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

A Toast To The Legendary Winemaker, Joseph Phelps

May 18, 2015

Reviews of the Covenant Napa Valley Solomon Lot 70 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and Russell’s Reserve Small Batch 10-Year-Old Bourbon.

The domestic wine world lost one of its leading lights last month when celebrated California winemaker Joseph Phelps passed away at age 87. For over 40 years Phelps remained at the forefront of Napa winemaking with his Bordeaux and Rhone styled blends, and his single varietal bottlings. Along with other legends, including Robert Mondavi and Chuck Wagner, Phelps helped established Napa as a world renowned wine producing region.

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Italy’s Piedmont Region Yields Truffles, Terrific wines

April 13, 2015

Reviews of the recently released wines from the Luca Bosio Vineyards.

There is clearly something magical in the soil of Italy’s Piedmont region. In addition to being a source of the highly esteemed white truffle, it is also the region where the Nebbiolo grape is transformed into Barolo and Barbaresco, two of Italy’s greatest wines. Like the elusive truffle, the best examples of these wines are pricey, with many costing hundreds of dollars. For those who are intrigued but lack the finances and forbearance to purchase Nebbiolo wines from the more famous Barolo and Barbaresco producers, there are more reasonably priced alternatives.

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South African Kosher Wines

April 8, 2015

Review of two kosher wines from South Africa’s Backsberg Estate Cellars.

The most widely seized upon message or theme of Passover is freedom from oppression. In some sense the repeal of South African apartheid is a related modern example of national liberation. So with such themes as freedom and liberation in the air, as we considered what wines to review for possible recommendation this Passover our thoughts turned to South Africa.

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Spirit Of Summer Beckons

April 6, 2015

Review of the Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and a look at the “Hot Toddy.”

Despite the cold, icy weather outside, we found our thoughts wandering and our hearts pining for sunnier and warmer climes. One of us is from northern California originally, and as it happens we both love northern California wines. We always have a tendency of saying this, but one of our favorite winemakers is Ernie Weir, the owner of Napa Valley, California’s Hagafen Cellars.

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Perfect for Passover

April 2, 2015

Reviews of the Recanati Diamond Chardonnay 2013, the Abarbanel, Batch 30, Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 and Tio Pepe Fino Sherry.

The world has a love/hate relationship with Chardonnay. On the one hand, it is one of the most widely planted grapes, while on the other hand, it tends to elicit scorn and even contempt. Many consumers continue to ascribe to the ABC school of wine selection: “Anything But Chardonnay.” Thankfully there are still many winemakers and growers out there who treat Chardonnay with some respect, and allow this grape to really shine.

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Kosher Wine’s Hero

March 30, 2015

Reviews of the latest wines from Covenant Winery.

Though relatively late to the fight as a wine producer, one of the heroes of the kosher-wine battle against the entrenched anti-kosher wine bias is Jeff Morgan, owner and winemaker at the Covenant Winery in Berkeley, Calif. Morgan is not only crafting some of the world’s finest wines which just so happen to also be certified kosher, he is doing so essentially with his hands behind his back (as he’s not allowed to touch his non-mevushal wines during production).

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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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