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Hatov vehameitiv for shemitah wine

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I recently bought some shemitah Moscato and it's delicious. It's not fine wine, though. If I have two wines, one with kedushat shevi'it and one regular wine, does shemitah wine trump non-shemitah wine by the virtue of its holy status? Or does it have to be a better quality than the other wine to qualify for hatov vehameitiv?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

The blessing of hatov vehameitiv, blessing Hashem as "the One Who is good and does good," was instituted as a blessing when drinking two or more wines in one sitting (among other things). There are several conditions for one to be able to say this blessing (we are not going into all of them here).

One is that the second wine is not inferior to the first wine (upon which hagafen was recited). According to stringent opinions, it must be clear that the second wine is superior to the first wine.

If the shemitah wine is of a better quality, according to all opinions it would certainly qualify for a hatov vehameitiv but not if it is of a lesser quality (again, if all of the other conditions are present). So, if you have a holy Moscato versus a fine non-shemitah wine, you should say the berachah on the regular fine wine.

However, If you have two wines of similar quality, one shemitah and one non-shemitah and you are excited about drinking the shemitah wine, you can certainly say hatov vehameitiv on the shemitah wine.