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Canada Reverses Ban On Labeling West Bank Products As ‘Made in Israel’

Vered Saadon toasting with an Israeli tour group at her Tura Winery in Rahelim, West Bank, June 21, 2017. (Andrew Tobin)

(JTA) — Canadian authorities withdrew a guideline that prevented goods produced in the West Bank from being labeled “Made in Israel.”

In a statement released Thursday, the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency said that two wines that had fallen under the labeling ban did in fact “adhere” to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and could be sold as labeled.

The two wines, both produced in the West Bank, were temporarily withdrawn from liquor store shelves in the province of Ontario, raising an uproar among Jewish groups and Israeli diplomats.

Canada Bars West Bank Settlement Wines From Being Labeled ‘Product of Israel’

Amichai Lourie showing off the vat room at his Shiloh Winery, in the Shiloh West Bank settlement, June 21, 2017. (Andrew Tobin)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Canada has apparently barred wines imported from the West Bank from being labeled as products of Israel.

The Liquor Control Board of the province of Ontario on Tuesday asked vendors to remove such wines from their shelves and to stop importing them. The board cited a previously unreported July 6 ruling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that wine products made from grapes “grown, fermented, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory” could not be labeled “Product of Israel.”

Sweet Summer Sangria

Sangria/ Katherine Price

Now that the summer heat is upon us, the time is ripe to mix up a pitcher of cooling, refreshing sangria.

A mixture of wine, fruit, and a bit of brandy, sangria reportedly originated on the Spanish peninsula where it was named after the word for blood, due to its distinctive deep red color.

Should I Let My Wine Breathe?

Going through my email bag to answer some of your questions about kosher wines and spirits. If you have a question, from the simple to the seriously technical, feel free to email me at and I will answer either directly or here in this space.

Q: What is meant by allowing a wine to breathe?

The West Bank’s World Class Wines Have Israelis Toasting The Settlements

Vered Saadon toasting with an Israeli tour group at her Tura Winery in Rahelim, West Bank, June 21, 2017. (Andrew Tobin)

PSAGOT, West Bank (JTA) — Psagot Winery calls its Sinai wine an “unassuming but distinctive blend” of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Like all its wines, the bottle is stamped with the image of a coin dating to the first century C.E. found in a chalky cave near its namesake West Bank settlement and inscribed in Hebrew with the words “For the freedom of Zion.” The coin, its catalog explains, “symbolizes the preservation of winemaking tradition — offering you a taste of our history.”

Give Your Summer a Bloody Mary Infusion

courtesy TheCulinaryGeek

With tomatoes back in season, my thoughts and thirst are limping towards a good, old fashioned Bloody Mary.

The exact origins of the Bloody Mary are surprisingly subject to some debate. “The good news is, the Bloody Mary was invented,” notes bartender turned author Brian Bartels in his recent book, The Bloody Mary, “The answer to the question of how it originated, however, is a murky one.”

Herzog Family Honored at YU Museum Gala

Guests at the Yeshiva University Museum gala dinner

Wine lovers and supporters of Yeshiva University Museum gathered at City Winery on Wednesday evening for the museum's annual gala dinner. 

This year's gala was themed "The Vine Cheereth," and honored the Herzog family, owners of Royal Wine Corporation and donors to the museum. "This evening of celebration – and taste exploration – will enable Yeshiva University Museum to continue its important work of preserving Jewish culture and bringing our traditions to life," said the event website. 

Roger Moore and the Art of the Martini

With news of the passing of Sir Roger Moore, the actor who played James Bond in more films than any of the other actors so far, I find my thoughts for this space turning to the martini, that classic, cooling, refreshing and altogether quintessential cocktail.

While Moore’s Bond was never filmed ordering a martini, he certainly enjoyed a great many of them on screen and off. The martini predates James Bond, but surely owes much of its general popularity to the films.

Gin and Tonics Done Right

Between the shift towards hotter weather, and the thoroughly dispiriting news of late, I thought a bracing, refreshing, cooling cocktail was in order.

When Tradition Met Prohibition

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Lots of folks—even some of my good friends—eschew alcohol, either for dietary or lifestyle reasons. So what does one do for kiddush if wine is off the menu? Answer: kosher grape juice. Seems like a silly question, right? Well, yes, at least today. But was it always so simple? What, for example, did Jews do during Prohibition (1920-1933)?