Just as bread has, because of its importance, been given a special berachah, Hamotzi, rather than Boray minei mezonos—the berachah on all foods made of the five species of grain; so has wine been honored with its own berachah—Borey pri hagafen.This is so because wine not only satiates, but, also gladdens the heart (Ps. 104) (Maseches Berachos 35). Additionally, wine has other qualities as evidenced by the requirement that the kiddush and havdallah, as well as sheva berachos, are said over wine. In addition, wine was also assigned its own after-berachah, i.e. Al Ha'gefen.This chapter deals with determining at what point in the process of wine preparation does it achieve the status of "wine," and at what point of its deterioration does it turn into "vinegar," losing the status of "wine."
The berachah on wine is Borei peri hagafen and after [drinking it] Al hagefen, etc. It makes no difference whether the wine is still bubbling1 [or not]. Even if [the wine] is flowing of its own accord,2 even cooked wine or konditin, that is [wine] into which were added honey and/or spices or wormwood which is bitter. Even if the wine smells like vinegar,3 as long as it has the taste of wine, it is considered wine as far as its berachah is concerned. But, if it has turned vinegary, to the extent that some people refrain from drinking it because of its sour taste, then the berachah is in question. (And although you can say the berachah, Shehakol, before drinking it, there is still a question about the after-berachah.)4 Therefore, you should not drink it unless you first make a berachah over good wine [and drink it.]5


עַל הַיַּיִן מְבָרְכִין בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן, וּלְאַחֲרָיו עַל הַגֶּפֶן וְכוּ'. וְאַיִן חִלּוּק בְּיַיִן, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא עֲדַיִן תּוֹסֵס, וַאֲפִלּו זָב מֵעַצְמוֹ, וַאֲפִלּוּ יַיִן מְבֻשָּׁל אוֹ קוֹנְדִּיטִין, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לְתוֹכוֹ דְּבַשׁ וּבְשָׂמִים אוֹ לַעֲנָה שֶׁהוּא מַר, אֲפִלּוּ הַיַּיִן מֵרִיחַ כַּחֹמֶץ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ טַעַם יַיִן הֲוֵי יַיִן לְעִנְיַן בְּרָכָה. אֲבָל אִם נִתְחַמֵּץ בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁנִּמְנָעִין לִשְׁתֹּתוֹ מִפְּנֵי חֲמִיצוּתוֹ, יֵשׁ סָפֵק בְּבִרְכָתוֹ (וְאַף שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ בִּתְחִלָּתוֹ שֶׁהַכֹּל, עֲדַיִן יֵשׁ סָפֵק בִּבְרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה). וְלָכֵן אֵין לִשְׁתֹּתוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יְבָרֵךְ תְּחִלָּה עַל יַיִן טוֹב (דִּין יֵין צִמּוּקִים עַיֵּן לְקַמָּן סוֹף סִימָן נ"ג).


Concerning grape seeds from which wine was extracted only by means of trampling, but which were not pressed in a [heavy duty] wine press, the following should be noted: if water was poured upon them, even if they recovered no more [water] than they poured [on them],6 or even if they recovered less, nevertheless, if it has the taste of wine, the berachah is Borei peri hagafen. But, if the seeds were pressed in a [heavy duty] wine press and then the water was poured on them or they poured water upon the residue [in the vat from which all the seeds were removed],7 it is considered as water.8


הַחַרְצַנִּים שֶׁהוֹצִיאוּ מֵהֶם הַיַּיִן רַק עַל יְדֵי דְּרִיכָה וְלֹא נֶעֶצְרוּ בְּבֵית הַבַּד, אִם נָתְנוּ עֲלֵיהֶם מַיִם, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא מָצְאוּ יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁנָּתְנוּ, אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ מָצְאוּ פָּחוֹת, מִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם טָעְמוֹ יַיִן מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן. אֲבָל אִם נֶעְצְרוּ הַחַרְצַנִּים בְּבֵית הַבַּד וְאַחַר כָּךְ נָתְנוּ עֲלֵיהֶם מַיִם אוֹ שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מַיִם עַל שִׁמְרֵי יַיִן, אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא כַּמָּיִם.


If wine was diluted with water, and the wine is only one sixth of the mixture [i.e., five parts water to one part wine,]9 the wine is definitely nullified, and it is considered as water. But, if it has more wine [than one sixth], and it is the custom of the people of that area to dilute it to that degree and to drink it as wine, the berachah over it is Borei peri hagafen and afterwards Al hagefen. However if the people of that area do not drink it as wine, the individual's opinion does not count [and the berachah is Shehakol].


יַיִן שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בְּמַיִם, אִם אֵין בַּיַּיִן אֶלָּא אֶחָד מִשִּׁשָּׁה חֲלָקִים שֶׁבַּמַּיִם, וַדַּאי בָּטֵל הַיַּיִן וְאֵינוֹ רַק כַּמָּיִם. וְאִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ יַיִן יוֹתֵר, אִם דֶּרֶךְ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם לִמְזֹג אוֹתוֹ כָּל כָּךְ וְלִשְׁתֹּתוֹ בִּמְקוֹם יַיִן, מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן וּלְאַחֲרָיו עַל הַגֶּפֶן. וְאִם לֹא, בְּטֵלָה דַּעְתּוֹ (ר"ד).


Just as bread, if eaten as part of a meal, exempts all sorts of food [from a berachah], so does wine, when it is part of a wine repast,10 exempt other beverages from a pre-berachah and from an after-berachah. This is so only if the beverages were before you at the time you said the berachah over the wine or at the very least it was your intention to drink those beverages. But, if they were not before you, and it was not your intention to drink them, it is an unresolved question [among the poskim] if you must say a berachah on them or not. Therefore, you should refrain from drinking them [i.e., those beverages] until after you recite the after-berachah on the wine, or you may make the berachah, Shehakol, on some food and keep in mind to include those [late arriving] beverages.


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַפַּת אִם קָבַע עָלָיו פּוֹטֵר כָּל מִינֵי מַאֲכָל, כָּךְ הַיַּיִן אִם קוֹבֵעַ עַצְמוֹ לִשְׁתֹּת יַיִן, פּוֹטֵר שְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין מִבְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וּמִבְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה. וְדַוְקָא אִם הַמַּשְׁקִין הָיוּ עוֹמְדִין לְפָנָיו בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבֵּרַךְ עַל הַיַּיִן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה עַל כָּל פָּנִים בְּדַעְתּוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹת אוֹתָן מַשְׁקִים. אֲבָל אִם לֹא הָיָה לְפָנָיו וְלֹא הָיְתָה דַּעְתּוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן, הֲוֵי סָפֵק אִם צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן אוֹ לֹא. עַל כֵּן, יִמְנַע אֶת עַצְמוֹ מֵהֶם עַד לְאַחַר שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה עַל הַיַּיִן, אוֹ שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ עַל אֵיזֶה דְּבַר מַאֲכָל שֶׁהַכֹּל וִיכַוֵּן לִפְטוֹר גַּם אֶת הַמַּשְׁקִין.


If you did not "sit down to a repast of wine," but drank in a casual manner and you also did not intend to drink other beverages, you are certainly required to make the pre-berachah on the other beverages. However, there is still a question about the after-berachah—whether [the other beverages are] exempt by the berachah Al hagefen that you say on the wine. Therefore, you should eat any fruit11 whose after-berachah is Borei nafashos rabos [in order] to exempt the [other] beverages.


אִם לֹא קָבַע אֶת עַצְמוֹ לִשְׁתֹּת יַיִן, אֶלָּא שָׁתָה דֶּרֶךְ אֲרַעי, וְגַם לֹא הָיְתָה דַּעְתּוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹת מַשְׁקִים אֲחֵרִים, אָז וַדַּאי צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה עַל מַשְׁקִים אֲחֵרִים, אֶלָּא דְּאַכַּתִּי אִכָּא סָפֵק בִּבְרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה אִם נִפְטְרָה בְּבִרְכַּת עַל הַגֶּפֶן שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ עַל הַיַּיִן אוֹ לֹא. עַל כֵּן יֵשׁ לֶאֱכוֹל אֵיזֶה פְּרִי שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ אַחֲרָיו בּוֹרֵא נְפָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת לִפְטוֹר גַּם אֶת הַמַּשְׁקִין.


If you recite kiddush over wine and intend to drink whiskey or coffee afterwards, there is a question if they were exempted by the berachah [made] over the wine. Therefore, you should have in mind not to exempt them [while saying Borei peri hagafen]. Still [in order to satisfy all sides of the question], you should say the berachah, Shehakol, over a bit of sugar [candy, or the like], [and have in mind] to exempt also the beverages [whiskey, coffee, etc.]


הַמְקַדֵּשׁ עַל הַיַיִן וְדַעְתּוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹת יַיִן שָׂרָף אוֹ קַאפֶע, יֵשׁ סָפֵק אִם נפְטְרוּ בַּבְּרָכָה שֶׁעַל הַיַּיִן אוֹ לֹא. עַל כֵּן יֵשׁ לוֹ לְכַוֵּן שֶׁלֹּא לְפָטְרָם. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יְבָרֵךְ עַל מְעַט סֻכָּר שֶׁהַכֹּל לִפְטוֹר גַּם אֶת הַמַּשְׁקִין.


When you say a berachah over wine during the meal and there are other people present, you should [first] say: Savri Rabbosai, meaning: "Pay attention to hear me," so that they will stop eating and listen to the berachah.12


כְּשֶׁמְבָרֵךְ עַל הַיַּיִן בְּתוֹךְ הַסְּעוּדָּה, וְיֵשׁ שָׁם גַּם אֲנָשִׁים אֲחֵרִים, יֹאמַר: סַבְרִי רַבּוֹתַי, רְצוֹנוֹ לוֹמַר, תְּנוּ דַּעַתְּכֶם לִשְׁמֹעַ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַפְסִיקוּ מֵאֲכִילָתָן לִשְׁמֹעַ הַבְּרָכָה.


If a group was drinking one kind of wine, whether during the meal or not during the meal, and another kind of wine was brought, they need not say Borei peri hagafen over the new wine, since they did not "reconsider" 13 nor "remove their thought" from the wine, but they do say over the new wine the berachah, Hatov vehameitiv. Likewise, if they brought a third kind of wine, they also say over it: Hatov vehameitiv. The same [applies] to [as] many [wines] that are brought out. (We learn this from the conduct of Rebbe who, over every new jug of wine that was opened would say the berachah, Hatov vehameitiv.)


שָׁתוּ מִיַּיִן אֶחָד, בֵּין בְּתוֹךְ הַסְּעוּדָּה בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּתוֹךְ הַסְּעוּדָּה וְהֵבִיאוּ לָהֶם יַיִן אַחֵר, אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא נִמְלַךְ וְלֹא אַסַּח דַּעְתֵּהּ מִיַּיִן, אֲבָל מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב. וְכֵן אִם הֵבִיאוּ לָהֶם עוֹד יַיִן שְׁלִישִׁי, מְבָרְכִין גַּם כֵּן עָלָיו הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב. וְכֵן עַל הַרְבֵּה (מֵעֻבְדָּא דְּרַבִּי עַל כָּל חָבִית וְחָבִית שֶׁהָיָה פּוֹתֵחַ הָיָה מְבָרֵךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב) (יְרוּשַׁלְמִי ברכות סוֹף פרק כיצד מברכין).


If they actually "reconsidered" in the manner that requires them to say the berachah Borei peri hagafen a second time, they should first say the berachah, Hatov vehameitiv, and afterwards the berachah, Borei peri hagafen.


וְאִם הָיָה נִמְלַךְ מַמָּשׁ בְּאֹפֶן שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ שֵׁנִית בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן (עַיֵן לְקַמָּן סִימָן נ"ז), מְבָרֵךְ תְּחִלָּה הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב וְאַחַר כָּךְ בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.


The berachah Hatov vehameitiv is [said] only when [the quality of the second wine] is unknown, [that is,] you are not certain that the second [wine] is of a lesser quality than the first; though you do not know if it is a better quality than the first wine. But, if it is known to be of a lesser quality than the first [of wine], the berachah is not said over it. However, if it is more healthful for the body than the first [wine], though it is inferior in taste, we do say the berachah Hatov vehameitiv over it.


הָא דִּמְבַרְכִין הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב, דַּוְקָא בִּסְתָם, שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ שֶׁהַשֵּׁנִי גָּרוּעַ מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ אִם מְשֻׁבָּח מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן. אֲבָל אִם יָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא גָּרוּעַ מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן, אֵין מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו. אַךְ כְּשֶׁהוּא בָּרִיא לַגּוּף יוֹתֵר מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא גָּרוּעַ בַּטַעַם, מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב.


Even if you had both wines, but they were not before you, when you said the berachah Borei peri hagafen, you should say the berachah, Hatov vehameitiv, over the superior second wine. But, if they were both before you on the table, you do not say the berachah Hatov vehameitiv. You then say Borei peri hagafen over the better wine and it will exempt the poorer quality [wine].


אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה לָהֶם מִתְּחִלָּה שְׁתֵּי יֵינוֹת, אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לִפְנָיו יַחַד כְּשֶׁבֵּרַךְ בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן, מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַשֵּׁנִי הַמְשֻׁבָּח הַטוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן לְפָנָיו עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן, אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב, אֶלָּא בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַמְשֻׁבָּח לִפְטוֹר גַּם אֶת הַגָּרוּעַ.


The berachah, Hatov vehameitiv, is said only if there is still some of the original wine [on the table] and you want to drink the second wine in order to have variety. But, if they are now bringing the second wine [to the table] because the first wine has been consumed, the berachah [Hatov vehameitiv] is not said over it.


אֵין מְבָרְכִין הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב אֶלָּא אִם יֵשׁ עוֹד מִן הַיַּיִן הָרִאשׁוֹן וְרוֹצִים לִשְׁתּוֹת אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי מִשּׁוּם שִׁנּוּי יָיִן. אֲבָל אִם מֵחֲמַת שֶׁהַיַּיִן הָרִאשׁוֹן כָּלָה מְבִיאִין אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי, אֵין מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו.


The berachah Hatov vehameitiv is said only when there is another person with you who is also drinking from both wines, for that is implied [in the text of the berachah] "He is good"—to the person "and he is benevolent"—to his companion; and the same law applies if your wife and children are with you. But, if you are alone, you do not say [Hatov vehameitiv] over it (the second wine).


אֵין מְבָרְכִין הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ אַחֵר עִמּוֹ שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹתֶה גַּם כֵּן מִשְּׁתֵּי הַיֵּינוֹת. דְּהָכִי מַשְׁמַע, הַטּוֹב לוֹ וְהַמֵּטִיב, לַחֲבֵרוֹ. וְהוּא הַדִּין אִם אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו עִמּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הוּא יְחִידִי, אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ.


When a guest eats at the table of his host, and the host places the wine bottle on the table so that whoever wishes may drink, as is done at lavish feasts, then the wine is considered as communal property, and the berachah Hatov vehameitiv is said. But if the host doles out a cup of wine to each guest, Hatov vehameitiv is not said, since they have no "proprietorship" in the wine and [therefore] even the host does not say [Hatov vehameitiv].


הָאוֹרֵחַ שֶׁמֵּסֵב אֵצֶל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת, אִם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נוֹתֵן אֶת הַקַּנְקַן עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן שֶׁיִּשְׁתֶּה מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בִּסְעוּדּוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת, אִם כֵּן, הַיַּיִן הוּא כְּמוֹ בְּשֻׁתָּפוֹת וּמְבָרְכִין הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב. אֲבָל אִם הַבַּעַל הַבַּיִת נוֹתֵן לְכָל אֶחָד כּוֹסוֹ, אֵין מְבָרְכִין הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שֻׁתָּפוּת בְּיָיִן. וַאֲפִלּוּ הַבַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ (קע"ה).


One [of the group] may say the berachah to exempt the entire group, [but] he should first say: Savri14 ("Attention…); so that they pay attention to hear [every word of the berachah]; and they should reply: "Amen" so that they be exempt through his berachah. But, only [is the above applicable] if each one has his glass [of wine] before him to taste at once, so that there will be no interruption between the berachah and the drinking [of the wine].


אֶחָד יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ לְהוֹצִיא אֶת כֻּלָּם, וְיֹאמַר תְּחִלָּה: סַבְרִי וְכוּ' שֶׁיִּתְּנוּ לֵב לִשְׁמֹעַ וְיַעֲנוּ אָמֵן שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ בְּבִרְכָתוֹ. וְדַוְקָא כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד כּוֹסוֹ לְפָנָיו שֶׁיִּטְעֹם מִיָּד, שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא הֶפְסֵק בֵּין הַבְּרָכָה לַשְּׁתִיָּה.


If you are saying Birkas hamazon15 over a glass of different wine, you need not say the berachah of Hatov vehameitiv over it because you will have fulfilled your obligation with the Hatov vehameitiv said in Birkas hamazon.16


אִם מְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן עַל כּוֹס יַיִן אַחֵר, אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵטִיב, שֶׁהוּא יוֹצֵא בְּמַה שֶּׁאָמַר בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב (קע"ה).