What Wines Did King David Drink?

October 28, 2014

Reviews of Shiloh Legend II 2010 and several Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Although the biblical texts are replete with references to wine, the exact varietals employed to create these libations remain a mystery. From the seventh century Islamic conquest of the region until the rebirth of the modern Israeli wine industry in the late 1800s, wine production in Israel was essentially dormant. Consequently, the indigenous wine grape varietals were largely lost. Currently, the grape varietals being widely grown in Israel are mostly European imports, including such familiar names as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Syrah.

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A Little Bit Of The Bubbly

October 20, 2014

A look at the complexity of US whiskey regulations along with reviews of Deccolio Prosecco and Old Grand-Dad 100 Proof Bonded Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The holidays are a great reason to pour some special wines with friends and family. And while we seldom need an excuse to enjoy some sparkling wine, and have frequently complained such wines are too often saved for “special occasions,” at this time of year, a bit of bubbly does seem appropriate.

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Elephant Walls And French Whisky

October 8, 2014

Review of Or Haganuz, Amuka Series, Idra Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Brenne Estate Single Cask, Single Malt French Whisky.

One of the first things we are traditionally “required” to do after breaking our Yom Kippur fast is to begin building our sukkah. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the rabbinic discussions about the details on how we are supposed to fulfill the commandment to “dwell in booths” are long, complicated and occasionally bizarre to modern sensibilities. An example of the seemingly odd is the Talmudic discussion that relates a dispute concerning whether it is permissible to use a live elephant as one of the sukkah’s walls.

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Fast Breaking

October 2, 2014

Reviews of the Golan Heights Winery’s Gilgal Brut and Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Breaking the Yom Kippur fast is a nominally festive occasion customarily celebrated with family and friends. And while the meal occurs at the end of a long day, the foods are usually some variation of a milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral) breakfast or brunch. While there are often loads of desserts and other sweets, such as honey or jams—serving as both reminder and ardent wish of life’s sweetness and the promise of the New Year—at least one (and often many) of the dishes will contain eggs, recalling the cycle of life.

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A Sweet New Year

September 29, 2014

Review of Miharmartif “Antique Red Sweet Wine” and several Boulard Calvados.

During Rosh Hashanah we traditionally pray and wish for a “good and sweet new year.” Keeping with this theme, we thought we’d recommend a sweeter, dessert-style wine at the conclusion of the meal. Spirits-wise, for an elegant and enjoyable change of pace, we thought we’d stick with the apples and honey sentiment and once again reconsider a fine premium calvados.

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New Year – New Winery

September 24, 2014

Reviews of the Montefiore White 2012 and Drambuie Scotch Whisky Liqueur.

Winemaking is an expensive, time consuming and frequently frustrating enterprise. We feel that new high-risk ventures that are able to create enjoyable wines deserve our support. An example is Kerem Montefiore, is a small boutique wine producer, established in 2010 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Mishkenot Sha’ananim by Sir Moses Montefiore, the Italian born Jewish-English philanthropist

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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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