Bubble Trouble Turns Into Elegant Sparklers

December 29, 2011

Pol Roger White Foil

A sparkling wine review including the Pol Roger Brut Reserve “White Foil,” the Mionetto, Lunetta, Voveti and Lamberti proseccos, JJ Vincent Cremant, Champalou Vovray Brut, Trapiche Extra Brut, and the J Vineyards Brut Rose and their 25th Anniversary Brut.

Bubbles in wine were once considered a fault, especially when the increased pressure caused the bottles to explode. The early Greeks attributed the presence of bubbles in wine to either astrological influences or malevolent spirits. It is likely that the French monk credited for “discovering” sparkling wine, Dom Perignon, was trying to find a way to prevent the bubbles from occurring. And it is equally likely that the development of stronger glass bottles by the English and their use of cork stoppers is what led to the subsequent success of the French Champagne region.

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A Journey To The Isle Of Scotch

December 28, 2011

A review of Hagafen Cuvee de Noirs 2007 and the Laphroaig 10 year old Single- Malt Scotch.

Sparkling wines are ideal for festivities. Their bright flavors and acidity make them perfect pairing partners for numerous cuisines including sushi, cheese, chicken, fish and dessert. In fact, they are so versatile that it seems a shame to relegate them only to celebrations.

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A Toast to Drinking No Wine Before Its Time

December 21, 2011

ardbeg Alligator

A review of Capcanes Peraj Ha’abid 2008, the Glenmorangie Signet and the Ardbeg Alligator.

While it is true that most wine is meant to be consumed within a few years after its release, there are many wines that are created with aging in mind. In general, these wines have markedly noticeable tannins – the chemical compounds from the grape stems, seeds and skins that influence the wine’s color, structure and ultimately its aging ability.

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The Miracle of the Scotch Filled Menorah

December 14, 2011

Tullibardine Whisky

A review of the O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and the Tullibardine Aged Scotch Whisky.

The rituals associated with wine are nearly as numerous as any religious service. Opening, decanting, swirling, sniffing, tasting, and even spitting follow established patterns and recognized norms. Developed to enhance once sensory appreciation of wine, they have achieved a level of dogma that instills near-paralyzing fear into the uninitiated.

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Stress: Bad for Humans but Good for Grapes

December 7, 2011

Johnnie Walker Double Black

A review of the Teal Lake Special Reserve Shiraz 2009 and the Johnnie Walker Black and Double Black Blended Scotch Whiskies.

One of the interesting paradoxes of winemaking is that stressed grapes make excellent wines. Nutrient poor soils, minimal water, and wide temperature variations stimulate the vines to produce intensely flavorful fruit. With careful vineyard management and talented winemakers these grapes can produce some very special wines.

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The News on Jews and Booze

November 30, 2011

Glen Grant

The history of the Washington DC wine and liquor trade along with a review of some Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

According to Buddy Berman, Jews have been intimately involved in Washington D.C.’s wine and liquor business since the beginning of the 20th century. Buddy knows from where he speaks. Besides nearly 40 years in the drinks industry, he is also the son and grandson of Prohibition era bootleggers who supplied hooch to the thirsty citizens of the Nation’s capital.

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The Wines of Madeira Age Gracefully



madeira bottles

A review of the Blandy’s 10-year-old Malmsey and the Blandy’s 5-year-old Alvada Madeiras.

The wines of Madeira are among the world’s longest lasting, with examples more than 100 years old still exhibiting youthful freshness and balance. Located 400 miles off the coast of Morocco, the island began winemaking in the 1400s when Portugal’s Prince Henry had the sweet Greek Malvasia grapes planted upon the hillsides along with Sicilian sugar cane.

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Jewish Family – Jewish Nation Blend

November 23, 2011

springbank 10 year old

A review of the Alexander Reserve Sandro Cabernet-Merlot 2007 and the Springbank 10-year old 100 proof Cambeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

While still dominated by the large winemaking companies, the Israeli wine scene is becoming increasingly populated by small, family-owned wineries. The three biggest players – Carmel Winery, Barkanand Golan Heights Winery, along with their respective subsidiaries – account for more than 65 pecent of the 2011 grape harvest.

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Stick With “Stickies” But Don’t Be A Snob

November 16, 2011

Famous Grouse

A review of S’Forno Puglia Moscato and the Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky.

For more than 30 years now, kosher wine cognoscenti have fought a pitched battle against the identification of “kosher wine” with sweet Kiddush-style wines, demanding greater attention from wine critics, insisting upon enlightened attitudes by liquor store owners, and generally taking issue with kosher consumer tastes. This is understandable, up to a point. But much has changed in the kosher wine world. Unfashionable though it may be, we remain unabashed fans of sweet wine – or “stickies” to employ the Australian term for sweet wines (just seems more appropriate).

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