Brother’s Wonderful Wines Are Product Of On-The-Job Training

May 26, 2015

Review of the Shirah Luna Matta Vineyard Aglianico 2013 and a look at the Mint Julep.

“Opportunity is missed by most people,” Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” For Gabriel and Shimon Weiss, the founders of the Shirah Wine Company, it appeared in the form of surplus grapes from California’s 2005 bumper crop. That year the harvest was so large that many vineyards couldn’t sell all their grapes, so some were simply left on the vine.

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Crowdfunding Winery

December 29, 2014

Reviews of the Jezreel Red Blend 2012 and two Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskies.

For better or worse the Internet has expanded public participation into nearly every aspect of society. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other outlets allow anyone with access to some type of keyboard to comment, review and critique pretty much anything they see, hear or taste. The implications are as broad as the imagination when everyone can voice their opinion far and wide, influencing others to vote with their wallets.

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Fungus Among Us Produces A Distinctive Dessert Wine

March 17, 2014

Reviews of the Château Guiraud Sauternes 2001 and 2 whiskies from Maker’s Mark.

It has been said that the first person to eat a tomato was the bravest person in culinary history. We’ve heard similar comments about the first person to milk a cow and the first to consume raw fish. While we will never know the veracity of such claims, in the world of wine there is a similar “first” hero myth: the first winemaker to use grapes infected by fungus to make wine. We don’t really know when this started either, though the first clear mention of wine made from fungus infected grapes is from around 1576.

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Shifting From Red To White

January 21, 2014

A look at the growing emphasis on white wines in Israel including a review of the Flam Blanc 2012 along with a look at the purchase of Beam, Inc. by Suntory.

It has been interesting to observe the subtle but steady shift in emphasis from red to white wine occurring in Israeli winemaking. The country certainly produces a number of flavorful, enjoyable, compelling and occasionally even truly outstanding red wines. But now there seems to be a growing appreciation of the potential inherent in white grapes when grown in the Mediterranean climate. In this regard, there are some remarkable similarities to Greek winemaking.

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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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Modest Beginnings

July 4, 2012

Gush Etzion Winery

Reviews of the Gush Etzion Cabernet Franc 2007 kosher wine and 2 expressions of Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey.

Inspiration comes in many forms, but for the Gush Etzion Winery, an Israeli boutique winery, it came in the improbable form of a blackberry bush. When Shraga and Tamar Rosenberg relocated from Jerusalem to Efrat in 1986, their new neighbors informed them that the blackberry bush in their yard produced fruit that made good blackberry wine. Shraga, a former retirement home manager, decided to tinker, fermenting crushed blackberries in his basement, and moved on from blackberries to grapes.

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Summer Indulgences

May 10, 2012

Makers Mark Bourbon

A review of the Domaine du Castel Rosé 2011 and a look at the Mint Julep.

There are few better summer indulgences than a glass of chilled rosé. Not the horrific, semi-sweet “white” blush wines from California that remains surprisingly popular. The rosés worth drinking are “dry,” without significant residual sugar, and display bright fruit flavors balanced with crisp acidity. They are usually created by either allowing the pressed juice to have only minimal contact with the skins or by a method known as “saignee” (bleeding), which removes lightly colored juice from vats to concentrate the remaining future wine. Nearly every red grape has been made into a rosé. Regardless of the methodology, the goal is to create a wine that maintains elements of the varietal’s character in a lighter more refreshing fashion.

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A Kosher Taste Tour – From Western Australia to Kentucky

July 6, 2011

Maker's Mark 46

A review of the Beckett’s Flat Five Stones Sauvignon Blanc Semillion 2009 and the Maker’s Mark # 46.

The Beckett’s Flat Five Stones Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 ($15) is another one of those exceptional varietal marriages that the Australians do so well. A classic white Bordeaux blend, it has also found a home in the Western Australian Margaret River region where this combination of grapes produces a wine with outstanding flavors and character. This Aussie mevushal (boiled) kosher wine is richly aromatic with scents of apples, freshly cut grass and tropical fruit along with lively green apple, gooseberry and pineapple flavors with hints of herbs and lime. The finish is bright and mouth-filling, making it a great summer wine to enjoy with seafood or Asian flavored fare.

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The Booze Timeline: From Second Temple to Mint Julep

May 4, 2011

Ella Valley EverRed

A review of the Ella Valley EverRed 2007 and the Mint Julep.

There are few wineries with a longer pedigree than the Ella Valley Vineyards. When Danny Valero, the winery’s general manager, began preparing the area for modern grape cultivation, a site of ancient winemaking dating from the Second Temple period was discovered. According to the biblical account, the Ella Valley is also where David fought Goliath. For Valero, however, the location was not just about history or the Bible.

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