Wine company says kosher wines are not just for Jewish events

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A Bayonne-based wine company that produces kosher wines says that the drinks can be enjoyed by anyone.

Kosher wines once had a reputation for being sweet and syrupy, but Royal Wine vice president Jay Buschbaum says that this is no longer the case. The company produces its own wines and grape juice under the Kedem brand and distributes hundreds of kosher wines from around the world. 

“The objective is first that they be great wines and that just happen to be kosher,” Buschbaum says. “You have wines from Bordeaux. You have wines from Israel and New Zealand and Australia and Chile."

Many of the wines made by Royal Wine are internationally acclaimed, according to Buschbaum.

“We guesstimate about 5 to 10 percent of people who are drinking this are kosher consumers,” he says. “They are drinking it just because they like it.”

Buschbaum says that the only difference between kosher and non-kosher wine is who makes and handles the product.

“Really there is only one basic rule and that is from the crushing of grape until the bottle is sealed, it’s got to be overseen and handled by an observant Jewish crew,” he says.

Royal Wine Corporation has a winery in upstate New York where they grow the grapes for their juice and some wines. They also own Herzog Wine Cellars in California. A handful of members of the Baron Herzog family still work at the Bayonne facility.

Passover begins Friday, March 30 at sundown.

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