Summer Wine Adventures

June 9, 2017

Some 2017 Summer Wine Suggestions

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South African Wine Poised For A Renaissance

March 9, 2015

Investors bring new techniques, rich flavors to South African wines

South Africa appears poised for wine greatness. This is somewhat surprising since the country’s winemaking industry languished during the 50 plus-years-long international boycott of the apartheid government. The wines made during those decades were uninspiring and meant to be shipped in large bulk containers rather than bottles. After the revocation of apartheid in 1994, South African winemakers had a lot of catching up to do.

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Summer Wines

July 9, 2014

Reviews of some enjoyable value-priced summer wines.

The US is now the world’s leader in wine consumption. The latest figures show that Americans enjoyed 329 million cases of wine in 2013, an 18% increase over 2005. This easily put the US past the traditional European frontrunners including Italy and France. The US also bettered China which recently was the fastest growing market for wine. There are likely numerous reasons for the steady growth of the US wine market. The growing availability of value-priced, flavorful wines, combined with imaginative marketing which has made wine appear less mysterious and elitist have certainly contributed to the growing wine culture in the US. While there are those who can easily shell out hundreds of dollars for a bottle, nearly 90% of the wine sold in the US costs less than $12. As long as wineries keep making good, inexpensive wines, the outlook for the continuing growth of the US market remains positive.

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Varietals Make South African Winemakers Shine Brightly

May 26, 2010

Rust en Vrede

A review of some South African wines courtesy of the “Drink Well, Do Good Tour.”

As host of this year’s soccer World Cup, South Africa is showcasing its first-rate vineyards and wineries. The South African wine industry traces its beginnings to its first harvest and crush in 1652. Not long after the British acquired the colony, production surged; the wines were popular in 19th century Great Britain. But a change in British trade regulations devastated South African wine imports and the industry remained essentially moribund until the end of apartheid. The subsequent lifting of trade embargos and ending of consumer boycotts renewed interest in South African wines, resulting in increased investment and modernization of facilities and techniques.

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Four Cups, Four Wines – Why Not?

April 10, 2008

Goose Bay Pinot Noir

Some suggestions for Passover wines.

The four cups of wine served at Pesach gives each guest the opportunity to expand their wine horizons. The significant increases in quality kosher wine producers around the globe and their willingness to try different varietals have enhanced the choices available for this year’s sedarim. This improvement is most readily apparent in Israel, which has been the recent recipient of some very favorable wine press. But it can also be seen in the kosher wines from locations as diverse as California, Spain, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand.

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A Little Fine Wine With Your Blintzes

May 17, 2007

Sha'al Late Harvest

Some wine recommendations for Shavuot.

The Talmud states that there is no happiness without wine. As the only drink with its own blessing — thanking the “Creator of the fruit of the vine” — wine is integral to Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. Even the cup to hold the wine is special, often ornately decorated and of a specific volume to ensure that enough is consumed to fulfill the mitzvot.

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Loire Valley White Wines Well Worth Investigating

August 17, 2005

Domaine Girard Sancerre

A look at some Loire Valley white wines.

Wine drinkers often end up in a rut. Claiming to like only a certain taste, they limit their purchases to a few select brands and rarely venture beyond their comfort zone. Problems develop when they serve the same wine with every meal; their favorite California Merlot will not work well with oysters. The world is full of terrific wines that vary in taste, aroma, texture and price. This great variety of flavors facilitates matching food and wine for those willing to try something new. Good values are equally plentiful, allowing a wine-drinker to be adventurous without being extravagant.

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Bright, Refreshing Summer Wines

June 16, 2005

Rodney Strong Chardonnay

Some summer wine recommendations.

Summer is the time to put away the heavy, winter wines and pick up wines appropriate for the warmer weather. Look for white wines that have bright flavors balanced with enough acid to make the wine crisp and refreshing so it pairs well with warm weather foods. Summer red wines should have great fruit flavors without a lot of complexity or power.

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