A Little Fine Wine With Your Blintzes

May 17, 2007

Sha'al Late Harvest

Some wine recommendations for Shavuot.

The Talmud states that there is no happiness without wine. As the only drink with its own blessing — thanking the “Creator of the fruit of the vine” — wine is integral to Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. Even the cup to hold the wine is special, often ornately decorated and of a specific volume to ensure that enough is consumed to fulfill the mitzvot.

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In The Spirit Of April 1, A Look Into The Future

March 28, 2007

Solar System

The winemakers on Europa, Jupiter’s most colonized moon, have focused on the several varietals that thrive in the grasp of the large planet’s magnetic field. Beginning as a small plot of reclaimed soil along the Western edge of the original colony, Europa has become one of the solar system’s most important wine producing regions.

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California Dreamin’: Wines Enhance the Holidays

December 20, 2006

Ferrari-Carano Siena

California wines for the holiday season.

With the holidays around the corner, it is time to choose the wines that will be served with the festive meals. Since the menu and head count often vary, it is best to generalize the wine choices rather than try to match them perfectly to the food and guests. Ideally, the wines should have solid fruit flavors that are true to the grape varietal. Balanced acidity is important to allow the wine to hold up to rich fare, and so is a good finish that will keep things interesting. For this year’s celebrations, I recommend wines from the Napa and Sonoma valleys.

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Grapes From Cool Climes Produce Subtle Wines

July 19, 2006

Omrah Shiraz

A review of some cool-climate grown wines.

Grapes grown in cooler climates have significantly different flavor profiles than those from warmer areas.‘‘Cooler-climate wines are not fruit driven,” says importer Robert Whale. ‘‘They are more subtle. While still expressing the essence of the varietal, these wines have elegant flavors and are more food-friendly.” Whale, a tireless advocate of cooler-climate wines, insists that ‘‘there is more to Australian wine than big fruit bomb Shiraz from the Barossa.”

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In Appreciation Of Under-Appreciated Sauvignon Blanc

June 30, 2006

Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc

A look at some California Sauvignon Blancs.

A very wise wine writer recently told me that the only people who don’t like Sauvignon Blanc are ‘‘those that don’t like warm weather or don’t like to eat.” Often under-appreciated, but widely planted, Sauvignon Blanc truly is an ideal summer wine. Sauvignon Blanc produced in France’s Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume regions have a touch of minerality from the stony soil, while those from the Graves area have more body. New Zealand has been leading the ‘‘New World” in a more ‘‘grassy” style (and screw-tops) while quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Chile, Australia and South Africa. And a recently tasted Recanati Sauvignon Blanc from Israel was quite impressive.

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Loire Valley White Wines Well Worth Investigating

August 17, 2005

Domaine Girard Sancerre

A look at some Loire Valley white wines.

Wine drinkers often end up in a rut. Claiming to like only a certain taste, they limit their purchases to a few select brands and rarely venture beyond their comfort zone. Problems develop when they serve the same wine with every meal; their favorite California Merlot will not work well with oysters. The world is full of terrific wines that vary in taste, aroma, texture and price. This great variety of flavors facilitates matching food and wine for those willing to try something new. Good values are equally plentiful, allowing a wine-drinker to be adventurous without being extravagant.

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Bright, Refreshing Summer Wines

June 16, 2005

Rodney Strong Chardonnay

Some summer wine recommendations.

Summer is the time to put away the heavy, winter wines and pick up wines appropriate for the warmer weather. Look for white wines that have bright flavors balanced with enough acid to make the wine crisp and refreshing so it pairs well with warm weather foods. Summer red wines should have great fruit flavors without a lot of complexity or power.

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High Quality, Affordable Prices Make Chilean Wine An Excellent Choice

June 15, 2005

Montes Alpha Syrah

Some Chilean wine recommendations.

Boasting breathtaking scenery and friendly people, Chile is a visitor’s paradise. Long and thin, it is more than 2,700 miles long and at most, only 150 miles wide. Its climate varies from desert in the north to snow in the south. In between are some of the world’s most eye-catching grape growing valleys. Cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean arrive from the west, while the volcanoes of the Andes Mountains lie to the east. The resulting broad variations in climate, soil compositions and altitudes allow Chilean winemakers to experiment with varietals and growing conditions.

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Party Wines

May 26, 2005

Gloria ferrer Brut

Some wine recommendations for your next family gathering.

So, the entire family is coming into town for your simcha and that includes a dinner at your house. Besides figuring out what everyone will eat, you also want to have the right wines to serve without breaking your budget. Fortunately there are a large number of wines from around the world that your guests will enjoy that also are excellent values.

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