Top 10 Kosher Wines Over $30

October 13, 2015

Our annual list of the Top 10 kosher wines from the previous year costing $30 or more/bottle along with a review of the Laphroaig 18 year old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

At this time of year, around the Yamim Noraim (the Days of Awe), we are supposed to reflect on the past year and where we should be going in life. It is a perfect time to look back and select our top wines from the previous year. This week we will focus on wines costing $30 or more that are worthy to collect and cellar or, better yet, to share with family and special friends. Next week we will look at the top 10 value-priced wines we especially enjoyed this past year.

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Wine Clubs

September 18, 2015

Review of Herzog Limited Edition Lodi Zinfandel 2003, WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey and Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch Whisky.

For those who enjoy wine on a regular basis, belonging to a wine club is an excellent way to keep an adequate supply on hand.

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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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Kosher Wine’s Hero

March 30, 2015

Reviews of the latest wines from Covenant Winery.

Though relatively late to the fight as a wine producer, one of the heroes of the kosher-wine battle against the entrenched anti-kosher wine bias is Jeff Morgan, owner and winemaker at the Covenant Winery in Berkeley, Calif. Morgan is not only crafting some of the world’s finest wines which just so happen to also be certified kosher, he is doing so essentially with his hands behind his back (as he’s not allowed to touch his non-mevushal wines during production).

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Earthquake in Napa

November 24, 2014

Reviews of Covenant “RED C” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2011 and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

On August 24 an earthquake struck one of California’s most popular winemaking regions injuring over 200 people, and causing at least $100 million in damages. The strongest quake in the area for 25 years and centered just south of the city of Napa, the 6.0 quake even damaged buildings that were specifically retrofitted to resist tremors, and of course led to fires. It is estimated that 60 percent of Napa’s wineries were affected in some fashion by the quake with 25 percent sustaining moderate to severe damage.

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‘Cooking’ The Wine

June 9, 2014

Reviews of Covenant’s “The Tribe” Chardonnay 2013 and Cragganmore 12- year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

There has been a steady increase in the number of kosher wines released on the U.S. market that are being made mevushal or “cooked.” These are wines that have been thermally processed in accordance with religious strictures so as to, basically, inoculate the wine from being rendered not-kosher by the handling of non-Jew or a non-Sabbath observant Jew.

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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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The “New Wine” For Jews

November 25, 2012

Covenant Solomon Lot 70

Reviews of the Covenant Solomon Lot 70 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and several SMWS single cask Scotch whiskies.

While wine has a pivotal role in Jewish life, whisky and other spirits, especially single malt Scotch whisky, have become quite the rage in shuls all across the country. Rare is the kiddush these days that does not offer at least a cheap single malt. (There are, of course, synagogues that are completely dry – but such institutions are wholly foreign to us – we mean, come on, “dry”? Really, why bother?) Reflecting this trend is the newly formed “Jewish Whisky Company,” an independent bottler that offers single cask whiskies under its “Single Cask Nation” label (www.singlecasknation.com; the first of these whiskies will soon be released, and likely reviewed here).

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Kosher or Not Kosher? Well, Yes, No And Maybe

May 25, 2011

Covenant Lavan

A review of the Covenant Lavan 2008 and the .

The Covenant Lavan 2008 ($38) has many of the same characteristics as other California chardonnays, but they are presented with a degree of restraint more often associated with white Burgundies. From grapes grown at the legendary Bacigalupi vineyard, in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, the Lavan (which means “white” in Hebrew) is a full-bodied, silky-smooth, elegant effort with lovely peach, pear and toasty aromas that meld into layers of melon, lemon, fig and honeysuckle. The well-balanced, lengthy finish displays hints of minerals, nuts and a bit of licorice. It is easily one of the world’s best kosher chardonnays, and so an excellent choice for year-round enjoyment, as well as a warm-weather kiddush.

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