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

Kosher Wine With Biblical Roots

May 22, 2014

A review of the Abarbanel Cabernet-Merlot Blend, Batch 58, 2011 and a revisit to Jim Beam whiskies.

The Abarbanel Wine Company traces its family roots from the biblical King David to Don Isaac Abarbanel, the leader of Spanish Jewry at the time of the 1492 expulsion. Born in Lisbon, Don Isaac was a scholar, philosopher and prodigious author who also served as treasurer for Portuguese King Alfonso V, and subsequently for the Spanish royal family. He lent large sums to the Spanish throne during their battles with the Moors, and their reluctance to repay him likely contributed to their decision to expel the Jews at the war’s end.

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The Beauty Of Going Out On A Wine-Varietal Limb

May 13, 2014

A review of the Borgo Reale Maturo 2010 and The English Whisky Company, St. George’s Peated Single Malt Whisky.

There are a great many different wine grape varietals being actively cultivated and made into wine around the globe, yet only a handful are widely recognized by most consumers. The unfortunate tendency amongst most wine consumers is to avoid the unknown and stick to familiar varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot and, for kosher consumers, the always popular Moscato. Sure, some have ventured into Malbec, Shiraz, Petite Sirah, or maybe even the occasional Riesling. Most, however, seem to prefer the comfort of convention and conformity, rarely trying anything different. While perfectly understandable, and there are certainly times when sticking with what you like is the way to go, we urge folks to at least periodically expand their choices and reach beyond their comfort zones.

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Clearly, A Claret

May 8, 2014

A review of Chateau Rollan de By 2010 and Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.

Thanks to the British, the world of fine wine is firmly anchored to the love of claret. A derivative of the Latin term for “clear,” the word “claret” used to refer to the pale, rosé-like color of the wines of Bordeaux back in the 14th and 15th centuries. Even though the wines of Bordeaux began to be made typically darker and deeper in color and body over the centuries, the British wine trade, and their hoighty-toighty clientele, adopted the term “claret” in the 1700s to refer to the dark red wines of Bordeaux. Today the term “claret” remains a generic reference to the wines of Bordeaux (and also wines styled after Bordeaux). It is even a legally protected trade name within the European Union, describing a red Bordeaux wine.

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One Man’s Wine Both Kosher And Organic

May 5, 2014

Reviews of the Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky.

Early spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. It brings forth crocus, forsythia, daffodils and… loads of tedious yard work, like cleaning up debris from the winter weather, replacing mulch and planning for future plantings. Vineyard owners have also been busily preparing for the upcoming growing season. Beginning in late winter, when the vines lie dormant, the dead brush is removed and the vines are pruned back by hand, a backbreaking and labor intensive chore. Trellis wires are repaired and in some vineyards the earth between the vines is plowed to control weeds and aerate the soil. Other growers prefer to maintain a cover crop between the vines to inhibit weed growth.

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