A New Life

June 25, 2015

Review of the Hagafen Brut Cuvée 2012 and Gordon & MacPhail (“Rare Vintage” range) Glen Grant 1958.

We recently had some reasons to rejoice and make merry. As our readers would expect, there were more than a few bottles opened with family and friends. The occasion? One of us had an addition to the family!

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Marketing

June 22, 2015

Review of Domaine du Castel’s Rosé du Castel 2013 and Knob Creek Small Batch 9 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

One significant limiting factor in the development of the Israeli wine indusry is the lack of coordination and marketing cooperation amongst producers. Israel ought to develop a wine consortium that could marshal resources on behalf of the industry to actively promote Israeli wine as a brand around the world.

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A Toast To The Legendary Winemaker, Joseph Phelps

May 18, 2015

Reviews of the Covenant Napa Valley Solomon Lot 70 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and Russell’s Reserve Small Batch 10-Year-Old Bourbon.

The domestic wine world lost one of its leading lights last month when celebrated California winemaker Joseph Phelps passed away at age 87. For over 40 years Phelps remained at the forefront of Napa winemaking with his Bordeaux and Rhone styled blends, and his single varietal bottlings. Along with other legends, including Robert Mondavi and Chuck Wagner, Phelps helped established Napa as a world renowned wine producing region.

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A Particularly Pleasing Wine

March 23, 2015

Reviews of the Pacifica Evan’s Collection Washington Meritage 2010 and Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey.

The Kosher Food and Wine Experience is a fabulous opportunity to sample the latest wine and spirit releases in Royal’s sizable portfolio, to meet with winemakers or winery/brand representatives and, of course, eat some of the outstanding kosher food available in the Big Apple.

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Survey: 40 % Of American Adults Enjoy Drinking Wine

March 11, 2015

Review of the Black Tulip 2011 and The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It turns out that 40 percent of American adults enjoy drinking wine, with a third of those drinking a glass or two several times a week. The breakdown showed that 19 percent of those surveyed only drink wine, 19 percent drink wine and liquor but no beer, 20 percent drink wine and beer but no liquor, and the remaining 42 percent drink all three.

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A Blend Of Regions

March 2, 2015

Reviews of the Herzog Variations Four Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and 2 Cragganmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

It is often said that wine makes itself, and that all that is really needed are grapes and the right conditions. This is largely true. Left alone, grapes will indeed start to decompose, the skins will break and natural yeast will work its magic on the juice – all things being equal. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote (typically misquoted and mangled into an adage about beer): “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

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Wine and Memories

February 11, 2015

Review of Four Gates Pinot Noir 2009 and Westland American Single Malt Whiskey.

One of the lovely things about wine is the way drinking of a particularly pleasant one can stir an involuntary memory and evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. Likewise, wine can sometimes cue a subconscious mental filtering and sifting of long ago accumulated trivial data, bringing the mental detritus to one’s immediate attention. For one of us, for example, a recently tasted wine called to mind the great film director Alfred Hitchcock (we are both ardent fans).

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Presidental Preferences

February 9, 2015

Review of Shirah Wines White Hawk Syrah 2012 and Oban 14 year old Single Malt Scotch.

Most of our Presidents have been “healthy” drinkers, and many have had a fondness for fine wine—with the exception of a few lightweights and teetotalers.

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From Adversity, Wine

February 2, 2015

Reviews of the Yatir Viognier 2010 and Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

Many of the world’s finest wines, counter intuitive though it might seem, are actually created from grapes that grow in surprisingly meager conditions. Conditions that would cause other crops to suffer—like nutrient-poor soil, sparse water and daily temperature fluctuations—can stimulate the vines to concentrate whatever the land and microclimate has to offer on making the grapes more flavorful for wine. Proper viticultural practices, like careful pruning, trellising, keeping away pests, and the like, are obviously crucial components, but nature’s bounty remains the most fundamentally important element. So, all things being equal, winemakers tend to prefer vineyards in locations that will greatly, though beneficially, stress the vines.

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