California Hand-Crafted Plum Brandy for Passover

Enhance Your Passover With Award Winning Slivovitz.

Plum Brandy aka Slivovitz is making a comeback and was recently discussed in a major article in The Forward.

California is blessed with some of the best plums in the country, which have gone into making Mosby Slivovitz. Harvested from a small orchard in San Benito County, California. These perfectly ripened plums were artfully fermented and distilled by Bill Mosby under the careful Rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Yonah Bookstein.

This exceptional brandy was awarded a Silver medal at the 2010 International Review of Spirits, and a Bronze medal at the San Francisco Chronicle spirits competition.

Special Passover 2013 Price $45 for a limited time

For more information and to order contact Rabbi Yonah Bookstein rabbiyonah @

2010 Single V. Thompson, Syrah/Mourvedre

Cal Kosher is proud to be part of helping make Pesach special this year. A new wine was just released in time for Pesach, the Shira Wine’s 2010 Single Vineyard Thomson. This entirely drinkable and full wine goes with any serious meal. We enjoyed it at the Seder and since then are looking forward to a few bottles over the last days of Pesach. If you are in Los Angeles, you can contact us for a bottle or two that the Weiss Brothers left for last-minute Pesach Shoppers. Call (310) 594-5990

Going Kosher for Passover Guide

Many people assume that Passover cleaning is akin to torture. It need not be. Turning over a house doesn’t require copious amounts of tin-foil, nor does it require a blow torch (even though they are cool). Chometz is not poison, it is easily removed, sold, or discarded. Dishes can easily be replaced with bio-degradable one-time-use, or ou can invest in a separate set of dishes. If you are married I highly recommend investing in a Passover set of pots, dishes and cutlery.

It requires some sechel – i.e. knowing what you are doing.

My one page Kosher for Passover guide is all you need.

Going kosher for passover guide 2013

What’s New 2013

ImageShirah Wine have released three genius wines in the last half year: Counterpunch, The Coalition, and Bro-Deux. Each one is a distinct and enjoyable wine. As a boutique kosher agency specializing in healthy, artisan, and gourmet food, Shira Wines are a perfect fit.

We look forward to sharing many more wines with you…

In addition to Cal Kosher, all wines made by Shirah Wines are also under the supervision of the OU.

All wines that we supervise are non-mevushal, kosher for Passover, and absolutely marvelous.

We look forward to sharing many more wines with you…


Quinoa Is Not Kitniot, But Needs Checking

Quinoa Real grown near Uyuni on the Bolivian Altiplano (3653 m). Mt. Tunupa in the background.

The NY Times just picked up on the debate about quinoa on Passover - and if this mushy stuff from the Andes is fit for consumption on Pesach. They missed the entire point.

The article missed the major point of contention about the entire quinoa issue. There is no scholarly rabbinic dispute about whether or not quinoa is a grain (in halachic terms) and hence chametz, and totally forbidden for consumption, possession, and benefit on Passover. The only question is whether it is KITNIOT (pronounced kit-ne-ot) or not, i.e. grain type foods that Ashkenazi and some Sephardic Jews do not consume on Passover.

The Oral Torah, codified in the Mishna, specifies that only five types of grain can become chametz: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats. These items and food made from them with the exception of matzah, are forbidden the entire holiday. The question is really whether this quinoa grain-type food is classified along with rice. Continue reading

Drinking With the Booksteins

Originally appeared in the Jewish Journal

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and his wife Rachel stopped by our house last week bearing two perfect pre-Passover gifts.

The first was a bottle of Shirah Wines 2009 Power to the People, a Syrah blend from Santa Barbara county grapes that The New York Jewish Week picked, out of 200 wines, as the Best Kosher Wine at its tasting this year.

It was exceptional.  It made me not want to stop drinking it, ever.

The second bottle was even more special.

The Booksteins spent several years in Poland helping revitalize the Jewish community there.  We started talking about how Israel feels like a “homeland,” but Poland just feels like home.  The food, the people—it all feels so familiar to us Ashkenazi Jews who are, at the end of the day, only a couple generations removed.  Of course I was going on about the vodka and slivovitz, and that’s when Rabbi Yonah reached into his magic bag and pulled out Mosby—an artisinal kosher slivovitz produced for the first time this year under his rabbinical supervision.

We toasted with it and oh….my….God.

Continue reading