Rosés For Summertime Sipping

June 8, 2015

Reviews of the Goose Bay Blanc de Pinot Noir 2013, the Domaine Lafond Roc Epine Tavel Rosé 2011 and Dupuy XO Cognac.

Rosé wines are a sure sign of spring, and are ideal for warming weather. Eye-catching and customarily moderately priced, Rosés offer charming, non-complicated flavors and balanced acidity that enliven the palate. Combining the refreshing qualities of a white wine with some of the fruit flavors customarily found in red wine, they are remarkably food friendly, typically pairing well with spring and summer foods.

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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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A Spanish Wine For Every Course

April 17, 2014

Reviews of Capcanes Flor del Flor de Primavera 2010 and some Kosher for Passover Spirits.

Until a few decades ago, Spanish wines were discounted as not worthy of attention to those outside of Spain. But things began to shift: an improving economy in the 1980s, an influx of innovative winemakers, and an expansive rejig of wine-production regulations.

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Neo-Prohibitionists: Hands Off Our Hooch

August 12, 2013

More governmental efforts to restrict access to our favorite spirits, wine and beer by blocking privatization.

We have written in the past about the byzantine-seeming regulatory patchwork of alcohol laws in this country. Every so often, folks seek to change this regulatory system in the name of freedom and consumer choice, and while progress of a sort has been made in this or that locale, there remains a very long way to go. Even though Prohibition ended with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 5, 1933, more than a dozen states today still maintain monopoly control over the sale and/or distribution of distilled spirits — and some still over beer and wine. Most states do not do so, and the idea that monopoly control of some aspect of booze is justifiably a core function of government is silly. Worse, however, is that they further limit product choice, increase costs and generally annoy us consumers.

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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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Gift Guide For Wine Connoisseurs Offers Good Words, Good Cheer

November 21, 2012

Iconic Spirits

Some recently published books that would be perfect gifts for the wine-lovers on your list.

A veritable feast of new publications are this year’s recommendations for holiday gifts for wine lovers, beginning with “Iconic Spirits — An Intoxicating History,” by Mark Spivak, the former host of NPR’s “Uncorked” and a prolific writer on food, wine and spirits.

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New Winemaking Areas Offer Innovative Products

April 12, 2012

Flam Classico

Reviews of the Flam Classico 2010, Casa Vieja Tequilas, Tio Pepe Fino Sherry and Dupuy XO Cognac.

One of the major advantages of being a relatively new winemaking region is the lack of rules and regulations that govern viticulture and vinification compared with the Old World wine-producing regions. In France, for example, most of the best winegrowing areas are beset by myriad governmental regulations which mandate specific grape varietals are grown in precisely delineated locations, and prohibit certain agricultural practices, and in some instances even prohibit blending different grapes. Not so for “New World” wine producers. Among “New World” producers, experimentation, creativity and risk are the bywords of their craft.

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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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Wine Lovers May Appreciate More Thoughtful Holiday Gifts

December 17, 2008

George Roullet Cognac

Some wine-related gift suggestions for this holiday season.

A grape-bunch patterned tie or a Santa shaped bottle stopper may not be the best choice for the wine lovers on this year’s gift list. Here are some alternatives.

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