Los Angeles now has its first all-kosher wine and liquor store. Located in the heart of Pico Boulevard's "kosher corridor," The Cask, which we spotted in late March, opened quietly last week -- just in time for Passover. Perfect since the traditional seder requires Jews to consume four glasses of wine, and no one should drink that much Manischewitz a.k.a. fermented grape juice masquerading as wine.
Yes, there is more to kosher wine than the execrable Manischewitz, say Cask co-owners Michael Bernstein and Sivan Vardi. Bernstein, a real estate guy, and Vardi, an apparel salesperson, have no experience in the food industry but both share a passion for wine. And both hope customers will explore the world of kosher wine beyond the handful of brands available at chain grocery stores.
The wines come from all over including Spain, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand with an emphasis on Israeli, French and California wines.
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The back of the store, with a temperature-controlled, 1,500-bottled wine cellar and a tasting area, is still being built out, but The Cask is already stocked with hundreds of bottles of wine. That includes a $500 bottle of 2003 Chateau Valandraud Saint-Émilion Grand Cru and more affordable bottles like the $10.95 Barkan Classic cabernet sauvignon.
They've also got a few bottles of Kedem vermouth (Kedem makes vermouth?!), but the rest of the hard liquor should come in by the end of pesach.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 or 9 p.m. on most days, though it will close two to three hours before sunset on Fridays and remain closed through shabbat, reopening on Sunday. In some cases, it may reopen late Saturday night. Look for more details on their Twitter feed: @thecaskla.