To be kosher, wines must be produced under a rabbi’s immediate supervision with only Sabbath-observant workers handling the grapes from the crushing phase through pasteurization. For a wine to be kosher for Passover, extra care must be paid to its fermentation.
The process of fermentation turns juice into an alcoholic beverage, whereby yeasts transform sugars present in the juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide. While all wines require some sort of mold (yeast) for fermentation, kosher-for-Passover wine must be made from a mold that has not been grown on bread and must exclude several common preservatives such as potassium sorbate.
Knowing I needed some vino for Seder gifts, I headed to Miller’s Deli in the Greenspring Shopping Center. Co-owner Jeff Karlin handpicked a white and red Israeli wine under the Golan Heights Winery’s Mount Hermon label and an Australian-blend, Altoona Hills Cabernet-Shiraz 2012.
In your shopping for the rest of the holiday, be sure to check the label for a “P,” typically just to the right of the OK or OU markings.
Patti Neumann is publisher of CITYPEEK.com and an award-winning columnist and blogger on food and wine. Connect with ‘CITYPEEK Patti’ on social networks for an immediate response