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Kosher Kitchens --> Kosher Wines

Kosher wine (Hebrew: יין כשר, yayin kashér) is wine produced according to Judaism's religious law, specifically, the Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) regarding wine. However, some non-Orthodox branches of Judaism may be more "lenient". When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially to Orthodox Jews, it must have the hechsher ("seal of approval") of a supervising agency or organization (such as the "OU" sign of the Orthodox Union), or of an authoritative rabbi who is preferably also a posek ("decisor" of Jewish law) or be supervised by a beth din ("Jewish religious court of law") according to Orthodox Judaism. In general, kashrut deals with avoiding specific forbidden foods, none of which are normally used in winemaking, so it might seem that all wines are automatically "kosher". However, because of wine's special role in many non-Jewish religions, the kashrut laws specify that wine cannot be considered kosher if it might have been used for "idolatry". These laws include Yayin Nesekh-wine that has been poured to an idol; Stam Yainom-wine that has been touched by someone who believes in idolatry or produced by non-Jews. When kosher wine is yayin mevushal ("cooked" or "boiled"), it becomes unfit for idolatrous use and will keep the status of kosher wine even if subsequently touched by an idolater.

In recent times, there has been an increased demand for kosher wines and a number of wine producing countries now produce a wide variety of sophisticated kosher wines under strict rabbinical supervision, particularly in Israel and the Golan Heights, United States, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and Australia. Two of the world's largest producers and importers of kosher wines, Kedem and Manischewitz, are both based in the Northeastern United States.

 

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