Wine and Memories

February 11, 2015

Review of Four Gates Pinot Noir 2009 and Westland American Single Malt Whiskey.

One of the lovely things about wine is the way drinking of a particularly pleasant one can stir an involuntary memory and evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. Likewise, wine can sometimes cue a subconscious mental filtering and sifting of long ago accumulated trivial data, bringing the mental detritus to one’s immediate attention. For one of us, for example, a recently tasted wine called to mind the great film director Alfred Hitchcock (we are both ardent fans).

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Presidental Preferences

February 9, 2015

Review of Shirah Wines White Hawk Syrah 2012 and Oban 14 year old Single Malt Scotch.

Most of our Presidents have been “healthy” drinkers, and many have had a fondness for fine wine—with the exception of a few lightweights and teetotalers.

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From Adversity, Wine

February 2, 2015

Reviews of the Yatir Viognier 2010 and Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

Many of the world’s finest wines, counter intuitive though it might seem, are actually created from grapes that grow in surprisingly meager conditions. Conditions that would cause other crops to suffer—like nutrient-poor soil, sparse water and daily temperature fluctuations—can stimulate the vines to concentrate whatever the land and microclimate has to offer on making the grapes more flavorful for wine. Proper viticultural practices, like careful pruning, trellising, keeping away pests, and the like, are obviously crucial components, but nature’s bounty remains the most fundamentally important element. So, all things being equal, winemakers tend to prefer vineyards in locations that will greatly, though beneficially, stress the vines.

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Unesco

January 14, 2015

Review of the Kadma Syrah 2011 and Tomatin 18 Year Old, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Among the many programs established by the United Nations is the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” The purpose of the catalog is to ensure the continued viability of specific folk practices and encourage dialog to reflect “cultural diversity.” This list is a fascinating collection of obscure and eclectic customs and traditions.

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‘Captain Kirk’ chooses wine over Romulan ale

January 5, 2015

Reviews of the Herzog Variations Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and two single malt Scotch Whiskies: the Tomintoul 16-year-old and Longrow Red Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 11-year-old.

We are thrilled to see that William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk (one of us is an unabashed “Star Trek” fan, the other is simply a fan of all things Shatner), has begun a new television series that focuses in a Shatner-esque way on wine appreciation called, simply, “Brown Bag Wine Tasting.”

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Crowdfunding Winery

December 29, 2014

Reviews of the Jezreel Red Blend 2012 and two Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskies.

For better or worse the Internet has expanded public participation into nearly every aspect of society. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other outlets allow anyone with access to some type of keyboard to comment, review and critique pretty much anything they see, hear or taste. The implications are as broad as the imagination when everyone can voice their opinion far and wide, influencing others to vote with their wallets.

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Chanukah Wish List

December 22, 2014

Our annual Chanukah gift wish list

Our annual Chanukah gift guide begins with a simple but essential accessory for any wine lover, a corkscrew.

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Making It To The Top

December 12, 2014

Reviews of the Recanati Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and several whiskies from The Glenlivet.

For the first time since 2008 an Israeli wine has been included in the Wine Spectator magazine’s annual list of this year’s “Top 100 Wines”. It is quite an honor since the magazine’s editors sample over 18,000 wines from around the world before selecting their favorite 100 wines of the year based upon “quality, value, availability and excitement.”

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Glassware Matters

December 8, 2014

Review of Twin Suns Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and a cocktail suggestion: The Hot Toddy.

In one of the final scenes of the 2004 multi-Oscar nominated film “Sideways” (it did win for best adapted screenplay) we see Miles—a joyless, glass half-empty type character who has previously declared his disdain for Merlot grape wines—drinking his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc in a fast-food joint out of a Styrofoam coffee cup. For most wine connoisseurs, there is a special place in hell reserved for folks who drink wine out of a Styrofoam cup, and for wine geeks in particular, hell doesn’t begin to repay the crime of drinking such a wine out of such a container.

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