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Orthodox Jews don’t drink Manischewitz

manischewitz-wineThe only reason I have ever witnessed orthodox Jews drink Manischewitz, is because my yeshiva was located 60 miles from their winery and would get free wine in return for the slave labor offered them in the form of rabbinical students. I would watch as Manischewitz blackberry wine was poured out like molasses into the Kiddush cup and a few brave souls would try this strange concoction and make faces that told me that it was better suited as an ice cream topper than as Kiddush wine.

Fast forward 10 years and I am stuck with this feeling of disgust every time that I witness a Jewish video on You Tube with someone trying to make fun of the orthodox by drinking Manischewitz. Whether it was the infamous Jewish Lazy Sunday remake or the banned Miriam and Shoshana Yeshiva girls gone wild video, there seems to be this reoccurring theme of drunken Jews pounding Manischewitz and I’m sick of it.

It would be one thing if it were a bunch of secular Jews with wearing those free plastic white yarmulkes and having a Maxwell House inspired Pesach seder, but its not. In fact, if you were to get your entire Jewish education from You Tube you would probably think that all Jews ever drank was Manischewitz wine and on occasion borsht. In fact a friend of mine who sometimes works as a wine connoisseur at Jewish food events in his area, has a hard time convincing secular Jews that they are allowed to use wine other than Manischewitz.

Besides for my yeshiva days in Rochester, New York – I have never once seen an orthodox person drink or buy Manischewitz wine, in fact you would be hard pressed to find it in a kosher wine store or wine store in a Jewish neighborhood. I just wish these Jewish videos would try and figure out orthodox culture and realize that we have our own shitty wines, like Baron Herzog white zinfandel or Bartenura’s Moscato Diasti which many unemployed sheitle machers from the shtetles or Boro Park and Monsey prefer.

The only Manischewitz product that orthodox Jews eat en masse is Tam Tams (specifically to scoop up herring sans utensils at kiddush across the globe) , even the matzo they make is mostly “not for passover use” which I wil rant about some other time.

{ 62 comments… add one }
  • shevers May 5, 2009, 10:34 AM

    Yeah people we pound Bartenura and Rashi!

  • Bsamim Smoker May 5, 2009, 10:36 AM

    Totaly agree with you dude Manischewitz sucks .Here are some reasons to dump this purple conconction:
    1.Get it on a white shirt it aint never comin out
    2.Tastes very thick with no viscosity(dilution)
    3.If any bit acidentally spills anywhere stickyness is almost certain.


  • Sergeant J May 5, 2009, 10:38 AM

    Royal 18 by the bottle!!! Ah.. friday nights…

  • Frum Satire May 5, 2009, 10:54 AM

    I’m not much of a wine guy but I do like Cabernet and Shiraz varieties – oh and Moscato – love it!

  • shevers May 5, 2009, 10:56 AM

    Oh and Keser wine and that moscato wine with the dancing chossid on the bottle.

  • Sharkinthemiikveh May 5, 2009, 11:28 AM

    um rashi and bartenurah are not wine, they are alcoholic soda. same for royal 18.

    • Avrumy September 18, 2009, 12:47 PM

      Maybe so. But they are yummy.
      Also the Malvasia.

  • Moshe May 5, 2009, 12:02 PM

    bsamim smoker, if you think kedem is awesome, I think someone laced your besamim…

    sharkinthemiikveh, amen

    Binyamina Cabernet is awesome. Israeli, Australian, French, etc.

  • dys May 5, 2009, 12:12 PM

    I grew up on Kedem, Kedem, and Kedem, with the occasional infiltration by Carmel. I don’t think I ever tasted Manischewitz (I had to copy & paste that, because I can’t spell it) till I was an adult, by which time I had graduated from Kedem and discovered the rapidly expanding world of GOOD kosher wine. As a kid, I never even knew that wine came in anything other than sweet vareities.

  • dys May 5, 2009, 12:14 PM

    Moscato D’Asti: The official soft drink of the upper west side.

  • Frum Satire May 5, 2009, 12:35 PM

    Kedem grape juice is to children like that of the shiloh siddur – 37 grams of sugar but none added. That just means they don’t add water

  • Tuvia May 5, 2009, 12:53 PM

    The only time I ever see someone drinking Manischewitz is if someone gives it to them. My grandma’s neighboy gives her two bottles of it any time she gives her a gift, and the bottles just sit there.

    There is so many better and cheaper kosher wines out there, like Rashi

  • SF2K1 May 5, 2009, 3:16 PM

    Hm I grew up with mostly manischewitz. Maybe I’m crazy, but I have some fond memories of it as a kid. It was good chilled.

    I’m sick of, and hate, Rashi wine. I’m sure he’s ashamed that such a wine dares to carry his name.

  • hannah May 5, 2009, 3:21 PM

    well i never heard of this grape juice but it sounds awful. if its worse them kedem it must be! kedem is like drinking sugar.. the sparkling isnt bad though but israel real grapes grape juice wins

  • Benny May 5, 2009, 4:29 PM

    How ’bout a little Blue Nun?

  • ghottistyx May 5, 2009, 7:21 PM

    THANK YOU!!!! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked where to by ‘Shevitz…. No matter how many times I’ve explained to people that ‘Shevitz is better used as cough syrup, they never believe me.

  • Phil May 5, 2009, 7:33 PM

    Mexicans and Pueto Ricans supposedly drink Manishewitz more than we do. Funniest thing was finding Manishewitz in Mississippi, only kosher wine in the state. Woman at the counter asked if the kippah I was wearing was to cover my horns.

  • Observer May 5, 2009, 7:43 PM

    “Woman at the counter asked if the kippah I was wearing was to cover my horns.”??

    That’s ridiculous. Only Moses had horns.

  • Former Teacher May 5, 2009, 8:55 PM

    I’m addicted to Godiva chocolate liquor. I used to love Kahlua when it was kosher.

  • conservative scifi May 5, 2009, 9:15 PM

    I think it must be catholics who drink Manischewitz (sp?) wine, not Jews, because I grew up with Carmel (but now prefer the “extra light” Rashi which I can serve to my kids without worrying about them actually getting much alcohol).

    I only bought Manischewitz when I lived in the Deep South and had to import my meat from the North, and the local stores only carried Manischewitz.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 5, 2009, 9:35 PM

    Rashis is for Chabadniks…

    I’ve drank Manischevitz and seen Ortho Jews with it. However, Kedem is totally the Orthodox wine and Mani is for well, not Orthodox, maybe Conservative and Reform drink it.

    I’m mostly a grape juice girl. It’s cheaper.

  • LearnedShiksa May 5, 2009, 9:53 PM

    Phil — That is so funny. Last x-mas my mother sent me over to the housekeepers house, who is Columbian to deliver a basket. She invites me in for a little glass of vino and cake. I almost choked with laughter when she returns with the “good” wine and she breaks out the Manischewitz.

  • Moshe May 5, 2009, 9:55 PM

    Considering the price when compared to not kosher wine, easy to think that’s it’s the good wine.

  • Jesmi May 6, 2009, 4:45 AM

    Thank you!!!The only time I ever see someone drinking Manischewitz is if someone gives it to them. I love it..

  • Jesmi May 6, 2009, 4:48 AM

    I love it…thanks for the share

  • Phil May 6, 2009, 7:39 AM


    Tell that to the bible belt hillbilly that never saw a kippah in her life. My wife to be was the only observant Jew in the entire state. I went there to visit her shortly before we were engaged.

  • texgator May 6, 2009, 8:46 AM

    When we first started to observe, the only thing we had was Mani. We quickly switched when I found drinking an entire kiddush cup worth was nearly impossible. Rashi is good for the kids and the people that don’t really like wine.

  • Orthowatch May 6, 2009, 9:49 AM

    I have a co-worker who’s completely non-observant. He once told me that for his Passover seder he gets some regular wine, and “some Manischewitz for the sake of tradition”. I explained to him that there’s no tradition to it, and he was shocked.

  • Zvi May 6, 2009, 10:08 AM

    I think frum Jews prefer sweet, light sodaish wines because we gotta drink half a cup by kiddush.

    Whereas for the rest of the world, drinking wine means swirling a bit in your mouth, and enjoying the taste.

    I spent a year in Russia where the only kosher wine available was the french Fortant dry. Kiddush sucked.

  • Bsamim Smoker May 6, 2009, 10:33 AM

    ” My wife to be was the only observant Jew in the entire state”-Phil
    Phil there had to be at least one lubob in the state as well.

  • Lubob Gon Wild May 6, 2009, 10:41 AM

    I drink Smirnoff for Kiddush.I don’t use shot glasses I use a regular becher.Tradition has it if you drink I full bottle of Smirnoff in the Ohel you see a vistage of the Rebbe.

    Desclaimer:Don’t try this at home.If you do, don’t sue me.

    • yeah February 21, 2012, 6:25 PM

      I’m glad I’m not the only one saying kiddush over Smirnoff. I mix it with V8 vegetable juice (pareve) and have a Bloody Miriam!!

  • Phil May 6, 2009, 10:44 AM


    No Lubabs in Mississippi, probably the only state without a shliach. She lived in Jackson with her parents, they were one of 3 “real” Jewish families. The only synagogue was reformed, they once re-scheduled Yom Kippur to a Sunday for convenience.

    My then to be wife went back there for a summer after finishing high school, I visited her and met her parents down there for the first time.

    Only shluchim I ever heard of in MS are the bochurim that travel the US in the summer, they go from city to city and passed through MS, ended up at my in laws house for a day.

    Her family relocated to Dallas about 10 12 years ago.

  • Leeba May 6, 2009, 12:00 PM

    The only orthodox Jews I have ever seen drink Manischevitz is my cousin Dovid and his wife. They sit there, very holy, at the end of the seder table and try to down four cups of that syrup. They do not look happy.

    I prefer to try several different varieties of the reds, mostly dry ones – cabernets, shiraz, etc. I hope I get in four cups. I can’t count after the second one.

    If you go by two years ago when I woke up in bed naked with my cousin Jamie, also naked, then I suspect that I get my four cups in. At least. I usually am fully covered even in my own home and I am single! Yes, I think, based on the quality of the good wine, I did my part in the night’s mitzvoh.

    I was raised orthodox and do not drink Manischevitz. Nobody in my house growing up drank it except old people who drank sherry sized glasses of wine. Cousin Dovid probably looks down his nose at me and reckons I’m going somewhere in a handbasket, but I feel that horrid wine is for children only.

  • Mo May 6, 2009, 12:37 PM

    I like using Rashi as a chaser for my Smirnoff shots… .. nothing gives a greater buzz!

  • Q May 6, 2009, 12:51 PM

    I grew up on Kedem, never tasted Manischewitz in my life. For that matter, I’ve never had Schapiro either, which my father grew up on.

  • Chosid May 6, 2009, 1:17 PM

    You don’t realize that Kedem aka Royal Wines makes all.kosher.wine. Kesser, Rashi, Moscato, Bartenura, Farbrengen, Baron Herzog, all Kedem. Those are just a few popular ones that come to mind at the moment.

  • not yeshivish May 6, 2009, 1:35 PM

    I believe much of the Manischewitz wine is used for communion.

  • Moshe May 6, 2009, 1:58 PM

    Chosid, Kedem doesn’t make those wines, it imports them, hence the “Imported by Royal Wine Corp”. Same as Peerless Importers import not kosher wine.

  • Moshe May 6, 2009, 2:03 PM

    Also, Kedem doesn’t even import all the wine, most, but not all.

    I think Israeli small wineries are the ones that come direct and not through an importer.

  • Material Maidel May 6, 2009, 2:29 PM


    I HATE the whole Orthodox – Manischewitz stereotype!

  • Moshe May 6, 2009, 2:35 PM

    Says the girl who’s FB nome de plume is Mara Manischewitz. 😛

  • Sergeant J May 6, 2009, 2:49 PM

    Leeba, wow!!! sounds like an odd night…

  • ghottistyx May 7, 2009, 2:07 AM

    @Observer, common misconception about Jews and horns that it was Michaelangelo’s mistranslation of “Karnei Ohr”, which really means beams of light (i.e. his face was radiant), Michaelangelo translated “karnei” literally and gave his Moses horns. When I was in grade school, I was told that this is where the stereotype comes from.

    If you look at any medieval painting of a Jew, you will see plenty which portray the Jew as having horns and a tail. Next time you’re in Washington Heights, pay a visit to The Cloisters (just take the M4 bus on Fort Washington to the last stop), and you will see plenty of paintings there of Jews with horns–paintings that predate Michaelangelo.

    Of course, there’s also the one about the “devil boxes” (tefillin), Christian blood in Matzo (recanted in The Canterbury Tales), and of course the famous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” that is the second biggest bestseller ever (behind the Bible). The list goes on.

  • Leeba May 7, 2009, 2:43 AM

    Sergeant J: Instead of four questions, our family has five.


    PS Jamie is female, the same age as I am and we were raised together.

  • Leeba May 7, 2009, 2:52 AM

    ghottistyx: I’m glad you wrote that. I did not want to sound like a know-it-all so I held back.

    This is all so true. That is why our young men still get asked about their kippas. In some very Evangelical sects of christianity, Jews are still so hated. Preachers or elder members tell their parishioners that the kippa is to hide the horns.

    They also tell boys that Jewish boys get the end of their penis cut off during a bris. This is true. All but one of my brothers got pants’ed when we were growing up. Now, one of my brothers told me it happened to his son.

    Art and the humanities throughout the ages will tell one much about prevalent attitudes, no matter how much people try to deny history.

    The worst one is the blood of christian children being used for our pesach matzohs. That still gets some notice as The Canterberry Tales continues to be required reading in High School.

  • Observer May 7, 2009, 6:52 AM

    I was aware of the common goyishe mistranslation of “keren” in that context, and wished to incorporate it into a remark alluding to some Southerners’ detailed recollection of their scriptures (ours mistranslated).

    The amplifying remarks of other posters are, of course, appreciated.

  • Phil May 7, 2009, 9:08 AM


    Getting panst’ed doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with people checking out the bris, it more of a prank, kind of like a wedgy.

    Back in our yeshiva days, I pants’ed one of my buddies in front of many parents that were picking up their younger kids. Needless to say, the guy tried to kill me, luckily I was able to outrun him.

    Though blood libels are scary in reality, it’s kind of different to see them on TV / Youtube, almost comical. I’m referring to those low budget arab films translated by memri.

    One episode has the rabbi slitting the little arab kids throat to bake matza with his blood, the other has a hamas play in which the actors portray a Jewish father screaming at his son to wash his hands with arab blood instead of water before eating bread.

  • Sergeant J May 7, 2009, 10:11 AM

    Leeba, I’m coming over next Pesach, sounds like the place to be…

  • Leeba May 7, 2009, 3:40 PM

    Phil – This was Catholic kids pantsing the little Jewish boys.

  • Bsamim Smoker May 7, 2009, 3:40 PM

    Hey Phil, what is pants’ed ? (sounds like a front side wedgie)

  • Leeba May 7, 2009, 3:41 PM

    Sergeant J – There is always room for one more.


  • Phil May 7, 2009, 3:48 PM


    That’s when you sneak up on someone and pull their pants down in public.

    Works very well when the victim is wearing sweatpants, pajamas or when they are tucking themselves in.


    Your saying the catholics were pantsing only Jews?

  • Leeba May 7, 2009, 4:00 PM

    Phil Yes. We went to a Hebrew Day school. We all walked in a big, mixed group, but had to cross a large intersection to get there. There was this gigantic Catholic church that took up about a block and they had a private school on the corner where we had to cross.

    The bigger kids would tell other kids that Jewish baby boys had the ends of their penis cut off. They would not believe it so they would get dared to go and pants a little kid to see.

    It happened a lot. It was pretty sad. Just bullying, but it was learned bullying. They learned a lot at home from family prejudice. They also learned in school that Jews killed their God. I did not know any but heard from my older brothers of Jewish kids that would get beat up over that.

    I was walking with a group on the way home once and the boys began running and dragging me by my sweater. They knew what the fast walking Catholic kids were doing in our neighborhood. I was just too young to know why they were so afraid.

    I wonder if this still goes on in cities? I don’t know. However, there was a lot of prejudice against Orthodox kids when I was young.

  • Phil May 7, 2009, 4:53 PM


    Did you grow up in pre-war Europe?

  • Sergeant J May 7, 2009, 7:01 PM

    Christian kids were throwing rocks at Jewish kids for “killing Jesus” in Pennsylvania in the 1980’s…

  • Leeba May 8, 2009, 1:17 PM

    Phil –

    No. I grew up in the ’70s. It still happens, Phil

  • Phil May 8, 2009, 1:48 PM

    Guess I was lucky to grow up in a Jewish neighborhood.

  • Leeba May 9, 2009, 6:07 AM

    Phil So did I, Phil. However, it was not like New York or Sydney where the neighborhoods had everything. We had to walk to our shul/school and it was about a mile. The intersection where we crossed is where the Catholic people lived, as this gigantic church was there.

    I am sure if their nuns knew what was happening they would have gotten paddled. However, you know how kids are. We didn’t tell. We just ran. Then we would sneak over late in the night and dump a box of Tide (very bubbly when it was full of phosphates) into their swimming pools.

    The filtration systems would come on at night and make absolutely frightening iceberg-sized foam creations.


  • Bruce May 9, 2009, 10:19 PM

    I love Bartenura Moscaco D’Asti. But I am a lapsed Catholic, so maybe it’s just goyshe kopp. Good will to all.

  • Anonymous July 6, 2010, 1:31 PM

    moscato diasti is the kinda thing bais yaakov girls drink outta paper bags

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