Spirit Of Summer Beckons

April 6, 2015

Review of the Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and a look at the “Hot Toddy.”

Despite the cold, icy weather outside, we found our thoughts wandering and our hearts pining for sunnier and warmer climes. One of us is from northern California originally, and as it happens we both love northern California wines. We always have a tendency of saying this, but one of our favorite winemakers is Ernie Weir, the owner of Napa Valley, California’s Hagafen Cellars.

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Perfect for Passover

April 2, 2015

Reviews of the Recanati Diamond Chardonnay 2013, the Abarbanel, Batch 30, Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 and Tio Pepe Fino Sherry.

The world has a love/hate relationship with Chardonnay. On the one hand, it is one of the most widely planted grapes, while on the other hand, it tends to elicit scorn and even contempt. Many consumers continue to ascribe to the ABC school of wine selection: “Anything But Chardonnay.” Thankfully there are still many winemakers and growers out there who treat Chardonnay with some respect, and allow this grape to really shine.

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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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Davids And Goliaths Of Wine

March 25, 2015

Review of Abarbanel Batch 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and a revisit to Boulard Calvados XO.

In popular and secular terms, the biblical confrontation between David and Goliath is seized upon as a shorthand reference for a hopeful image of the underdog, a contest or battle between a relatively small or weak opponent against a much bigger and much stronger adversary. In the world of kosher wine, this image comes periodically to mind—though obviously minus the inherent violence and explicit “good-guy vs. bad-guy” overtones. One of our longtime favorite “Davids” in the kosher wine world is the Abarbanel Brand Wines.

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A Particularly Pleasing Wine

March 23, 2015

Reviews of the Pacifica Evan’s Collection Washington Meritage 2010 and Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey.

The Kosher Food and Wine Experience is a fabulous opportunity to sample the latest wine and spirit releases in Royal’s sizable portfolio, to meet with winemakers or winery/brand representatives and, of course, eat some of the outstanding kosher food available in the Big Apple.

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Survey: 40 % Of American Adults Enjoy Drinking Wine

March 11, 2015

Review of the Black Tulip 2011 and The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It turns out that 40 percent of American adults enjoy drinking wine, with a third of those drinking a glass or two several times a week. The breakdown showed that 19 percent of those surveyed only drink wine, 19 percent drink wine and liquor but no beer, 20 percent drink wine and beer but no liquor, and the remaining 42 percent drink all three.

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South African Wine Poised For A Renaissance

March 9, 2015

Investors bring new techniques, rich flavors to South African wines

South Africa appears poised for wine greatness. This is somewhat surprising since the country’s winemaking industry languished during the 50 plus-years-long international boycott of the apartheid government. The wines made during those decades were uninspiring and meant to be shipped in large bulk containers rather than bottles. After the revocation of apartheid in 1994, South African winemakers had a lot of catching up to do.

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A Blend Of Regions

March 2, 2015

Reviews of the Herzog Variations Four Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and 2 Cragganmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

It is often said that wine makes itself, and that all that is really needed are grapes and the right conditions. This is largely true. Left alone, grapes will indeed start to decompose, the skins will break and natural yeast will work its magic on the juice – all things being equal. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote (typically misquoted and mangled into an adage about beer): “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

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Hip, Hop and Wine

February 23, 2015

Reviews of the Bartenura Moscato and Jefferson’s Ocean, Aged at Sea, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Very Small Batch.

Ever since the modern kosher wine industry began the shift from sweet, syrupy kiddush wine to table wine, producers and importers have been desperately trying to break free of the ethnic market into truly mainstream wine sales. Who knew that the industry’s first real success would be a sweet, simple quaffer?

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