New World Winemakers Look To Old For Inspiration

June 1, 2015

Review of Dalton Alma GSM 2012 and Arette Artesanal Suave Blanco Tequila.

One of the principle distinctions between “Old World” European wines and those of the rest of the globe are the rules and regulations that govern wine-making. The “Old world” has many; the “New World” has few.

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A Wine For Those Lazy, Hazy Days Of Summer

July 31, 2014

A review of the Domaine Pascal Bouchard “Le Classique” Chablis 2009 and a look at Tequila.

There are few greater pleasures than sitting on a beach toward the end of a lazy summer evening with a great bottle of wine to share among friends. Crisp, refreshing white wines are ideal for such occasions, such as a lovely Chablis.

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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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Deep In Margaritaville

August 5, 2013

Solving the puzzle of pairing a wine with a summer soup with the Tishbi Gewurztraminer 2010 along with a look at the Margarita.

Among the many joys of summer is seasonal produce hitting the stalls of the numerous farmers’ markets scattered throughout the area. These fresh fruits and veggies typically inspire both professional chefs and adventurous home cooks to try novel recipes or pull out some old family favorites. Matching wines to these occasionally exotic combinations can be a difficult but not an entirely hopeless effort. It is a testimony to the versatility of wine that a pairing can nearly always be found. Among the trickier food-wine pairing challenges is a soup course. Rarely the central course of a meal, soup is often overlooked when selecting wines. Yet in summer, soups are often an opportunity, or even excuse, to showcase the freshness of the season. Some examples include a chunky, tangy gazpacho, a snazzy green pea soup or one made with corn and spicy peppers. Fruit-based soups are also popular in the summer, and equally complicated to pair with wine.

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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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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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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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Getting Into The Spirit (and Wine) Of Passover

April 13, 2011

Casa Vieja Tequila

A review of the Yarden Mount Hermon Red 2009 and the Casa Vieja Blanco and Anejo Tequilas.

With Passover just around the corner, your wine consumption will likely be higher than usual – four cups at each seder, and more still at Shabbat and yom tov meals over the next several days. Here, then, are some suggestions for Passover libations covering not only wine, but spirits as well – for when all that food and family requires something just a tad stronger to take the edge off.

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