A Night To Remember: Fine Food And Fabulous Wines

March 19, 2008

Chateau Calon-Segur

Great food and spectacular wines make for a wonderful charity dinner.

The format is simple: Invite some generous friends to a great restaurant that will include the corkage in the price of the meal. Send out the menu beforehand so everyone can select appropriate wines to bring. The guests not only pay for their meal, but also make a donation to a charity the organizer selects. The inevitable result is a nearly guilt-free evening of excellent food, wine and conversation – followed quickly by plans for the next one.

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Shuffling Around At California Wineries

February 20, 2008

Sbragia Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon

Lots of changes underway in California.

The winds of change are blowing through California’s vineyards. After more than 30 years at Beringer, winemaker Ed Sbragia has left the Napa winery to focus his efforts on his family’s project in Sonoma. The Sbragia Family Vineyards have been producing quality wines since 2004 and release 6,000 cases a year. Sbragia will get to work more closely with his son Adam, and their goal is to increase production to 10,000 cases annually.

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Fine Kosher Red Wines

September 13, 2007

Teperberg Family Estate

A review of some recently released kosher red wines.

Kosher wines can satisfy a discriminating wine drinker and accompany any dish from brisket to blintzes. They continue to gain the approval of wine critics and their growing sales indicate increasing consumer acceptance. Kosher wines are produced all over world, including California, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Israel. In France some of the most prestigious wine producers are making kosher wines. “If the French masters of the art of winemaking have accepted kosher wine into their ranks then Kosher wine has truly arrived,” declares Martin Davidson, spokesman for Royal Wine, a leading importer of kosher wines and owner of California’s Herzog winery. Davidson believes that, “the Jewish community has fortunately graduated up to complex and sophisticated wines…Consequently, a better-educated buyer can now refine their appreciation in viniculture, knowing there is enough fine wine out there to accommodate a demanding and discerning palate.”

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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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Wine And Cheese Perfect Together Forevermore

November 15, 2006

Lustau Sherry

Suggestions for pairing wine and cheese.

Wine and cheese have been enjoyed together for centuries. Served either side-by-side or, like the ancient Greeks, mixed together in goblets, it remains a classic combination. There are no fixed rules regarding the pairing of cheese and wine; however, being careful is necessary to avoid gastronomic conflict. With some combinations, the flavors of one can overwhelm the other. And other pairings dramatically change the flavors from enjoyable to offending. A few guidelines to consider are pairing soft cheeses with white wines and trying to match the flavor intensity of the cheese with the wine to avoid conflict.

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Kosher-For-Pesach Wines Get Better and Better

March 30, 2006

Castel C Chardonnay

Some wine recommendations for this year’s seder.

When shopping for Passover this year, be prepared for some surprises when you walk down the wine aisle. There are new names on the shelves including two very well-known non-Jewish properties that have made kosher-for-Passover wine. And some of the more familiar producers have released novel varietals.

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A Modest Proposal For Reaping Greater Rewards

January 18, 2006

Riedel

Some wine related New Year’s resolutions.

Nowhere does it say that New Year’s resolutions have to be limited to diet and exercise. For those who wish to enhance their wine experience and knowledge, here are some wine-related ones.

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Winemaking Beckons Successful Types To Try Their Hand

September 21, 2005

de Lorimier Lace

Winemaking as a second career.

Some say the way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large one. Subject to the vagaries of weather, insects and capricious consumer tastes, winemaking appears to be a guaranteed way to lose money. Despite these issues, many people who have become successful in other endeavors find the lure of making and selling their own wine irresistible.

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What’s For Dessert?: Sweet Wines Growing In Popularity

December 15, 2004

Chambers Rosewood Muscat

Dessert wines are an under-appreciated treasure.

Dessert wines may well be the next American wine craze. It seems only natural that a country that has donut shops and ice cream parlors on nearly every corner will learn eventually to appreciate the wonders of a well-made “stickie.” It is a mystery why dessert wines are not more popular. They are a great way to end a meal with more flavor and fewer carbohydrates than a slice of cheesecake. Good dessert wines have a noticeable sweetness balanced by other components, and the best examples have an amazing complexity of flavors. Most are served slightly chilled from half-bottles, or splits, which can serve up to 12 guests. If you are looking for a gift for a wine-lover, a bottle of dessert wine always will be appreciated.

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