Magical Wine Drinking

November 14, 2016

Does the glassware make a difference or is it wishful thinking?

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Taste When You Can

January 28, 2016

Review of Hagafen Estate Syrah 2012 and the Hudson Four Grain Bourbon by Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery.

One of the big pleasures of booze tourism is to be found in the tasting room. A recent article by Lettie Teague of The Wall Street Journal, one of many wine columns we read and enjoy regularly, reminds us of some of the behind-the-scenes activity that goes into making a winery’s tasting room a successful and enjoyable experience.

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New World Winemakers Look To Old For Inspiration

June 1, 2015

Review of Dalton Alma GSM 2012 and Arette Artesanal Suave Blanco Tequila.

One of the principle distinctions between “Old World” European wines and those of the rest of the globe are the rules and regulations that govern wine-making. The “Old world” has many; the “New World” has few.

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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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Presidental Preferences

February 9, 2015

Review of Shirah Wines White Hawk Syrah 2012 and Oban 14 year old Single Malt Scotch.

Most of our Presidents have been “healthy” drinkers, and many have had a fondness for fine wine—with the exception of a few lightweights and teetotalers.

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Unesco

January 14, 2015

Review of the Kadma Syrah 2011 and Tomatin 18 Year Old, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Among the many programs established by the United Nations is the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” The purpose of the catalog is to ensure the continued viability of specific folk practices and encourage dialog to reflect “cultural diversity.” This list is a fascinating collection of obscure and eclectic customs and traditions.

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Israel’s Developing Wine Culture

June 16, 2014

Reviews of Gamla Syrah 2010 and Balvenie 15 year old Single Barrel Sherry Cask.

A recent visit to Israel has reaffirmed our enthusiasm for the Holy Land’s developing wine culture. Besides the different wineries that seen to be cropping up nearly every week, there is a palpable sense that enjoying wine is becoming as fundamental to Israelis as their love of coffee.

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Labors Of Love

September 30, 2013

Reviews of the B.R. Cohn Trestle Glen Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, the Agua Dulce Winery Syrah 2010, and the Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey.

Beyond all the many good-to-excellent kosher wineries out there slaking the growing thirst of the kosher consumer, we always enjoy it when some well-established and prestigious nonkosher winery gets in on the act and produces a limited batch of kosher wines. These days, as often as not, these limited run wines are pet projects of the winery — more a labor of love by the producer, than a contract-fulfillment for someone wanting to market the next “hot” kosher Bordeaux or whatever.

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In A Rye Mood

July 9, 2013

Reviews of the Hagafen Napa Valley Syrah 2009, the Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Small Batch Rye, and the Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey.

It seems most appropriate to select an American-made wine when celebrating Independence Day. The holiday also gives us another opportunity to acknowledge one of the country’s finest winemakers, who also happens to limit his production to kosher wines. Ernie Weir, the founder and winemaker of Napa’s Hagafen Cellars, has for years created notable wines that have won numerous awards, including competitions against nonkosher contenders. His wines are another compelling argument against a “kosher wine” shelf since consumers deserve to be exposed to wines of this quality. They should sit next to similar varietals and not be relegated to an unused corner of the store. And observant customers will either be shopping at a store that only has kosher wines or will look for a hechsher no matter where the bottle is displayed. Having again made our case to liberate kosher wines from the tyranny of display prejudice, we can focus on a wine for the summer holiday.

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