What To Drink With Your Brisket

March 21, 2013

A review of the Dalton Zinfandel 2010 and some suggestions for Passover libations.

Though the Passover seder has firmly established millennia old rules, rituals and traditions – the very word “seder” means “order” or “arrangement” – after all, the Jewish way is to conduct the night’s proceedings with highly personalized, family specific, customs and practices. This is especially true for the menu, which may run the gamut from cherished family recipes, to the latest cookbook concoctions, to professional catering, to potluck. Invariably one of the most traditional foods – at least among Ashkenazi Jews, is beef brisket. This, alone, seems subject to countless variations.

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Hot Tips On Mevushal Wine

November 8, 2012

What is “Mevushal” anyway? Also a review of Dalton Safsufa Merlot 2009 and Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky.

One of the most confusing aspects of kosher wine is the concept of yayin mevushal or “cooked” wine. The following discussion might seem academic, but we are continuously asked about this, so we thought a brief treatment is warranted. For a wine to be made kosher (according to Orthodox standards, and presuming here that all the ingredients, as well as the vineyard practices, already conform to Jewish legal requirements), it must be produced exclusively by Sabbath observant Jews.

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From Strength To Strength

March 1, 2012

A review of the Dalton Alma 2009 and two High West Distillery Whiskies.

“May you go from strength to strength” is one of the more common blessings. In the wine and spirits world, “strength” commonly refers to the sometimes controversial subject of alcohol content. In wine, too much alcohol can interfere with how well a wine pairs with food; in spirits, too much dilution interferes with one’s evaluation of that spirits’ character and flavor. Of course, “strength” can also refer to one’s appreciation for the artistry, bravery and longevity of a winery, distillery or brewery.

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Bread’s Back, And So Is Scotch

March 28, 2011

Ardbeg 10 Dalton Canaan

A review of the Dalton Canaan Red 2009 and the Ardbeg 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

As Passover recedes slowly into the distance – along with the lingering cardboard taste of matzah – it’s time to kick back and relax. The guests are gone and the bread has returned. A calming libation is in order. Here are two suggestions:

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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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Israel’s Dalton Produces World-Class Wines

May 21, 2008

Dalton Winery

A visit and tasting at Israel’s Dalton Winery.

Londoner Alex Haruni recognized that Northeastern Israel needed a new economic base. During a visit to the area — which had been a fiscal sinkhole for years, with unemployment approaching 60 percent and families leaving in droves — Haruni had some surprisingly good wine made from local grapes. An examination of the vineyard convinced him that the Upper Galilee could produce world-class wine.

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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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Kosher-For-Passover Wines Are Not Just For Sedarim

April 7, 2005

Dalton Winery

A review of some recently released Kosher Wines.

“Good kosher wine” is no longer an oxymoron. Due to increased demand for alternatives to the traditional sweet wines, the quality and variety of kosher wines has steadily improved. The wines available for this year’s Passover demonstrate that this trend is continuing. For a wine to be designated kosher, the wine-making equipment can only be utilized for kosher wines and only kosher materials can be used during production. Shabbat-observant Jews supervise the entire process and no artificial colorings or preservatives are added. Kosher wine which will be handled by non-Jews is briefly heated to make it meshuval. Using current techniques, this does not affect the quality of the wine. Wines certified “kosher for Passover” do not come into contact with any unleaven materials during production.

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The Perfect Gift For A Dinner Party Host

December 11, 2003

Hanukkah wine suggestions.

Wine makes an excellent Hanukkah gift. Easily wrapped and portable, there are wines for all tastes: dry or sweet, bubbly or still, red, white or even pink. “Around the world the quality of wines has improved dramatically,” said Jon Genderson, owner of Schneider’s Wine Store in Washington DC. “This is especially true for kosher wines.”

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