A Glass To Your Health

September 16, 2015

Review of Barkan Shiraz Superieur 2006 and Caol Ila, Aged 12 Years, Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Much has been written about the purported health benefits of wine. According to various medical studies, moderate consumption (i.e., one to two 4oz glasses of wine per day) has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, increase lifespan, make hearts attack less likely, strengthen bones, cut the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and reduce the risks of stroke, cataracts, depression and some cancers.

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Fraud In The Wine Business

August 25, 2014

The finale of a high-profile wine-fraud along with a review of the Barkan Assemblage Tzafit 2010 and a look at Irish Whiskies including a review of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey.

A few weeks ago, wine fraudster Rudy Kurnaiwan was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $20 million, according to The New York Times. The court also required him to pay more than $24 million in restitution to the victims of his elaborate wine forgery scheme. Once his prison sentence has been completed, Kurnaiwan will also be deported to his native Indonesia. All things considered, this seems a fair verdict to us.

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The Desirable Taste Of The Varietal

February 17, 2014

A review of the Barkan Assemblage Tzafit 2010 and The Glenlivet 15 year old, French Oak Reserve, Single-Malt Scotch Whisky.

One of the more difficult aspects of winemaking is creating a blend. It requires the ability to predict how a very young wine will evolve, and then also the ability to choose which additional varietals to add to enhance the finished product. Since the final result may not be ready to drink for years, a finely crafted and enjoyable blended wine is a true testimony to the winemaker’s skill and experience.

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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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Blame The French

March 17, 2013

A review of the Barkan “Reichan” Assemblage Galil 2010 and Tullamore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey.

One of the facets of wine culture that has contributed mightily to its more negative reputation for effete, snobby, high-brow insularity is the wine world’s propensity for invoking foreign words and phrases. If a culprit must be found, blame France. For, like it or not, the one nation most associated with wine is France. French wine continues to dominate the fine wine market and remains the benchmark for quality. Hence we have the French words, phrases, concepts and poses endemic to wine including such terms as bouquet, brut, cuvee and domaine. Another is “assemblage,” or the “art of blending.” It is also the name of a line of high-end blended wines from Israel’s Barkan Winery.

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A Chief Winemaker’s Ordeal

August 17, 2012

Barkan Sauvingnon Blanc

A review of the Barkan Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and White Horse Blended Scotch Whisky.

A winery’s goal is to create appealing wines on a consistent basis. They begin by establishing a benchmark and then take appropriate steps to assure that each vintage meets consumers’ expectations in terms of quality, flavor and price. There will be some variations from vintage to vintage depending upon the growing conditions, but the basic character of the wines should not vary. Improvements are welcome but backsliding will result in warehouses of unsold wine.

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Location, Location, Location

February 9, 2012

Barkan Altitude

A review of the Barkan Altitude +624 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Isle of Arran 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

While there are many factors that can be manipulated to affect the quality of a wine, there is one fundamental aspect that cannot be changed: the place where the grapes are grown. The monks in France’s Burgundy region spent hundreds of years painstakingly characterizing and classifying the precise aspects of specific hillside plots in the Cote D’Or and the result is some of the world’s most profound wines. Matching the correct varietal to the local climate and geography is likely the most critical decision that will assure a winery’s success. It is exactly as the old the real estate adage goes: location, location, location.

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Choose Young Wines For Feasting

November 20, 2008

Helfrich Reisling

Wine suggestions for Thanksgiving.

Think young when choosing a wine for the Thanksgiving feast. The meal’s complex variety of aromas, flavors and textures are best complimented by a fruity, youthful wine with refreshing acidity. Resist the temptation to serve an aged treasure to family and friends since the typical fare can easily overwhelm their subtle flavors and make more tannic wines such as Cabernet taste unpleasantly astringent. The half-hour rule applies; remove the white wines from the refrigerator and refrigerate the red ones 30 minutes before serving to bring out their best characteristics.

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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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