The Best In Value-Priced Wine

September 22, 2014

The Top 10 Kosher wines ($20 or less) and our 5 Favorite Whiskies for the past year.

Last week we listed the Top 10 kosher wines we tasted over the past year that cost $30 or more a bottle. After all, festive holiday meals with family and friends are nigh, so a bit of expensive indulgence is in order. As wine is a necessity in a civilized world, however, we have put together a list of value-priced wines to be enjoyed on a more regular basis, within a more limited budget.

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Finicky Pinot Noir Grape Can Produce Profound Wine

February 25, 2014

A review of Yarden Pinot Noir 2009 and the Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

There is some mysterious aspect of Pinot Noir that results in a degree of winemaker madness. It is difficult to grow and vinify, temperamental in the barrel and prone to closing down in the bottle for years before becoming really drinkable again. These very challenges seem to inspire rather than inhibit those winemakers who consider crafting a Pinot Noir the pinnacle of their profession.

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Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch

January 13, 2014

A review of the Yarden Gewurztraminer 2012 and the Ron Burgundy Blended Scotch Whisky, “Great Odin’s Raven” Special Reserve.

Choosing a wine for your meal is dependent upon numerous factors including flavors, style, budget and accompanying foods. An often overlooked factor that can influence one’s selection is the time of day. For example, few would consider sipping a California Cab in the morning — unless attending a wine industry tasting even — but many folks have indulged in a mimosa (or Bloody Mary) to help wash down a brunch. And pairing a quality Champagne with a simply prepared egg dish for breakfast is one of life’s more decadent pleasures.

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On Balance And Blends

August 20, 2013

The importance of balance in wine with reviews of the Yarden Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and two blended Scotch whiskies; Johnnie Walker Black and Whilte Horse.

One of the most widely sought after descriptions from the mouth, or pen, of a wine critic is the term “balanced.” The term is meant to convey a harmonious interplay between the different components in a wine, including tannins, alcohol, sweetness and acidity. Should any one of these components stand out from the others, that wine would be deemed out of balance, and so in some measure lacking or less than the ideal. Of particular importance in a balanced wine, especially one whose flavors are especially pronounced, are those elements that provide a counterpoint. So for example, fruity or tannic wines are thought to need an acidic balancing counterpoint, to bring the wine together. In the case of a dessert wine, such as a sauterne, acidity is desired to check the wine’s sweetness so that it does not become boringly unctuous like a jam or jelly. Likewise too much acidity would render a wine tart and unappealing. A wine with ideal acidity keeps these other elements in check, and is perceived as cleansing, refreshing and encouraging of another sip. Any wine that does not encourage the imbiber to take another sip, is probably not enjoyable enough to drink anyway.

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Better Than Chanukah Gelt

December 6, 2012

Four Gates Winery

Our Chanukah wish list including some kosher wines and a bunch of the great spirits we’ve recently enjoyed.

Chanukah gift-giving is really just an American transmogrification mimicking Xmas of the actual Jewish custom of giving Chanukah gelt (money). Still, we have nonetheless given in to modern convention and have compiled a list of a few things that we wouldn’t mind being given.

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Israeli Label Yarden Shows Much Promise

August 22, 2012

Yarden Chardonnay

A review of Yarden wines from Israel’s Golan Heights Winery.

In 1972, oenologist Cornelius Ough identified the Golan Heights as an ideal location for grape growing due to its altitude, cool climate and volcanic soil. More than a decade later the award-winning Golan Heights Winery was established and it is credited with invigorating Israeli winemaking by dramatically improving the quality of the country’s wines. Its early successes led to the search for a winemaker that would build upon these accomplishments. In 1992, a young American graduate of UC Davis, Victor Schoenfeld, arrived in Israel to become its new head winemaker. It could be argued that advanced Israeli winemaking really began that year.

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Getting Into The Spirit (and Wine) Of Passover

April 13, 2011

Casa Vieja Tequila

A review of the Yarden Mount Hermon Red 2009 and the Casa Vieja Blanco and Anejo Tequilas.

With Passover just around the corner, your wine consumption will likely be higher than usual – four cups at each seder, and more still at Shabbat and yom tov meals over the next several days. Here, then, are some suggestions for Passover libations covering not only wine, but spirits as well – for when all that food and family requires something just a tad stronger to take the edge off.

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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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Uncork Some Wintry Wines

November 17, 2005

Phelps Le Mistral

Some winter wine suggestions

I am not a fan of cold weather. Shoveling sidewalks and scraping windshields holds no great fascination for me and I would much rather eat a meal served poolside than by a fireplace. But, when you live in the Northeast, winter weather is inevitable and you make due with whatever pleasures you can find until the crocuses return.

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