L’chaim! You're about to toast your favorite couple on their newfound marriage. You know that the wine in your glass is kosher, but what does that mean?
• To be considered kosher, a Sabbath-observant Jew must be involved in the entire wine-making process, from the time of harvest to the actual bottling. Then, there is kosher wine and kosher Mevushal wine…. Wine that is Mevushal (goes through a heating process) can be poured by a non-observant Jew and still remain kosher. That’s why most restaurants and caterers serve only wine that is Kosher Mevushal.
• Only certified Kosher products such as yeast and filtering agents can be used during the preparation of the wine
• Kosher law does not prohibit the use of specific wine styles, grape varieties or origin
• No animal products may be used during the production of the wine.
• Grapes that come from brand new vines cannot be used when the wine is being made. After the fourth year they become eligible to use; however, every seventh year the fields must be fallow.
• Champagne refers only to wine bottled in the Champagne region of France – and while there are several Kosher Mevushal Champagnes, they do tend to be rather expensive. No worries – plenty of Sparkling Wine (the terminology for all bubbly wine produced outside of Champagne) absolutely fit for a l’Chaim.
• On Shabbat, obligatory blessings called Kiddush are required over cups of kosher wine or grape juice.
• Juice from approximately 600 grapes is required to make a single bottle of wine!
Now you know a little bit more about the wine with which you’re about to toast, stand up, say a few nice words about your loved ones and enjoy a sip!