Covenant Wine Defies the Stigma of its Kosher Label
It has a stigma. Kosher wine, that is. Super sweet, sticky, viscous, and usually poured from a square-ish Manischewitz bottle. Or wan and watery bottles picked up en route to a religious home or holiday dinner. But it doesn't have to be this way. Does it?
A recent tasting (that sounds so formal; in reality the presence of this particular wine, at this particular event, was a coincidence) of Covenant Wine shook up everything we know about kosher vino.
Jeff Morgan is a Napa Valley vintner who produces a solid collection of wines that would be table-appropriate for any function, but the kosher qualification makes it even more spectacular. His grapes come from "truly coveted vineyards" (according to Noble Media Group's Jonathan Cristaldi), and rumor is the grapes bank in at 10K per pound. That's a lot of moola for some berries.
So which of Covenant Wine's selections should you bring to your in-laws' Passover seder? And where the heck can you find them? In this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague waxes eloquent about the sauvignon blanc. So if you're going with white, make this your choice. On the red side we're partial to the namesake Covenant, which, at 100 percent cabernet sauvignon aged in French oak, has a big, fruity flavor that will pair well with your brisket. Head to Midtown's Sherry-Lehman or Rockefeller Center's Morrell & Company to pick up a bottle.
Of course, every family has different levels of kosher acceptance, and wine is a finicky business when it comes to that. Some people will only drink wine that's mevushal, meaning that it's boiled or, most likely, flash-pasteurized. Covenant is non-meshuval. Further Jewish law discusses the difference between holy and non-holy handlers of the wine. Though you're best just bringing a bottle and letting your host sort out the details. As long as you don't bring a challah ...
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to New York dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.