Wine Your Cellar Will Love

April 11, 2014

Passover wine suggestions.

With Passover just around the corner, we thought we’d highlight a couple of wines to enjoy over the festivities. One of the newest and hottest-selling Israeli kosher wines to hit the U.S. market is the 2012 Pasco Project #1 ($25) made by the critically acclaimed winemaker, and our friend, Lewis Pasco.

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The Yin And Yang Of Wine Bottles

January 27, 2014

The advantages of a half-bottle of wine along with reviews of the Terra Vega Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 944 2012 and Tullamore Dew “Phoenix” Limited Edition Irish Whiskey.

There are various ways for wine producers to distinguish their wines for consumers. Interesting and unusual varietals and blends can attract attention. Likewise, an attractive or unusual label or marketing campaign can make it stand out. Another great option is to change the size of the bottle

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A ‘Signature’ Wine From Upper Galilee

December 30, 2013

Review of the Ramot Naftaly Duet 2010 and several of the Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Most established wineries produce a “signature” bottling. Usually a product of their finest grapes, these flagship wines are meant to reflect both the winemaker’s skill and the winery’s specific terroir. These signature wines, often with limited-production runs, tend to be a winery’s most expensive. Indeed, beyond striving for excellence, these signature wines are useful marketing tools; especially if widely and critically acclaimed, as positive buzz tends to shine a light on the rest of the winery’s portfolio.

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The Growing Population Of Sweet Reds

December 2, 2013

A review of Ben Ami Zmora Semi-Sweet Cabernet Sauvignon and the “Whisky of the Year,” the Glenmorangie Ealanta, 19 Year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

One of the fastest growing segments of the wine industry is sweet red wines. This isn’t much of a surprise since most folks grow up and continue to go through life with high-fructose corn syrup or refined sugars in nearly every processed food product we eat. Some of the more tasty if nutrition-less garbage, like donuts, cupcakes, soda, ice cream and the like, are obviously sugar-packed, but so many other processed foods have such sweeteners too — from pasta sauce to Cheerios, and from energy drinks to yogurt. So winemakers are now recognizing that many consumers are looking for wines that fit that same sweet-flavor profile.

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Wine For “Thanksgivukah”

October 31, 2013

Reviews of the Dovev Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and the latest release of Kilchoman Scotch Whisky.

This year, due to the distinct dynamics of the secular and Jewish calendars, Chanukah is the day before Thanksgiving (the first night of Chanukah is erev Thanksgiving, which means that the first day of Chanukah is also Thanksgiving day; so those who celebrate both will be lighting the second night and then fressing at their Thanksgiving feast).“Thanksgivukah?” “Turkukah”? Whatever. This overlap of American Jewish life has given us turkey-shaped menorahs and mash-up songs that combine lyrics that embody both holidays. It also means that, for many, there is likely to be a similar convergence of menus for the American national holiday meal with latkes appearing side-by-side with turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. It can be a challenge to find an appropriate wine to match. Over the next several weeks, we will look at various ways to include wine in this year’s celebrations.

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Labors Of Love

September 30, 2013

Reviews of the B.R. Cohn Trestle Glen Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, the Agua Dulce Winery Syrah 2010, and the Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey.

Beyond all the many good-to-excellent kosher wineries out there slaking the growing thirst of the kosher consumer, we always enjoy it when some well-established and prestigious nonkosher winery gets in on the act and produces a limited batch of kosher wines. These days, as often as not, these limited run wines are pet projects of the winery — more a labor of love by the producer, than a contract-fulfillment for someone wanting to market the next “hot” kosher Bordeaux or whatever.

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Martinis — And Earl Grey MarTEAnis

July 29, 2013

Suggestions on how to store wine along with a review of the Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and a look at the Martini.

Last week we encouraged purchasing wines not meant for immediate consumption, but with a caveat: You need to be able to store your wines in a fashion that will preserve their flavors and allow them to reach their potential. Seeking out and then buying a great bottle of wine is a waste of time and money if it ends up sitting on a rack nestled in the space between the top of the refrigerator and a kitchen cabinet. After all, heat rises — and kitchens get very hot indeed. Even less expensive wines can be ruined if improperly stored.

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It All Depends Upon The Grapes – And The Winemaker’s Skill

May 7, 2013

Review of the Soreka Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and two single cask Kilchoman Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

One question we are periodically asked is, “How do they get all those flavors into the wine?” The thought presumably being that the winemaker is somehow like a chef, creating finished dishes from a variety of ingredients besides just the primary one – that somehow winemakers add additional elements into their fermentation vats, perhaps throwing in some black cherries and pepper into the Syrah, or mixing some gooseberries into their Sauvignon Blanc. Wine critics shoulder a fair amount of blame for this, since many of the “official” wine descriptors regularly invoked suggest a veritable pantry of ingredients. But the truth is that there are very few additives permitted in wine. What we taste is nearly entirely dependent upon the grape itself and the skill of the winemaker.

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Israel’s Upper Galilee: A Fine Winegrowing Region

February 6, 2013

A review of the Adir Kerem Ben Zimra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 4.153, 11-year-old Highland Park.

The Upper Galilee’s lush landscape, meandering streams and magnificent mountain views make it one of Israel’s most attractive winegrowing regions. Noted Israeli wine maven Adam Montefiore has rightly called it, “the Israeli Tuscany or Provence.” This combination of natural beauty and quality wine has made the Upper Galilee a premier wine tourism destination.
The visitors’ center at the award-wining Adir Winery is an ideal location for enjoying the region’s vistas and excellent wines. The winery was established 10 years ago by the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families, but its first vines were planted decades earlier. The Rosenberg family immigrated to Israel from Poland in the late 1940s, while the Ashkenazi family immigrated to Israel in the early 1950s from Turkey. Moving to the Upper Galilee, they helped settle Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra (founded in 1949). The Rosenbergs began planting grapes on the slopes of the Galilee hills in the late 1980s; meanwhile the Ashkenazi family raised goats in the area and began producing cheese and milk. They combined their efforts in 2003 and founded the Adir Winery and Dairy. The complex houses both winery and dairy, combined at the glitzy visitors’ center.

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