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Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non-Jew but was made from beginning to end by machine? Needless to say that according to the Gemara that it is only yayin nesech if the non Jew makes an actual libation with it. Even if you want to call it yayin stam, according to the Gemara it's only yayin stam if the non Jew touches it after all the wine has been stored in the barrel to ferment, since before it is put in the barrel it is unfit to drink or be used for a libation.

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Who said we can't drink it? –  Double AA Mar 5 '14 at 16:38
I've learned the laws of yayin nesech with a winery mashgiach; if a non-Jew presses a button on a machine that causes wine to flow, it may be non-kosher. –  Ypnypn Mar 5 '14 at 18:04
But he didn't make a libation over the wine so it doesn't render it nesech! –  David Feigen Mar 5 '14 at 18:26
Can you cite this Gemara and where it is brought down by later halakhists? –  Double AA Mar 5 '14 at 18:41
It's in מסכת עבודה זרה and it's in פרק רבי ישמעל אומר although I will find the exact quote. And I'm not sure about the later halakists. –  David Feigen Mar 6 '14 at 0:33

2 Answers 2

Probably because of what the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah says in סימן קכה - דין יין הבא מכח עובד כוכבים וכח כחו

ב: כֹּחַ כֹּחוֹ כְּכֹחוֹ דָּמִי. וְאִם הוּא כֹּחַ כֹּחַ כֹּחוֹ, כְּגוֹן קוֹרַת הַגַּת שֶׁגִּלְגְּלָהּ עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם ג' כֹּחוֹת: הַדַּפִּין וְהַגַּלְגַּל וְהַקּוֹרָה, (ד) בְּדִיעֲבַד מֻתָּר אֲפִלּוּ בִּשְׁתִיָּה. ‏

And the Be'er Heitev adds:

באר היטב (ד) בדיעבד. אבל לכתחלה אסור אפילו בעשרה כחות ויותר כן משמע בטור ופוסקים: ‏

That while - after the fact - a non-Jews triple-indirect actions may be allowed, one preferably doesn't have a non-Jew involved in making wine even if his actions are 10-times removed.

So, even having a non-Jew press a button to start a machine would be unacceptable.

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Ok so that means welchs is still kosher now that they've pushed buttons. It's not like we told them they could use a nonjew to push the buttons –  Double AA Dec 22 '14 at 14:21
@DoubleAA: Firstly we never Pasken on MY, as per the guidelines. :-) Secondly, you're assuming no non-Jew has touched the wine - or shook the bottles - from the time it was grapes until it was [double?] sealed in the bottle (or until it was heated to the point of making it Mevushal). –  Danny Schoemann Dec 23 '14 at 7:23
I am not assuming that. The OP was... –  Double AA Dec 23 '14 at 22:06

Rabbi Frand has a tape where he says he likes to drink grape juice all the time, and wondered about this -- it would be a lot cheaper if he could buy regular (non-kosher) grape juice. He was told even with today's fancy-schmancy machinery, there's a human hand someplace in the factory unclogging a filter or the like every so often.

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Isn't that bit batel in the rest? –  Double AA Dec 22 '14 at 15:04

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