Its Tomato Time

August 17, 2015

Review of Dalton Pinot Gris 2014 and a look at the “Bloody Mary.”

Its tomato season and we couldn’t be happier. Whether sliced into Caprese salad, pureed into a summer pasta dish, grilled when green or simply salted and popped into the mouth, tomatoes are one of the best features of summer. The ideal wine to pair with tomatoes is a balancing act that complements the flavors and yet is able to stand up next to their inherent acidity.

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Truffles

July 13, 2015

Review of Elvi Herenza Rioja Reserva 2009 and a look at the Martini.

One of us has lately had a hankering for truffles. Known as the “diamonds of the kitchen,” truffles are among a chef’s most prized ingredients. The fruiting body of a type of fungus that grows underground in very specific conditions, truffles impart an intensely pungent flavor to food that is most often described as slightly garlicky, musky and earthy. They are extremely expensive costing several hundreds of dollars per ounce. In 2010, a 2½ pound white truffle sold for $417,200.

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Earthquake in Napa

November 24, 2014

Reviews of Covenant “RED C” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2011 and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

On August 24 an earthquake struck one of California’s most popular winemaking regions injuring over 200 people, and causing at least $100 million in damages. The strongest quake in the area for 25 years and centered just south of the city of Napa, the 6.0 quake even damaged buildings that were specifically retrofitted to resist tremors, and of course led to fires. It is estimated that 60 percent of Napa’s wineries were affected in some fashion by the quake with 25 percent sustaining moderate to severe damage.

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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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How To Cool Off A Fried Brain

August 1, 2013

A review of the Tishbi Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and a look at the “Gimlet” cocktail.

Sauvignon blanc is one of our favorite warm weather wines. It is produced around the winemaking world in a number of different styles ranging from dry to very sweet dessert wines. The bright flavors and balanced acidity typical of well-made dry, nonsweet versions of sauvignon blancs pair well with lighter summer fare, including cheeses, salads and even sushi; It makes for delightful backyard deck or picnic sipping. The varietal is thought to have originated in France’s Bordeaux region, and it is widely supposed that it gets its name from the word “sauvage” (wild) and blanc (white) from its early life as an indigenous varietal in the southwest of France. More recently, the grape has flourished and gained a great deal of popularity in New Zealand. Sauvignon blanc’s profile ranges from grassy and herbaceous when grown in warmer climates to gooseberry, melon, citrus and tropical fruits when the vines are in cooler locations.

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What To Drink With Your Brisket

March 21, 2013

A review of the Dalton Zinfandel 2010 and some suggestions for Passover libations.

Though the Passover seder has firmly established millennia old rules, rituals and traditions – the very word “seder” means “order” or “arrangement” – after all, the Jewish way is to conduct the night’s proceedings with highly personalized, family specific, customs and practices. This is especially true for the menu, which may run the gamut from cherished family recipes, to the latest cookbook concoctions, to professional catering, to potluck. Invariably one of the most traditional foods – at least among Ashkenazi Jews, is beef brisket. This, alone, seems subject to countless variations.

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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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Winery With Ancient Roots

April 5, 2012

Distillery No 209 Kosher for Passover Gin

A review of the Distillery No. 209 Kosher for Passover Gin and Vodka along with a look at the Shiloh Winery.

Before the Temple was built, before Jerusalem became the center of Jewish national and religious life, Shiloh was Israel’s capital. It was the place where the “whole congregation of Israel assembled” to set up the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Today, Shiloh is also the name of one of Israel’s most well-regarded boutique wineries. The winery is situated in the modern – and Modern Orthodox-community of Shiloh, which is just a few dozen meters from Tel Shiloh, the archaeological site that is widely thought to be all that remains of the pre-Davidic capital of the Jewish nation where the Talmud tells us the Mishkan stood for 369 years. Established in 2005, the winery’s roots actually go back thousands of years as evidenced by the ancient winepresses found in the nearby Samarian (Shomron) hills.

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