By Miller Friedman
For many Jews who keep kosher, buying affordable wine at a regular liquor store can pose a challenge.
“Local wineries have a poor selection of kosher wine in my area,” said sophomore communications major and Tennessee-native Austin Bierman. “In the past it was difficult for my family to find something that we liked.”
KosherWine.com has been providing the Jewish community with a solution to this problem since 1997.
According to its website, KosherWine.com had 50,000 customers last year, which makes it the largest kosher wine retailer in the entire country. The website claims a big part of its customer base is due to the fact that it imports wines from labels that cannot be bought anywhere else.
Junior finance major Dalia Bauman, the campus ambassador for KosherWine.com at this university, said she found out about the service and wanted to be involved immediately.
“I was tired of always running to the liquor store to buy overpriced kosher wine, so I decided to look for a better option,” Bauman said. “I found KosherWine.com on Google and have been a loyal patron ever since.”
Bauman said that so far, she has been increasing awareness about the service by word of mouth, but hopes to find new ways to spread the word.
“I’m hoping to expand awareness by increasing incentives for students to share with others, creating campus-focused programs and finding creative ways to reach out to other parts of campus,” she said.
Bauman, who only started working for the company about two weeks ago, said that Jewish institutions on campus like Hillel have helped with increasing the website’s customer base.
“While Jewish institutions have not directly helped in gaining customers, they have provided me with a social circle to tap into,” Bauman said. “It’s up to me to come up with the best plan to capitalize on these relationships.”
Jewish students at this university have expressed interest in the website when asked.
“I could definitely see my family using this for the Jewish holidays, especially since my parents like having a wide variety of items to serve during the holidays” Wolff said.
Consider moving Wolff’s quotation up here? Preceded by a brief transition along the lines of “students have expressed interest in it, even if they haven’t tried it”
Bierman, whose family lives in Memphis, Tennessee, says it’s a rarity that there are problems with shipping.
“The wine has shown up bad or late before, but for every time that has happened, there have been plenty of times where everything has worked perfectly,” Bierman said.
Bierman said he is unsure whether or not his family was refunded for the times where the wine showed up bad or late.
The website says that the company tries to ship orders within one business day. Though its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., KosherWine.com can still get wine to customers as far as Alaska in under a week.
Bierman says that customers get a more quality selection at KosherWine.com than they would by going to a regular liquor store.
“Whenever there is a special occasion, a family gathering or a holiday, we will use KosherWine.com to get what we need,” Bierman said.
In addition to their regular retail selection, the website also offers wine clubs in order to educate customers on new types of wine. The monthly plans range from $69 to $249 per month, and the yearly plans range from $828 to $2,988 per year.
The cheaper clubs offer “new releases and timeless classics,” while the more expensive clubs give customers access to wines that are geared more toward collectors.