I just borrowed that tag line from “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. You all seen it? One of the main characters, Tom, is chatting with Nick the Greek about a deal they’re planning and Tom mentions reassuringly that it’s all as “kosher as Christmas” to which Nick helpfully points out that “Jews don’t celebrate Christmas, Tom”. Very true, but they do like their wine, and that needs a bit more thought for makers of the good stuff!
Making kosher wine is a straightforward process to understand in terms of why it’s needed. Quite a few religions and cultures have ways of making or preparing their food and drink that is the only way for them. Other than the Jewish and kosher products, you’ve got the religion of Islam and the need for the Halal preparation of meat. From a cultural point of view you’ve got the Americans’ need to ruin certain foods by putting rubbish (and worryingly orange) cheese on everything…only kidding all 🙂 Culture or religion, everyone’s got their ways of doing things.
So if you’re a big wine producer and you know that there’s a big market out there ready to get stuck into your wines for Passover, Barmitzvah, or weddings, then surely you’d just add a bit of process to it all? It’s exactly what the guys and girls at Château Pape Clement are doing. Kosher wine needs to be supervised or infact made by Sabbath-observing Jews and the barrels signed off by a rabbi with a “hechsher” stamp (pictured above).
This was the first time I’ve seen this in a winery doing this to just a few barrels. Bet that takes some remembering which ones are which…