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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Petite Sirah A Somewhat Undiscovered Gem

April 10, 2013

Reviews of several Petite Sirah wines from California.

Petite Sirah has seen dramatic changes since our last look at this underappreciated varietal several years ago. Its classic dark berry and cherry flavors accented with mild peppery spiciness make it easy to praise as an ideal wine for grilled foods and hearty winter fare. But for many years Petite Sirah was either relegated to a blending role or, if bottled solo, required at least an hour of aeration before consuming to allow the wine to become enjoyable.

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On The Importance Of Vintage

January 3, 2013

A review of the Recanati Petite Sirah/Zinfandel Reserve 2010 and several Springbank Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Vintage is the most important number on a wine label. Each growing season brings its own differences in vineyard temperatures and rainfall, which significantly affect the quality and character of the grapes. The winemaker’s role is to create the best possible wine every year in a specific style despite these annual variations.

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Spring Brings Outdoor Recreation, Rosé Wine Season

April 25, 2012

montes cherub rose

Wine recommendations for picnics and outdoor concerts.

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a true national treasure. The almost 5 acres of available picnic space, an extensive and wide-ranging performance schedule and a liberal alcohol policy allowing patrons to bring their own wine and beer assures a wonderful experience without the over-charging for beverages found at other concert locations. It is the ideal venue to enjoy wines suited to picnicking in the warmer weather.

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A Dominant Name in the World of Bourbon

January 11, 2012

Jim Beam Bourbon

A review of the Weinstock Petite Sirah 2010 and Jim Beam White Label Bourbon Whiskey.

There is nothing tiny about Petite Sirah. It is a bruiser of a grape that requires a deft hand to make it approachable. Now grown primarily in California, Australia and Israel, Petite Sirah was developed in France by crossing Sirah with the lesser known Peloursin. The grapes are smaller than other varietals which led to its name and a considerable amount of vineyard confusion when it eventually made its way to the U.S.

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Calvados: Schmoozer’s Choice

June 22, 2011

Boulard

A review of the Recanati Petite Sirah-Zinfandel Reserve 2009 and the Boulard Grand Solage VSOP, XO de Boulard and the Boulard Millesime 1985 Calvados.

The Recanati Petite Sirah-Zinfandel Reserve 2009 ($20) is a terrific kosher summer wine that is perfect with grilled and spicy foods. Made with 90 percent old-vine Petit Sirah sourced from the lower Galilee, it has an appealing earthy, brambly aroma accented with red berries, mint and dark plums. Full-bodied with complex blackberry and other slightly spicy, dark fruit flavors, it also shows coffee and toasted nuts in the bright finish.

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California Winemaker Hails From Maryland

June 18, 2008

JC Cellars Zinfandel

A look at some of Jeff Cohn’s wines.

Jeff Cohn did not expect to become a winemaker, although he started in the food industry at age 16. After earning a degree in hospitality management, the Maryland native took a series of jobs including a stint on a Caribbean cruise ship. He ‘‘learned to appreciate wine” at a friend’s wine store on the island of Martinique. Upon returning to Maryland, he worked at Sutton Place, ‘‘which also had a great wine department,” as well as at the Boordy Vineyards outside Baltimore while completing the prerequisites to study oenology at Fresno State.

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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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The Land Down Under Produces Wonderful Wines

December 19, 2007

A review of some recently released Australian wines.

Look to Australia when choosing a wine to complement a winter meal or for snuggling beside a cozy fire. Many of the latest Australian releases have a remarkable complexity along with their characteristic bold fruit profile. While some (like the 2006 Craneford Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2006 Oliverhill Petite Sirah) require several years of cellaring to achieve their peak, all the wines listed here are drinking perfectly now.

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