One of the formative experiences of growing up in New York City is the abortive attempt to get drunk off filched Manischewitz. This is not actually possible, because the sugar coma gets you long before the alcohol does.

Apparently, all that is changing, however; with a lot of artful dodging, non-Jewish winemakers are producing high quality kosher wines that are supposed to be, in many cases, indistinguishable from non-kosher vintages.

I wonder if this won't lead to more extremely high-end kosher restaurants in New York. There are a lot of kosher restaurants in the city, but not really at the Lutece level. I have a theory that this is because high end restaurants don't make their money on the food, even though it's really expensive--ingredients and the intensive labor eat up the margin. Those restaurants cash in on the wine that accompanies the food, and without a lot of high end kosher vintages, that wasn't really possible.

Of course, the low number of Jewish alchoholics remains an obstacle to obscene wine profits. But as kosher wine hits the big time, I'd expect to see at least a few expensive kosher restaurants come into their own.

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