Wine To Try: California Chardonnay

May 15, 2011

Santa Barbara Chardonnay

A review of the Santa Barbara Collection Chardonnay 2009.

Chardonnay is quintessential California. It can be Hollywood—buttery as movie popcorn and steeped in enough oak to approximate woody overtones. It can reflect innovation as sleek as Silicon Valley, with bright, fresh balance using minimal oak that reveals the varietal’s underlying character and versatility.

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Mamma Mia! That’s Good Wine

May 11, 2011

Domaine du Castel grand Vin

A review of the Domaine du Castel Grand Vin 2007 and a summer martini recipe.

One of the world’s best kosher wines is Domaine du Castel Grand Vin 2007 ($59) – an elegant blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec. It’s full-bodied with gorgeous blueberry, cedar and chocolate aromas leading into layers of beautifully integrated dark plums, blackberries, currants and anise, with hints of olives and oranges in the satisfyingly lengthy finish.

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The Booze Timeline: From Second Temple to Mint Julep

May 4, 2011

Ella Valley EverRed

A review of the Ella Valley EverRed 2007 and the Mint Julep.

There are few wineries with a longer pedigree than the Ella Valley Vineyards. When Danny Valero, the winery’s general manager, began preparing the area for modern grape cultivation, a site of ancient winemaking dating from the Second Temple period was discovered. According to the biblical account, the Ella Valley is also where David fought Goliath. For Valero, however, the location was not just about history or the Bible.

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Wines Suitable For Sipping Under Sun Or Stars

April 27, 2011

d'Arenberg Hermit Crab

Some picnic wine recommendations including some Rosés and Torrontes along with wines from d’Arenberg and Cline.

Picnic wines should be uncomplicated, but still interesting. Here are some that fit the bill.

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Getting Into The Spirit (and Wine) Of Passover

April 13, 2011

Casa Vieja Tequila

A review of the Yarden Mount Hermon Red 2009 and the Casa Vieja Blanco and Anejo Tequilas.

With Passover just around the corner, your wine consumption will likely be higher than usual – four cups at each seder, and more still at Shabbat and yom tov meals over the next several days. Here, then, are some suggestions for Passover libations covering not only wine, but spirits as well – for when all that food and family requires something just a tad stronger to take the edge off.

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Location, Location, Location Factors Into Essence Of A Wine

March 30, 2011

O'Shaughnessy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

A comparison of two excellent Napa Cabernet Sauvignons; the hillside grown O’Shaughnessy and the valley-floor grown Revana.

An easy way to appreciate the nuances, flavors and structure of a well-crafted wine is to open a second bottle. Side-by-side comparison of wines created from identical varietals but sourced from dissimilar locations often reveals more than tasting them individually. Even wines from the same vineyard might vary widely each year depending upon the weather or the techniques used during a particular season. Truly great wines maintain an underlying consistency that speaks to the specific site where the grapes are grown. The French term “terroir” embodies this concept of location as a determinant of a wine’s essence. Grapes grown in the verdant California climate are, and should be, different from those grown in less hospitable climes and those differences ideally are reflected in the wines they produce.

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Bread’s Back, And So Is Scotch

March 28, 2011

Ardbeg 10 Dalton Canaan

A review of the Dalton Canaan Red 2009 and the Ardbeg 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

As Passover recedes slowly into the distance – along with the lingering cardboard taste of matzah – it’s time to kick back and relax. The guests are gone and the bread has returned. A calming libation is in order. Here are two suggestions:

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A Mid-Holiday Medley

March 18, 2011

Hagafen Syrah

A review of the Hagafen Syrah 2007 and the Tio Pepe Fino Sherry.

The seder meals are behind us now, but Pesach isn’t over yet. As we continue to enjoy the holiday, and the camaraderie of family and friends, some good wine can help make the rest of Passover as enjoyable as the first days. The Hagafen Syrah 2007 ($32) is an excellent choice, and matches well with the traditional hearty holiday fare.

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Cava: One Of The World’s Greatest Wine Values

February 24, 2011

Segura Viudas Heredad

A review of several of the Segura Viudas Cavas.

Cava, the inexpensive Spanish sparkler, is flavorful, food-friendly and comes in a variety of styles. Every wine-lover should own several bottles since their low price makes them perfect for everyday consumption. And their high quality assures enjoyment during special occasions.

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