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

Wine Your Cellar Will Love

April 11, 2014

Passover wine suggestions.

With Passover just around the corner, we thought we’d highlight a couple of wines to enjoy over the festivities. One of the newest and hottest-selling Israeli kosher wines to hit the U.S. market is the 2012 Pasco Project #1 ($25) made by the critically acclaimed winemaker, and our friend, Lewis Pasco.

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Craft Beer And All That Shtick

April 3, 2014

A conversation with Jeremy Cowan, the founder of the kosher craft beer company, Shmaltz Brewing Company.

The nation is in the midst of something of a beer revolution. While the market is still dominated by big names such as Budweiser, Miller and Coors, a visit to nearly every bar and liquor store reveals a growing list of previously unknown beer makers with unusual, if not bizarre, names like Bad Martha, Flying Dog, Allagash, Dark Horse, Funkworks, Omission and Scuttlebutt.

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A Chianti Fit For The Seder Table

April 1, 2014

Review of the Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Reserva 2009 and a look at the feud over Tennessee Whiskey.

Mention Chianti to most folks and they are as likely to imagine squat, straw basket enclosed bottles of wine used as candlesticks, covered in multicolored wax drippings as the wine itself. Yet Chianti is so much more than this. Chianti is a picturesque region of Tuscany where castles, terrific food and some outstanding wines are plentiful.

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Make The Most Of Your Oregon Wine Trek

March 27, 2014

A look at the delightful wines from Oregon’s Sokol Blosser and R. Stuart & Co. wineries.

If the drive from Portland to McMinnville in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country only takes you an hour, then you have missed several opportunities to taste some of the region’s exquisite wines while enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding vistas and valley.

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Crime In A Bottle

March 24, 2014

A review of the Recanati Shiraz 2011 and 2 Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Not long ago, the wine world was rocked by crime. Not anything, we hasten to add, as silly as red wine with fish (especially since that actually works in many cases). Rather we are referring to several high profile cases that illustrate that when something of value is created, like a great bottle of wine, there are some unscrupulous folks that see an opportunity for larceny.

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Fungus Among Us Produces A Distinctive Dessert Wine

March 17, 2014

Reviews of the Château Guiraud Sauternes 2001 and 2 whiskies from Maker’s Mark.

It has been said that the first person to eat a tomato was the bravest person in culinary history. We’ve heard similar comments about the first person to milk a cow and the first to consume raw fish. While we will never know the veracity of such claims, in the world of wine there is a similar “first” hero myth: the first winemaker to use grapes infected by fungus to make wine. We don’t really know when this started either, though the first clear mention of wine made from fungus infected grapes is from around 1576.

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Hidden Gems Exist In Oregon’s Willamette Valley

March 10, 2014

coeur de terre

Reviews of the wines produced by the Coeur de Terre Vineyard and the Dukes Family Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The excellent wines, spectacular views and remarkably friendly people within Oregon’s Willamette Valley make selecting which wineries to visit a difficult challenge. There is comfort in choosing familiar names such as Ken Wright, Soter Vineyards, Domaine Drouhin and Cristom Vineyards, pioneers in the region with stellar reputations for creating outstanding wines. But don’t ignore the smaller, less well-known wineries found scattered throughout the region where you will often have an opportunity to meet the owners, hear their stories and experience first-hand their passion to craft notable wines.

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Is It Worth The Price?

February 27, 2014

A review of the Dalton Alma Chardonnay-Viognier 2011 and the (r?)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.

One question we are asked fairly frequently about booze is, “Is that worth the money?” While we may sometimes have a ready answer to offer in the moment, it is actually a question that gives us pause as it lends itself to a little deeper contemplation. “Worth,” like “beauty,” is subjective. Indeed, asking the “worth” question is really another way of asking “Is that worth it to you?” In context, however, it is clear that what folks typically mean to ask is, “Do you think this is worth it to me?” Yet, how does one begin to answer that?

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Finicky Pinot Noir Grape Can Produce Profound Wine

February 25, 2014

A review of Yarden Pinot Noir 2009 and the Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

There is some mysterious aspect of Pinot Noir that results in a degree of winemaker madness. It is difficult to grow and vinify, temperamental in the barrel and prone to closing down in the bottle for years before becoming really drinkable again. These very challenges seem to inspire rather than inhibit those winemakers who consider crafting a Pinot Noir the pinnacle of their profession.

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