No offense to Mrs. Manischewitz, but one reaches a point in
one’s culinary life (say, around age 18?) where the sweet stuff is
more cloying than enjoyable. Despite the misconception that kosher
wines score about as high on the quality scale as two-buck chuck,
there are, in fact, many that are so good they’re worth seeking out
even if you don’t keep kosher. Here are a few that top our

Jeff Morgan — winemaker, author, journalist,
and wine director of Dean & DeLuca fame — creates Covenant
Wines from a small, three-acre parcel in Napa. With the help of
Leslie Rudd, also of D&D fame, the first vintage, 2003, is
truly remarkable. The 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($80) was
given a whopping 93-point nod from Robert Parker. Aged 14 months in
French oak, it has definite cellar potential. On the more
affordable end of the spectrum is the “Red Sea” Napa Cab ($36).
Both available from Wade’s Wines, 30961 W. Agoura Rd. #321,
Westlake Village,; or from the winery,

Though not as traditional as red wine, you’ll be hard-pressed to
find someone turning down a glass of Nicolas Feuillatte
Brut Kosher ($45).
This epernay champagne is a blend of
pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, giving it all the delicate fruit
and mineral aromas you’d expect from one of the region’s most
respected houses. Available from Renegade Wines, 417 Santa Barbara
St. #A6,

Herzog Wine Cellars just completed its first
harvest in the new Oxnard facility. Tracing back its winemaking
roots over 100 years, the family has been making premium kosher
wines in California since 1985. You can taste the wines, which
include cabernet, merlot, syrah, chardonnay, and riesling, at the
new tasting room. Prices from $10-$70, 3201 Camino del Sol, Oxnard,


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