Kosher refers to a particular method of preparation that applies to the Jewish faith. Some branches of the Jewish religion are very strict and insist on their foods and wines being produced in a Kosher fashion.
One of the main requirements for strict Jewish dietary laws is that the wine be boiled or cooked at some point. This can produce many problems as you can imagine with the taste of the wine, and you can usually tell a bottle of Kosher wine that has been boiled, as it appears to be paler in colour than the ordinary wine.
Non-kosher wine can be consumed by most Jewish people, however, as the production of wine is extremely clean and not handled in any way during the process of making the wine.
The ingredients of the wines do not contain anything that could be considered non-kosher. American and Canadian wines mainly appear to be within the laws of the strictest Kosher standards and most Jewish people consider that they automatically qualify.
There are so many sub-groups of Judaism, all with different ideas of what exactly constitutes a Kosher wine, so many in fact that it has caused many disagreements between the groups as to what is Kosher and what is not. The stricter the group is, the harder it is to find a good tasting wine that also satisfies their religion.
You may be wondering at this point; why Jewish people bother to drink wine at all. Many of their religious rites and rituals require wine however, and wine is included as a tradition on their special holidays.
You do not need to be Jewish, however, to enjoy these wines that meet kosher standards. Their wine is widely available and two North Eastern America based importers – Manischewitz and Kedem – are considered by some as the largest importers in the world of Kosher wine.