A Glass Of Red Warms Body And Soul

January 6, 2010

Phekps Insignia

Reviews of red wines from Phelps, Castello di Amorosa, Quivira, Frei Brothers, St. Clement and Tempra Tantrum.

Winter weather is best faced with a glass of red wine. Properties like Joseph Phelps Vineyards provide the comfort of consistent high quality. Its flagship Joseph Phelps Insignia 2006 would make a wonderful gift since it needs a few more years of bottle-age before its complex, spicy earthy blackberry, licorice and cherry flavors fully develop. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon (95 percent) and Petit Verdot (5 percent) exclusively from its estate vineyards, it will drink beautifully for at least 20 years.

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Much Maligned Merlot Merits Reconsideration

February 25, 2009

Twomey Merlot

A look at some recently released Merlots.

A victim of its own popularity, Merlot has been unfairly criticized. Several vintages ago, the skyrocketing demand for an easy-drinking red wine enabled less conscientious producers to release oceans of weak, bland and unappealing Merlot to an unsuspecting public. It’s no wonder Miles from the movie “Sideways” vowed never to drink it again.

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Local Wineries Deserve More Respect

October 14, 2008

Black Ankle Crumbling Rock

A look at some Maryland wineries.

Many regionally produced wines are as good as their West Coast cousins, although consumers often overlook them. With wine being made in all 50 states, it is fitting that attention be paid to the accomplishments of these small wineries.

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Chile Nearly Perfect For Wine Making

October 7, 2008

Casa Silva Carmenere

A look at Chilean wines.

Chile’s 13 different wine regions benefit from the Andres Mountains in the east and the cooling ocean breezes coming inland from the west. Each district has a distinctive geology and micro-climate. The northernmost Elqui Valley, at 6,500 feet above sea level, has long hot sunny days, while the southernmost Bio Bio and Malleco valleys run the risk of frost and heavy rains. In between are wide variations in daily temperatures, maritime influences and soil conditions. Truly delightful wines result when the specific location is matched with the appropriate varietal.

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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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Shuffling Around At California Wineries

February 20, 2008

Sbragia Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon

Lots of changes underway in California.

The winds of change are blowing through California’s vineyards. After more than 30 years at Beringer, winemaker Ed Sbragia has left the Napa winery to focus his efforts on his family’s project in Sonoma. The Sbragia Family Vineyards have been producing quality wines since 2004 and release 6,000 cases a year. Sbragia will get to work more closely with his son Adam, and their goal is to increase production to 10,000 cases annually.

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Fine Kosher Red Wines

September 13, 2007

Teperberg Family Estate

A review of some recently released kosher red wines.

Kosher wines can satisfy a discriminating wine drinker and accompany any dish from brisket to blintzes. They continue to gain the approval of wine critics and their growing sales indicate increasing consumer acceptance. Kosher wines are produced all over world, including California, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Israel. In France some of the most prestigious wine producers are making kosher wines. “If the French masters of the art of winemaking have accepted kosher wine into their ranks then Kosher wine has truly arrived,” declares Martin Davidson, spokesman for Royal Wine, a leading importer of kosher wines and owner of California’s Herzog winery. Davidson believes that, “the Jewish community has fortunately graduated up to complex and sophisticated wines…Consequently, a better-educated buyer can now refine their appreciation in viniculture, knowing there is enough fine wine out there to accommodate a demanding and discerning palate.”

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Treat Your Guests to Great Wines From Israel

May 24, 2007

Recanati Wine

Israeli wine reviews including Recanati, Agur, Ben Hanna, Domaine du Castel, and Yatir.

The next time you are expecting guests, whether for an intimate dinner party or an open house, consider serving wine from one of Israel’s wineries. World-class kosher wines are being produced at a growing number number of excellent wineries in the Holy Land, spearheaded by winemakers with a mission to continue to improve their products.

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Cure The Winter Blues With A Glass Of Red Wine

February 21, 2007

Mazzocco Zinfandel

Red wine recommendations for this winter.

A glass of red wine may be the best antidote for the winter blues. Even the coldest night is made more comfortable by a full- to medium-bodied wine served either with a hearty meal or sipped by the fire. And these long evenings are a perfect time to check out the bottles guests brought you during the holiday season.

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