely the same way as ‘regular’ wine." The only difference is that there is rabbinical oversight during the process and that the wine is handled "by Sabbath-observant Jews."
2) Not all Israeli wines are kosher. Buchsbaum says that "only about 20% of Israeli wine brands" are actually certified.
3) In the 1980s, there were very few kosher wines. Buchsbaum says his company imported only three kosher wines from Bordeaux then.
4) The number of kosher producers has drastically increased in the past 10 to 20 years. Now, Buchsbaum’s company represents over 60 kosher producers.This is due to an increase in interest from consumers who are now building kosher wine cellars, a rare sight just two decades ago.
5) While wineries in countries from all over the world including France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina are crafting special bottles of kosher wine, California is not. "There’s aren’t many new kosher wineries in the Golden State."
6) The reason many Passover dinners tend to feature red wine is because "there’s a rabbinic opinion that red wine is the right wine because it’s the same wine that Jews used during the Seder after they escaped Egypt."
7) For those who prefer to drink white wine, Buchsbaum says its okay to color it with a few drops of red food coloring to satisfy "rabbinic opinions."