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

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild

November 20, 2014

This past August saw the passing of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild.

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Wine Bath

November 17, 2014

Reviews of Neve Midbar 2011 and several Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Professional basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire, who proudly proclaims an ill-defined Jewish heritage of some sort—“I am a Hebrew through my mother” is how he put it in 2010, though his agent was quick to note “but he is not [Jewish]. He thinks there may be some Jewish blood on his mother’s side and he is researching it”—has added something called “vinotherapy” to his post-workout recovery program. Sounds like code for simply getting buzzed on wine, right? Well, not in this instance.

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Green Wine

November 3, 2014

Reviews of the Aveleda Grinalda 2012 and two Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

It is not yet, thankfully, too cold for us to be able to enjoy a warm weather wine from Portugal: Vinho Verde (pronounced “veen-yo vehrd”). The name translates to “green wines.” Vinho Verde is not a grape varietal. The “green” is meant as “young” as in they should be consumed young in order to best appreciate their vibrant fruit flavors.

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What Wines Did King David Drink?

October 28, 2014

Reviews of Shiloh Legend II 2010 and several Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Although the biblical texts are replete with references to wine, the exact varietals employed to create these libations remain a mystery. From the seventh century Islamic conquest of the region until the rebirth of the modern Israeli wine industry in the late 1800s, wine production in Israel was essentially dormant. Consequently, the indigenous wine grape varietals were largely lost. Currently, the grape varietals being widely grown in Israel are mostly European imports, including such familiar names as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Syrah.

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A Little Bit Of The Bubbly

October 20, 2014

A look at the complexity of US whiskey regulations along with reviews of Deccolio Prosecco and Old Grand-Dad 100 Proof Bonded Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The holidays are a great reason to pour some special wines with friends and family. And while we seldom need an excuse to enjoy some sparkling wine, and have frequently complained such wines are too often saved for “special occasions,” at this time of year, a bit of bubbly does seem appropriate.

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Elephant Walls And French Whisky

October 8, 2014

Review of Or Haganuz, Amuka Series, Idra Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Brenne Estate Single Cask, Single Malt French Whisky.

One of the first things we are traditionally “required” to do after breaking our Yom Kippur fast is to begin building our sukkah. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the rabbinic discussions about the details on how we are supposed to fulfill the commandment to “dwell in booths” are long, complicated and occasionally bizarre to modern sensibilities. An example of the seemingly odd is the Talmudic discussion that relates a dispute concerning whether it is permissible to use a live elephant as one of the sukkah’s walls.

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Fast Breaking

October 2, 2014

Reviews of the Golan Heights Winery’s Gilgal Brut and Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Breaking the Yom Kippur fast is a nominally festive occasion customarily celebrated with family and friends. And while the meal occurs at the end of a long day, the foods are usually some variation of a milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral) breakfast or brunch. While there are often loads of desserts and other sweets, such as honey or jams—serving as both reminder and ardent wish of life’s sweetness and the promise of the New Year—at least one (and often many) of the dishes will contain eggs, recalling the cycle of life.

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A Sweet New Year

September 29, 2014

Review of Miharmartif “Antique Red Sweet Wine” and several Boulard Calvados.

During Rosh Hashanah we traditionally pray and wish for a “good and sweet new year.” Keeping with this theme, we thought we’d recommend a sweeter, dessert-style wine at the conclusion of the meal. Spirits-wise, for an elegant and enjoyable change of pace, we thought we’d stick with the apples and honey sentiment and once again reconsider a fine premium calvados.

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New Year – New Winery

September 24, 2014

Reviews of the Montefiore White 2012 and Drambuie Scotch Whisky Liqueur.

Winemaking is an expensive, time consuming and frequently frustrating enterprise. We feel that new high-risk ventures that are able to create enjoyable wines deserve our support. An example is Kerem Montefiore, is a small boutique wine producer, established in 2010 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Mishkenot Sha’ananim by Sir Moses Montefiore, the Italian born Jewish-English philanthropist

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