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A special status is accorded to wine and grape products, and thus we must be especially vigilant

Wine and Grape Products

Wine and Grape Products


Wine, more than any other food or drink, represents the holiness and separateness of the Jewish people. It is used for the sanctification of Shabbat and Yom Tov and at Jewish simchot. In the Beit Hamikdash wine was poured upon the altar together with the sacrifice.

However, since wine was and still is used in many forms of idolatrous worship, it has a unique status in Jewish law, which places extra restrictions on the making and handling of wine. This includes wine used for non-ceremonial purposes.

The production and handling of kosher wine must be done exclusively by Jews. Wine, grape juice, and all products containing wine or grape juice must remain solely in Jewish hands during the manufacturing process and also after the seal of the bottle has been opened. We are not allowed to drink any wine or grape juice, or any drink containing wine or grape juice, which has been touched by a non-Jew after the seal of the bottle has been opened.

Yayin Mevushal: (Boiled Wine). Kosher wine (or grape juice) which has been boiled prior to the bottling process is called yayin mevushal. In the time of the Beit Hamikdash, boiling wine rendered it unfit to be brought upon the Altar.

Yayin mevushal is not considered "sacramental wine" and is therefore not included in the prohibition against being handled by non-Jews. This wine must, as with all kosher wines, bear the symbol of a reliable supervision organization and it should say yayin mevushal.

A wide variety of domestic and imported kosher wines under reliable supervision has been added to the sweet Concords traditionally associated with kosher wines. Many of these wines are yayin mevushal, as indicated on the label. Whether for Kiddush, dining, or a simchah, you are sure to find a fine kosher wine to suit your taste.

Grape Ingredients In Processed Foods: All liquids produced from fresh or dried grapes, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, such as grape juice and wine vinegar, are in the same category as wine in Jewish Law. Therefore, foods with grape flavoring or additives must always have a reliable hechsher. Examples are jam, soda, popsicles, candy, juice packed fruit, fruit punch, and lemonade.

Alcoholic drinks such as cognac and brandy have wine bases. Liqueurs and blended whiskeys are often blended with wine. All such beverages require kosher supervision, as does herring in wine sauce.

Cream of tartar is made from wine sediment and needs rabbinical supervision.

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Discussion (14)
August 18, 2015
making your own
Brilliant! Thanks.
Jane Singer
August 17, 2015
Re: making your own
As long as the grapes are fresh (and whole), it is okay to buy them and make your own juice.
Eliezer Zalmanov
August 16, 2015
making your own
Now that we often fly without checking in luggage, it is becoming hard to bring along wine or grape juice for kiddush.

Is there any problem with buying grapes and squeezing your own juice?
Jane Singer
January 29, 2014
To Ruth in LA
The standards in this particular area vary by agency. You should inquire with the specific agency regarding their products.
Eliezer Zalmanov
January 26, 2014
Grape Juice
Is grape juice with a reliable hecksher always boiled or just pasterized?
Los Angeles
April 27, 2011
Re: Cream of Tartar
It would require a special kosher for Passover supervision.
Yisroel Cotlar
Cary, NC
April 25, 2011
Blended whiskeys
I've never seen any blended whiskeys (scotch nor Canadian) that contained any grape products.
Also, wine "still is used in many forms of idolatrous worship"
like how? and where?
Los Angeles, CA
April 18, 2011
Cream of tartar and Passover
I have an old kosher cookbook that calls for cream of tartar in some of the Pesach recipes. If the cream of tartar has a heckser (e.g., ou or star-k), is it also kosher for Pesach?
Lexington, MA
October 15, 2010
Please explain more
Thank you for your answer, and could you please elaborate a little more. The (dry) grape seed have no stam yayin issue i.e may be touched and handled by nonjews in the regular manner and will not become forbidden. But if the grape seeds are from nonkosher wine production, I used to think they're forbidden to begin with. Is this wrong?

In regards to the processing, it can be hot pressed, with solvents. Cold pressed method is not suitable for grapeseeds, but can be done. The humidity needs to be within certain parameters (achieved by drying in rotating drums) and is required to be very low for solvent-extraction processing (hexane, etc), but not all the grapeseed oil is produced this way. As it is marketed as health-food and as there are health concerns about solvent traces, all "organic" and some non-organic grape seed oils are actually hot-pressed. A few (very expensive) are cold-pressed. Does your comment also apply to processing without solvents? Edible at all stages? Thankyou a lot
October 14, 2010
Grape Seed Oil needs a regular Kosher supervision but it is not considered in the same category as wine.

From the Star K website:

Grape Seed Oil is extracted from dried grape seeds. Since oil cannot be pressed out of moist grape seeds, the grape seeds need to be perfectly dry before extraction. Dried grape seeds no longer have any stam yeinum (non-kosher wine) concerns. However the method of drying has to be monitored to see that the grape seeds have been dried properly before processing.
Yisroel Cotlar for
Cary, NC