PHOTO BY LI NA GOLDBER G
percent white wine to 30 percent red has
changed within just three years to 52
percent red to 48 percent white. Like-
wise in California, he says, the past year
has seen a surge in Cabernet and
Chardonnay sales, away from the sweet
White Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc
workhorses of the Baron Herzog brand,
of which he also is winemaker.
n the CBS News "French Paradox"
broadcast of 1991 and again in a fol-
low-up broadcast recently, Morley
Safer presented evidence that red
wine drinkers in France have less heart
disease than others, even while eating
fat-loaded cheeses. The recent Copen-
hagen Heart Study shows less heart dis-
ease among those who drink three to five
glasses of (preferably red) wine a day. A
British medical study almost simulta-
neously came to the same conclusion.
Mr. Stern predicts that while kosher
California Chardonnay sales will dou-
ble by the end of the year, sales of Caber-
net Sauvignon will more than double.
As the Baron Herzog winemaker, Mr.
Stem is scrambling to find
quality grapes. Michael
Herzog, grandson of the
founder, handles wine-
making of the original,
sweet Kedem wines in the
East where there's plenty
All of the premium
kosher wines of California
now carry the 0-U impri-
matur of kashruth. Not
long ago such other fine
wines as Hagafen and
Gan Eden might have
been certified by various
kashruth guarantors and
have carried a K, Triangle K or rabbinic
seal, but in the byzantine and suspicious
byways separating the various Jewish
ethnic and religious movements and
groups, only 0-U seems to have won a
As for the wines themselves, it is no
longer unusual for kosher wines to
emerge from competitions with high
Baron Herzog's '93 Warneke Vine-
yard, Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill
and a Mount
the winery in
used to direct
each batch of
grapes to its
Cabernet, for example, won a Best of
California award last year at the Cali-
fornia State Fair.
Ernie Weir, Domaine Chandon's vine-
yard boss who moonlights producing
Hagafen, proudly but casually mentions
that his wines have been served at least
four times at White House ceremonies.
And Kedem wines have been served and
drunk by the pope.
Mount Madrona wines, produced by
winemaker Robert Braman at Madrona's
parent — and nonkosher — St. Supery
winery, also in the Napa Valley, shared
the wine glasses with Hagafen when
President Clinton, Israel Prime Minis-
ter Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of
Jordan sat down to dinner in July.
So that is why producers of kosher
wines are now promoting their products
as fine wines that just happen to be
Ekgant- KosherWines? Mai Oui!
JULIE EDGAR STAFF WRITER
assayer no longer means having to gulp down syrupy wines packaged in
Of course, that option is still available in several area groceries and shops,
alongside myriad kosher whites and reds — many of them kosher for Passover
— from Israel, France, California, Italy and even New York State. Here's a sam-
pling of what's on the shelves. Look for the "P."
Merchant of Vireo's Southfield location on Northwestern Highway offers per-
haps the most 'serious and extensive selection of kosher wines in the area. Gen-
eral manager Nidal Zaher stocks 40 to 50 different varieties from the
aforementioned countries with labels from Gamla, Weinstock and Yarden. Then
there's the Carmel and Kedem wines that start at $6. The corked variety is priced