If you reflexively think "Manischewitz" when you hear the phrase "kosher wine," think again. Sweet sacramental wines are far from the only game in town. The kosher wine industry is booming, with ever-widening availability of varietals from around the world. Wine Spectator's October 2016 issue was largely devoted to Israeli wine, and featured mostly kosher bottles. The cover headline touted "Surprising Quality from an Emerging Region." Of course, considering Israel'...s status as a winemaking country since antiquity, it has distinct advantages when it comes to terroir, as do many of the other regions now producing great kosher wines.
Kosher wines do have a reputation for being more expensive and less sophisticated then their non-kosher counterparts, but there are definitely nice finds to be had, even if you're on a budget. This evolving list will help you hone in on bottles that offer a good value and tasting experience, whether you drink kosher wine exclusively or not.
01 of 14
Elvi Herenza Rioja 2014, $14
Made from 100% Tempranillo, Elvi Wine's 2014 Rioja is aromatic of cherry, with chocolate, spice and oak on the palate.
Not Mevushal. 13.5% Alcohol.
02 of 14
Terra di Seta Chianti Classico 2013, $20
Comprised of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, Terra de Seta's organic Chianti Classico carries the D.O.C.G classification, reflecting its use of Tuscan estate-grown grapes.
Aged in French oak for 12 months, this ruby-hued Chianti starts with a lively peppery bite, then opens up to display smooth cherry and floral notes.
Pair it with pasta dishes, beef or aged cheeses.
Not Mevushal. Kosher for Passover. 14% Alcohol.
03 of 14
La Fille du Boucher Bordeaux Reserve 2014, $15
04 of 14
Teal Lake Shiraz 2015, $13
Teal Lake's Australian Shiraz has long enjoyed go-to status for a reliable–and affordable–kosher red. Soft on the palate, with spice, berry and cherry notes.
Kosher for Passover. 13.5% AlcoholContinue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
Castra Rubra Via Diagonalis 2010, $18
Wine Enthusiast gave this well-balanced blend a respectable 89 rating. Velvety tannins, with jammy plum, cherry, spice, anise and vanilla notes.
Bonus: If you're looking for a wine for a Harry Potter-themed party, this bottle's Diagon Alley-esque moniker makes it a perfect choice. (Viktor Krum fans, take note: the wine hails from Bulgaria.)
Kosher for Passover. 14.5% Alcohol.
06 of 14
Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2014, $13
Jammy, with oak, spice and vanilla notes. Benefits from aeration, and pairs well with casual fare like burgers, grilled meats or richly-sauced pastas.
Kosher for Passover. 15% Alcohol.
07 of 14
08 of 14
Baron Herzog Chardonnay Clarksburg 2015, $14Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Contessa Annalisa Minutolo 2015, $16
Light and smooth, with a long finish, this organic wine from Puglia, Italy is aged in stainless steel tanks, and shows notes of bergamot, chamomile, banana and green apple. Pair it with artichoke dishes.
Not Mevushal. Kosher for Passover. 12% Alcohol.
10 of 14
Covenant Mensch Roussane Lodi 2015, $20
Nice minerality, with floral, tropical fruit and peach notes. Wine Enthusiast lauded the wine's "gorgeous and expressive" fruit flavors, and "subtle acidity" in its 91-point rating. Covenant utilizes a flash-détente process to render the wine Mevushal without heating it (the grapes are flash heated pre-fermentation instead).
Kosher for Passover. 14.2% Alcohol.
11 of 14
O'Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016, $17
Across vintages, this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a consistently good buy. Crisp and approachable, it displays characteristic tropical fruit and grapefruit notes. Nice acidity and minerality, with a hint of grassiness.
Kosher for Passover. 12.5% Alcohol.
12 of 14
Yarden Gewurztraminer Galilee 2015, $15
A surprising find at this price point, the Yarden Gewurztraminer is leggy and nicely viscous, with honeysuckle and graphite on the nose. It's more complex and less cloying than many kosher Gewurztraminers, with some residual sweetness on the finish.
Kosher for Passover. 14% Alcohol.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14
Terra Vega Rosé Valle Central 2107, $9
This young, quaffable rosé displays pleasant strawberry and light spice notes. A great summer aperitif, it's also ideal year-round to pair with Asian cuisine-inspired dishes. It's also vegan-friendly.
Kosher for Passover.
14 of 14
Herzog Late Harvest Orange Muscat 2015, $20
A lovely dessert wine, this Late Harvest Muscat displays citrus and apricot notes that also make it a natural for pairing with cheese.
8% Alcohol. Kosher for Passover