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

Tulip Winery: Good Wine and Good Works, As Well

March 28, 2013

A review of the Tulip Syrah Reserve 2010 and several recommendations for Passover libations.

All Jewish holidays, outside of fast days, entail big, festive meals. Passover is, in many respects, the ultimate example of this, despite having a more restricted diet. Not only must we eat matzah and maror at the seder meals, but we must eat matzah and refrain from all chametz (leavened grain products) throughout the holiday. Further, not only must each of us consume four cups of wine at each seder, which, depending on the number of guests, can make for a lot of bottles, but we are encouraged to keep the wine flowing as an expression of our freedom and joy. Besides, with our adult beverage options severely limited by type, with all grained-based spirits and beer unequivocally off limits, the importance of having enough wine on hand takes on yet another level of importance. So drink up (in moderation, of course).

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What To Drink With Your Brisket

March 21, 2013

A review of the Dalton Zinfandel 2010 and some suggestions for Passover libations.

Though the Passover seder has firmly established millennia old rules, rituals and traditions – the very word “seder” means “order” or “arrangement” – after all, the Jewish way is to conduct the night’s proceedings with highly personalized, family specific, customs and practices. This is especially true for the menu, which may run the gamut from cherished family recipes, to the latest cookbook concoctions, to professional catering, to potluck. Invariably one of the most traditional foods – at least among Ashkenazi Jews, is beef brisket. This, alone, seems subject to countless variations.

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Blame The French

March 17, 2013

A review of the Barkan “Reichan” Assemblage Galil 2010 and Tullamore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey.

One of the facets of wine culture that has contributed mightily to its more negative reputation for effete, snobby, high-brow insularity is the wine world’s propensity for invoking foreign words and phrases. If a culprit must be found, blame France. For, like it or not, the one nation most associated with wine is France. French wine continues to dominate the fine wine market and remains the benchmark for quality. Hence we have the French words, phrases, concepts and poses endemic to wine including such terms as bouquet, brut, cuvee and domaine. Another is “assemblage,” or the “art of blending.” It is also the name of a line of high-end blended wines from Israel’s Barkan Winery.

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Meshugas From Maker’s

March 6, 2013

Review of the Yikvei Zion Armon Reserve 2007 and a look at the flip-flop over Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky.

Israel’s first “modern” winery was established over 150 years ago. Originally located in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Kotel, the Zion Winery – now in Mishor Adumim, the industrial estate near Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem – has grown to become one of the country’s largest wine producers.

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