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Don’t Call Us ‘Kosher’

Former Forward hand Max Gross looks into the state of kosher wine — only, he discovers, some vintners are playing down the fact that they happen to adhere to Jewish religious law. Writing on Jewcy.com, Gross reports:

Recanati wine is desperately trying to pass for gentile.

First off, there’s the name. Nothing about “Recanati” sounds particularly Jewish. In fact, it sounds vaguely Italian. (Which doesn’t hurt a wine.) Then there’s the fact that the front label is extremely simple—there is nary a Hebrew letter in sight, only the brand, the vintage, the grape and the region. You have to take a close look at the back to find the kosher stamp. And if you were to call the PR department at Recanati, they would admit that no, they’re not really advertising the fact that they’re kosher.

“We’ve been encouraging wine shops to start an Israeli section,” says Michael Wolff, the senior brand manager for the Israeli wine, which is produced in the Galilee. The idea is to get away from the “kosher” label and all its connotations.

Recanati is hardly the only Israeli wine hiding the inconvenient fact that, yes, they’re also kosher. “We don’t really talk about the kosher aspect of our wines,” says Marsha Palanci, who does marketing for the Israeli brand Yarden. “We market it as an international wine.”

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