The Best In Value-Priced Wine

September 22, 2014

The Top 10 Kosher wines ($20 or less) and our 5 Favorite Whiskies for the past year.

Last week we listed the Top 10 kosher wines we tasted over the past year that cost $30 or more a bottle. After all, festive holiday meals with family and friends are nigh, so a bit of expensive indulgence is in order. As wine is a necessity in a civilized world, however, we have put together a list of value-priced wines to be enjoyed on a more regular basis, within a more limited budget.

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Top 10 Kosher Wines Over $30

September 19, 2014

Our Top 10 kosher wines $30 and up for the past year long with a alook at Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Whiskey Project.

During the Jewish month of Elul, the final month in the Jewish calendar, we are enjoined to reflect on where we stand and where we should be going in life. Thus it is also a perfect time to look back and select our top wines from the previous year. This week we will focus on wines costing $30 or more and that are worthy of the expense. That is, these wines are either to collect and cellar or, better yet, to share with family and special friends. Next week we will look at the top 10 value-priced wines we especially enjoyed this past year.

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Getting The Whiskey’s ‘Backstory’

September 2, 2014

A review of the Ramot Naftaly Duet 2010 and a revisit to High West whiskies.

We are often asked why we do not assign a numerical score to the wines and spirits we review. After all, it is a process employed by many of the most popular reviewers including the eminent Robert Parker, the glossy Wine Spectator and the high-end British publication Decanter, which bills itself as the “World’s Best Wine Magazine.” It is easy to understand the appeal since we all grow up in an educational system that rates our performance via numeric scores and grades. Numeric scores invariably call to mind logical precision and objective truth, that as sure as 2+2=4, a score of 98=a great wine…but does it really? Is it possible to objectively distinguish between, say, a wine rated 91 points versus one rated 93, or maybe an 87 versus a 92?

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Fraud In The Wine Business

August 25, 2014

The finale of a high-profile wine-fraud along with a review of the Barkan Assemblage Tzafit 2010 and a look at Irish Whiskies including a review of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey.

A few weeks ago, wine fraudster Rudy Kurnaiwan was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $20 million, according to The New York Times. The court also required him to pay more than $24 million in restitution to the victims of his elaborate wine forgery scheme. Once his prison sentence has been completed, Kurnaiwan will also be deported to his native Indonesia. All things considered, this seems a fair verdict to us.

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Mix Wine Or Gin With Fruit And It’s Summertime

August 18, 2014

Some summer cocktail suggestions.

Summertime is always fun. The abundance of fruits, vegetables and herbs inspire us to shake up and expand our cooking, and also our drinking. Summer wine cocktails may seem sometimes to be a bit of work, but are so worth the effort. There are, obviously, numerous recipes in books and online, but summer means not having to do any homework (right?), so instead try releasing your personal creativity and dream up your own concoctions.

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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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A Wine For Those Lazy, Hazy Days Of Summer

July 31, 2014

A review of the Domaine Pascal Bouchard “Le Classique” Chablis 2009 and a look at Tequila.

There are few greater pleasures than sitting on a beach toward the end of a lazy summer evening with a great bottle of wine to share among friends. Crisp, refreshing white wines are ideal for such occasions, such as a lovely Chablis.

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How America Caused – And Cured – A Winemaking Crisis

July 28, 2014

A review of Castel Rosé du Castel 2013 and Isle of Arran 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Among the plethora of pests that winemakers must contend against, none has been more devastating than a sap-sucking insect named “phylloxera.” This tiny aphid-like bug destroys vines by feeding off the roots, thereby choking off the supply of nutrients to the plant and leaving it susceptible to fungal infections. Initially limited to the United States, the phylloxera menace was inadvertently introduced to Europe in the 1850s by Victorian English botanists returning home with American vine specimens. Phylloxera destroyed nearly 95 percent of the continent’s vineyards.

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