Musings on Wine and Spirits by Louis Marmon

As seen in:
Washington Post, Gazette Newspapers, DC Examiner, The Wine Report
Washington Jewish Week, LA Times, Jewish Exponent, Capitol File Magazine and in other cities in the US and Canada

Latest Article

Davids And Goliaths Of Wine

March 25, 2015

Review of Abarbanel Batch 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and a revisit to Boulard Calvados XO.

In popular and secular terms, the biblical confrontation between David and Goliath is seized upon as a shorthand reference for a hopeful image of the underdog, a contest or battle between a relatively small or weak opponent against a much bigger and much stronger adversary. In the world of kosher wine, this image comes periodically to mind—though obviously minus the inherent violence and explicit “good-guy vs. bad-guy” overtones. One of our longtime favorite “Davids” in the kosher wine world is the Abarbanel Brand Wines.

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A Particularly Pleasing Wine

March 23, 2015

Reviews of the Pacifica Evan’s Collection Washington Meritage 2010 and Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey.

The Kosher Food and Wine Experience is a fabulous opportunity to sample the latest wine and spirit releases in Royal’s sizable portfolio, to meet with winemakers or winery/brand representatives and, of course, eat some of the outstanding kosher food available in the Big Apple.

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Survey: 40 % Of American Adults Enjoy Drinking Wine

March 11, 2015

Review of the Black Tulip 2011 and The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It turns out that 40 percent of American adults enjoy drinking wine, with a third of those drinking a glass or two several times a week. The breakdown showed that 19 percent of those surveyed only drink wine, 19 percent drink wine and liquor but no beer, 20 percent drink wine and beer but no liquor, and the remaining 42 percent drink all three.

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South African Wine Poised For A Renaissance

March 9, 2015

Investors bring new techniques, rich flavors to South African wines

South Africa appears poised for wine greatness. This is somewhat surprising since the country’s winemaking industry languished during the 50 plus-years-long international boycott of the apartheid government. The wines made during those decades were uninspiring and meant to be shipped in large bulk containers rather than bottles. After the revocation of apartheid in 1994, South African winemakers had a lot of catching up to do.

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A Blend Of Regions

March 2, 2015

Reviews of the Herzog Variations Four Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and 2 Cragganmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

It is often said that wine makes itself, and that all that is really needed are grapes and the right conditions. This is largely true. Left alone, grapes will indeed start to decompose, the skins will break and natural yeast will work its magic on the juice – all things being equal. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote (typically misquoted and mangled into an adage about beer): “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

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Hip, Hop and Wine

February 23, 2015

Reviews of the Bartenura Moscato and Jefferson’s Ocean, Aged at Sea, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Very Small Batch.

Ever since the modern kosher wine industry began the shift from sweet, syrupy kiddush wine to table wine, producers and importers have been desperately trying to break free of the ethnic market into truly mainstream wine sales. Who knew that the industry’s first real success would be a sweet, simple quaffer?

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Warm Up This Winter With A Nice Wine

February 17, 2015

Some Winter Wine suggestions.

With winter’s grip still upon us, it is comforting to know that there are wines ideal for chilly weather. Fuller in body with more complexity and structure, winter wines are better to serve with the cold-weather meals.

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Wine and Memories

February 11, 2015

Review of Four Gates Pinot Noir 2009 and Westland American Single Malt Whiskey.

One of the lovely things about wine is the way drinking of a particularly pleasant one can stir an involuntary memory and evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. Likewise, wine can sometimes cue a subconscious mental filtering and sifting of long ago accumulated trivial data, bringing the mental detritus to one’s immediate attention. For one of us, for example, a recently tasted wine called to mind the great film director Alfred Hitchcock (we are both ardent fans).

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Presidental Preferences

February 9, 2015

Review of Shirah Wines White Hawk Syrah 2012 and Oban 14 year old Single Malt Scotch.

Most of our Presidents have been “healthy” drinkers, and many have had a fondness for fine wine—with the exception of a few lightweights and teetotalers.

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