Thanksgiving – A Perfect Time To Try New Wines

November 26, 2014

Wine suggestions to accompany your Thanksgiving Feast.

While Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating family and friends, it is also an opportunity to try some unfamiliar wines. The classic meal of turkey, stuffing and various side-dishes provide a broad palate of flavors, textures and aromas as a starting point for selecting accompanying wines. As with any complex meal, look for wines that have good fruit flavors, refreshing acidity for balance and are not too tannic or oaky.

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The Ideal Wine For Pesto

August 13, 2014

A review of the Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and some news about American whiskies including Jim Beam.

One of us has a summer garden that has produced an abundance of basil. A leafy herb initially cultivated in India, basil migrated both west and east becoming a featured component of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. There are many different types with the “sweet” variety customarily featured in Italian dishes while the more pungent Thai, lemon and “holy” basils are utilized in Asia.

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The Taste Of Rocks

August 6, 2014

A look at the concept of “minerality” in wine with reviews of the Dalton Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Bruichladdich, Islay Barley, Rockside Farm, 2007, Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Several of the wines we have recently recommended have a notable “minerality” as part of their flavor profile. At first glance, minerality seems to be a strange example of wine jargon since no one really expects a grape-based drink to taste like rocks. But one of the wonders of wine is the way it can express its local growing conditions, what the French call terroir, including the composition of the vineyard’s soil. Thus the Kimmeridgian limestone and fossilized seashells found in the ground of Chablis are perceived within the region’s wines.

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Out Of Isolation, Chilean Wines Prosper

July 17, 2014

Reviews of the Lanzur Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and The Macallan 18 year old (1996 vintage) Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Chile is the source of some of the world’s best wine values. The country boasts over a dozen distinctive wine producing regions that extend hundreds of miles from the northern Copiapo valley to the Austral region, the southernmost location where grapes can grow.

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Summer Wines

July 9, 2014

Reviews of some enjoyable value-priced summer wines.

The US is now the world’s leader in wine consumption. The latest figures show that Americans enjoyed 329 million cases of wine in 2013, an 18% increase over 2005. This easily put the US past the traditional European frontrunners including Italy and France. The US also bettered China which recently was the fastest growing market for wine. There are likely numerous reasons for the steady growth of the US wine market. The growing availability of value-priced, flavorful wines, combined with imaginative marketing which has made wine appear less mysterious and elitist have certainly contributed to the growing wine culture in the US. While there are those who can easily shell out hundreds of dollars for a bottle, nearly 90% of the wine sold in the US costs less than $12. As long as wineries keep making good, inexpensive wines, the outlook for the continuing growth of the US market remains positive.

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Yes,There Really Is Kosher Moldovan Wine

December 16, 2013

A review of the Le Soreq Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and two Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Moldova is a landlocked country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania with a long history of winemaking. There are fossil records that indicate grapes flourished in Moldova 6 million to 25 million years ago, and the country was a significant source of wine for the ancient Greeks and later the Romans. After the end of Ottoman rule, Moldova became the main supplier of wine to Russia and several Eastern European countries.

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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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Still Time For Summer Wine Recommendations

August 7, 2013

Summer wine recommendations include whites from Alto Adige, some Sauvignon Blancs and a few American Gruner Veltliners.

This year’s summer wine recommendations begin with a visit to northeastern Italy along its border with Switzerland and Austria. In the Italian Alpine region of Alto Adige visitors can enjoy views of snow-capped mountains as well as lush vineyards which produce ideal wines for warm weather enjoyment. The climate is surprisingly mild with more than 300 sunny days annually and the vineyards are protected from most of the chilly northern winds by the Alps, yet remain open to the warmer southern Mediterranean maritime breezes. The resulting temperature variations ensure that their grapes characteristic flavors are well balanced with bright acidity. Nearly 60 percent of the Alto Adige vineyards produce white wines and their principle varietals include the familiar Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer along with some less well-known, but quite interesting grapes such as Müller-Thurgau, Sylvaner, and Kerner.

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How To Cool Off A Fried Brain

August 1, 2013

A review of the Tishbi Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and a look at the “Gimlet” cocktail.

Sauvignon blanc is one of our favorite warm weather wines. It is produced around the winemaking world in a number of different styles ranging from dry to very sweet dessert wines. The bright flavors and balanced acidity typical of well-made dry, nonsweet versions of sauvignon blancs pair well with lighter summer fare, including cheeses, salads and even sushi; It makes for delightful backyard deck or picnic sipping. The varietal is thought to have originated in France’s Bordeaux region, and it is widely supposed that it gets its name from the word “sauvage” (wild) and blanc (white) from its early life as an indigenous varietal in the southwest of France. More recently, the grape has flourished and gained a great deal of popularity in New Zealand. Sauvignon blanc’s profile ranges from grassy and herbaceous when grown in warmer climates to gooseberry, melon, citrus and tropical fruits when the vines are in cooler locations.

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