Israel’s Developing Wine Culture

June 16, 2014

Reviews of Gamla Syrah 2010 and Balvenie 15 year old Single Barrel Sherry Cask.

A recent visit to Israel has reaffirmed our enthusiasm for the Holy Land’s developing wine culture. Besides the different wineries that seen to be cropping up nearly every week, there is a palpable sense that enjoying wine is becoming as fundamental to Israelis as their love of coffee.

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Oak And Wine — A Heavenly Match

January 6, 2014

A look at the role of oak in winemaking along with reviews of the Dalton Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 and several Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Why oak? At first glance it would seem unlikely that the wood from a tree and the fruit of the vine would have such a longstanding relationship. While both oak barrels and wine are ultimately made from plants, they are certainly cultivated, harvested, developed and utilized very differently. Yet without oak, the wide world of wine would be very, very different.

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Spluring On Fortified Wines

April 18, 2013

A review of the Zion Miharmartif Port-style kosher wine and several Port-finished Whiskies.

While we love a bargain wine, every so often it is fun to splurge, especially when the bottle remains drinkable for a long time after the cork has been pulled. This is the domain of the fortified wine, that middle ground between wine and spirit. Some fortified wines, such as Port and Madeira, can provide pleasure for weeks after opening while others retain their flavors only if kept refrigerated. These wines are typically costly to produce and available in limited quantities, hence the generally higher price tag.

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Tasting Some Incredible Scotch

April 19, 2012

Tun 1401

Review of the Galil Mountain Viognier 2009 and several Balvinie Single Malt Scotches.

The arrival of spring means it is time to kick back on the deck with a chilled glass of white wine. For many, chardonnay is their white wine of choice. But there are many other wine options for warm weather enjoyment. One of our favorites is viognier, a very aromatic varietal with prominent fruit flavors and floral aromas.

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A Giant of a Wine and a Kiddush-Table Favorite

July 20, 2011

Balvenie Caribbean Cask

A review of the Brobdingnagian Syrah 2009 and the Balvenie Peated Cask 17 year old and Caribbean Cask 14 year old Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Large estates in California, France, Italy, Spain, South America and Israel produce tens of thousands of cases of single varietal and blended wines. These vast operations are also great incubators for wine-making talent, providing ample opportunities to learn each aspect of the field. Many now-famous winemakers started their careers as cellar rats washing tanks and cleaning floors.

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No Whining Here: Gift Ideas To Please Wine-Lovers

December 2, 2009

Tesseron Cognac

Some holiday gift ideas for the wine-lovers on your list.

Holiday gift suggestions for wine-lovers can range from the functional to the extravagant. Glassware is always appreciated and the lightest stemware I have ever used is from the Ravenscroft Crystal “Invisibles Collection.” Nearly weightless, these hand-blown lead-free crystal glasses come in a variety of shapes to enhance the flavors found in specific varietals. The web site (www.ravenscroftcrystal.com) also contains other gift ideas such as wine accessories, decanters and glassware specific for spirits.

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