Wine: The King of All Drinks

Ask the Rov: When hearing kiddush from someone else, do I recite Shehakol on other beverages?

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin – Rov of Anash in Petach Tikvah

Halacha considers wine to be chief among all drinks. Therefore, if you recited hagafen over wine, that covers any subsequent beverages you drink in that setting, and you needn’t recite shehakol on them. Additionally, if you drank a revi’is of wine and recite al hagefen, you needn’t make a separate borei nefashos after the other drinks.1

There are two reasons given for this halacha: (1) Due to the prestige of wine,2 and (2) because wine earns its own bracha.3

Inferior wine or grape juice would qualify for the second reason but not the first. Contemporary acharonim therefore debate whether grape juice would exempt other drinks,4 and many say that one should avoid entering this doubtful situation.5

If you mistakenly recited ha’etz over wine, you are yotzei b’dieved (since it is a fruit extract), but it’s questionable whether the bracha exempts other drinks. The exemption of wine’s unique bracha would not apply, yet the exemption of a prestigious drink is still relevant.6

The Mishna Berura holds that if you drank less than a cheekful of wine, it is questionable whether the hagafen exempts other drinks, but the Alter Rebbe doesn’t mention such a distinction.7

Even just hearing the bracha of hagafen from another (e.g., when hearing kiddush) can exempt other drinks, provided that you drank some wine. But if you drank less than a revi’is of wine, the other drinks will still require a borei nefashos afterward.8

This exemption applies as long as the other drinks were on the table when you made hagafen, or if you had in mind other drinks that might show up later.9 The exemption is also limited to drinks and not other shehakol foods, even liquid-based ones like ice cream.10

Whenever there is a doubt of exemption, one should recite shehakol on a non-drink and cover the beverage, or hear shehakol being recited by someone else and be yotzei.

See Sources (open PDF)

From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash

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