NEW YORK — Interest in finer, upscale kosher wines has exploded in recent years. Far past the $28 million industry it was a few years ago, the US has seen an estimated 20% demand increase not only in the quantity, but in the quality of kosher wines. US imports include thousands of kosher wines available in every conceivable style from virtually all of the world's wine-producing regions—Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, and more. Many of these wines are imported and marketed by the Kedem Group, the market leader in kosher wines. But kosher wine nowadays has become a culture that goes beyond the occasional wine drinker at a Kiddush or at a Jewish affair.
Frequent wine tastings, Kiddush clubs, a Kosher Wine Society and now a new website (www.kosherwinesociety.com). Founded in December 2005, the Kosher Wine Society has grown tremendously while continuing their mission of “bringing people together to converse, learn, and form new relationships, all in the spirit of kosher wine.” The new site launch coincided with the Society’s June 9th event, “A Night in Paris,” at the Chagall Bistro on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. The 4- course French dinner included 8 wine pairings specially selected by Costas Mouzouras, wine director at Gotham Wines.
Industry experts agree that increased demand has been a direct response to the growing quality and variety of kosher wines on the market. Despite the increase in price that comes along with finer wines, the US market is quickly buying as many cases as they can import. The mainstream press, including the Associated Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a variety of prominent wine publications have all covered the growing kosher wine industry, and shown enthusiasm for such new kosher finds as Chateau Giraud Sauternes, Laurent-Perrier, Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve, Yarden Merlot, Prix Vineyards Reserve Syrah, and Elvi Wines EL26 Priorat.
Demand for an upscale kosher wine experience is evident in the growing number of services catering to the kosher consumer. These organizations include New York based “The City Winery” and the popular trade show sponsored by Kedem, the “Kosher Food and Wine Experience,” which has travelled to other markets including Miami and London. Virtually nonexistent a few years ago, membership and patronization of these services are resulting in high sales for those who know what to offer.