Josh wine is a brand of California wines that has gained popularity among wine lovers for its quality, affordability, and variety. Josh wine is produced by Josh Cellars, a family-owned winery founded by Joseph Carr, a former sommelier and wine executive. The name Josh is a tribute to Carr’s father, a retired firefighter who loved to make wine at home.
But is Josh wine kosher? Can you enjoy Josh wine with your kosher meals and celebrations? The answer is not so simple. In this article, we will explain what makes wine kosher, what is the kosher status of Josh wine, and how you can find kosher alternatives to Josh wine.
What Makes Wine Kosher?
Kosher wine is wine that is produced in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut. These laws regulate what foods are permissible for Jews to eat and how they are prepared. Wine, as a beverage that has special significance in Judaism, has its own set of rules and requirements.
To be considered kosher, wine must meet the following criteria:
- The grapes used to make the wine must be grown and harvested by Jews or under Jewish supervision.
- The winemaking process, from crushing the grapes to bottling the wine, must be done exclusively by Sabbath-observant Jews using kosher equipment and ingredients.
- The wine must not come into contact with any non-kosher substance or utensil, such as animal products, dairy products, or metal implements.
- The wine must be certified by a reliable kosher authority, such as a rabbi or a kosher agency, who verifies that all the above conditions are met.
Additionally, some wines are labeled as “kosher for Passover”, which means that they are free from any leavened or fermented grain products, such as yeast, wheat, barley, oats, rye, or spelt. These products are prohibited for Jews to consume during the Passover holiday.
What is Mevushal Wine?
Another term that you may encounter when looking for kosher wine is “mevushal”, which means “cooked” in Hebrew. Mevushal wine is wine that has been pasteurized or heated to a high temperature for a short time. This process changes the status of the wine in Jewish law, making it permissible for non-Jews or non-observant Jews to handle it without affecting its kosher status.
Mevushal wine is useful for situations where kosher wine may be served by non-Jewish staff, such as in restaurants, hotels, or catered events. It also allows Jews to share their wine with non-Jewish friends or guests without violating the rules of kashrut.
However, mevushal wine is not required for all occasions. Many Jews prefer to drink non-mevushal wine, especially for religious ceremonies or rituals, such as Kiddush or Havdalah. Non-mevushal wine is also considered to have better quality and flavor than mevushal wine, since the heating process may alter the aroma and taste of the wine.
Is Josh Wine Kosher?
Now that we have explained what makes wine kosher and what is mevushal wine, we can answer the question: is Josh wine kosher?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Josh wine is not kosher. According to the official website of Josh Cellars1, none of their wines are certified as kosher by any rabbinical authority. This means that they do not follow the strict guidelines and supervision required for kosher winemaking.
Furthermore, Josh Cellars does not produce any mevushal wines either. All their wines are non-mevushal, which means that they cannot be handled by non-Jews or non-observant Jews without losing their kosher status.
Therefore, if you are looking for a kosher wine to enjoy with your meals or celebrations, Josh wine is not an option for you.
How to Find Kosher Alternatives to Josh Wine?
If you are a fan of Josh wine but you want to keep your diet kosher, don’t worry. There are plenty of kosher alternatives to Josh wine that you can find online or in your local store.
Josh Cellars produces a range of wines from different grape varieties and regions in California. Some of their most popular wines are:
- Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: A full-bodied red wine with aromas and flavors of black cherry, plum, vanilla, oak, and spice.
- Josh Cellars Chardonnay: A medium-bodied white wine with aromas and flavors of apple, pear, citrus, butter, honey, and toast.
- Josh Cellars Pinot Noir: A light-bodied red wine with aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, earth, and spice.
- Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp and refreshing white wine with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lemon, lime, grass, and herbs.
To find kosher alternatives to these wines, you can use the following criteria:
- Look for wines that are made from the same grape variety as Josh wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Look for wines that are made in California or other regions that have similar climate and soil conditions as Josh wine, such as Napa Valley, Sonoma County, or Central Coast.
- Look for wines that have a similar style and profile as Josh wine, such as dry or sweet, light or full-bodied, fruity or oaky, etc.
- Look for wines that have a reliable kosher certification on the label, such as OU, OK, Star-K, or Kof-K. You can also check the website of the kosher agency to verify the validity of the certification.
- Look for wines that are mevushal if you need them for situations where non-Jews or non-observant Jews may handle them. You can usually find this information on the label or the website of the winery.
Here are some examples of kosher alternatives to Josh wine that you can try:
- Kosher alternative to Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon2. This is a full-bodied red wine from Napa Valley that has aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, vanilla, cedar, and spice. It is certified kosher by OU and mevushal.
- Kosher alternative to Josh Cellars Chardonnay: Hagafen Chardonnay3. This is a medium-bodied white wine from Napa Valley that has aromas and flavors of apple, pear, pineapple, butter, oak, and nutmeg. It is certified kosher by OU and non-mevushal.
- Kosher alternative to Josh Cellars Pinot Noir: Covenant Pinot Noir4. This is a light-bodied red wine from Sonoma County that has aromas and flavors of cherry, cranberry, mushroom, earth, and spice. It is certified kosher by OU and non-mevushal.
- Kosher alternative to Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc: Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc5. This is a crisp and refreshing white wine from New Zealand that has aromas and flavors of grapefruit, passion fruit, lime, grass, and herbs. It is certified kosher by OK and mevushal.
Josh wine is a popular brand of California wines that is not kosher. If you want to enjoy kosher wine with your meals or celebrations, you need to look for wines that are certified by a reliable kosher authority and follow the rules of kashrut. You can also find kosher alternatives to Josh wine that are made from the same grape variety or region and have a similar style and profile. You can browse our selection of kosher wines at KosherWine.com6 and find your favorites. Cheers!