March 2013
ine has its share of sea-
sonal and occasion-driven
wines—Champagne for
celebrations and rosé for
summer pop quickly to mind. But per-
haps no type of wine is more season-
ally pegged than kosher wine. As Gary
Lansdman, Royal Wine Corp.’s director
of marketing and PR, notes, “The eight
week or so period, starting about two
weeks ahead of Purim [February 23
year] and ending with the close of Pass-
over” is always the biggest selling period
for kosher wines.
However, the time has never been
better to promote the modern reality
of this very traditional wine industry
segment as this is the time when eyes
naturally veer toward the kosher sec-
tion. Gotham Wines on Manhattan’s
Upper West Side is a destination for
kosher wines, yet Wine Director Cos-
tas Mouzouras notes, “Passover always
brings a big demand. It is a holiday
that even non-practicing Jews will
serve kosher wine for their seder.”
And as Martin Siegmeister, brand
manager at Allied Importers, points
out, this is also “the best time to in-
troduce new products.”
While kosher wines are a familiar
sight in the Manhattan, and perhaps
even in Miami, the five Broudy’s Li-
quors in northeastern Florida are
more typical of the rest of America.
Supply of kosher wine in Jacksonville
and St. Augustine area remains pri-
marily a function of seasonal demand,
spiking around Passover, the high
holy days and to a lesser extent Han-
nukah. However, based on proprietor
Barry Broudy’s experience, the indus-
try has already done a pretty good job
of narrowing one perception-reality
gap: the notion that kosher wines are
sweet by default.
Broudy sees two basic types of ko-
sher-wine buyers: “The one type says,
‘I just want something kosher that’s
not sweet,” and then they tend to buy
on price. But we also have people who
are actively looking for better wines
that are also kosher.” The latter group
has the right attitude in his mind. He
notes, “These may be religious holi-
days, but holidays are still about getting
together with family, and enjoying good
food, wine and company. It’s not much
different than Thanksgiving in that
sense, and people are smart to want to
drink something good.” One trend that
surprised him in 2012 was demand for
Kosher’s Quality Tipping Point
Passover is the perfect time to showcase the
quality of both Israeli and kosher wines
Golan Heights Winery’s Odem
vineyard, which has been certified
organic since 1998; right, winemaker
Victor Schoenfeld
Recanati winemaker Gil Shatsberg
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