A Toast to Sir Moses

October 12, 2011

Four Roses Bourbon

A review of the 1848 Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and the Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel 12 year old Bourbon.

The birth of the modern Israeli wine industry can be traced to Sir Moses Montefiore, the noted British philanthropist. Born in 1784, Montefiore gained great personal wealth as a businessman, ultimately retiring in 1924 to spend the rest of his life supporting various charities, including projects devoted to improving the lives of the Jews in the Holy Land. He established the first modern Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem, encouraging residents to pursue agriculture, including vineyard-tending.

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Back To The Source In Israel and Scotland

October 5, 2011

Glenfarclas 105

A review of the Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and the Glenfarclas 10 year old, 17 year old and their “105” Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

The Judean Hills have been a source of wine since biblical times. Currently home to nearly 30 wineries, the hills surrounding Jerusalem now produce some of Israel’s best wines. The region’s complex soils, wide temperature variations, morning dew and modulating breezes create numerous micro-climates that allow the grapes to develop distinctive flavors and characteristics.

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Not Wild About Eating Pig? How About Sipping It Neat?

September 28, 2011

Tzora Misty Hills

A review of the Tzora Misty Hills 2007, the WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey and the Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch Whisky.

At this time of year, our thoughts inevitably return to the fundamentals of living a meaningful Jewish life. As this is a booze column, we therefore turn our wine thinking for the High Holidays toward eretz Yisrael. An outstanding on-the-ground guide to the growing Israeli wine scene is Oded Shoham, the CEO of the “Israel Wine Experience,” a company that provides Israeli winery tours, wine tastings, food pairings and lectures that can be geared for any level of interest.

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For the Love of Lombardy’s Lovely Wines



Monte Ciogna Don Lisander

A review of wines from Italy’s Lombardy region.

Italy’s Lombardy region has been producing wines for centuries. Bordered by the Alps to the north and the Po River in the south, Lombardy is a cool-climate location for wine production dotted with lakes that modulate the local temperatures. The area is best known for its aromatic cheeses, and many of its grapes and wines are spirited off to be consumed elsewhere.

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Daniel Rogov, A Great Vintage In His Own Right

September 21, 2011

Daniel Rogov

A tribute to the legendary Daniel Rogov including a review of the Mosby Kosher Plum Brandy Slivovitz.

The wine world has sadly become a little less interesting with the recent passing of Israel’s preeminent wine critic Daniel Rogov earlier this month. Rogov (as he preferred to be called) arrived on the Israeli wine scene just as there was a growing interest in quality improvement.

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From Italy’s Piedmont To The Scottish Highlands

September 14, 2011

Glenlivet 18

A review of Bartenura Dolcetto D’Alba Ovadia Estates 2010, the Glenlivet 18 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the Jameson 18 year old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey.

There’s more to Italian wines than just Chianti and Soave. In actuality, Italian varieties range from bone dry to enticingly sweet, and they are produced in nearly every corner of the country. While many are fine for sipping anytime, most are best appreciated with food, especially cuisine from the same region as the winery. Northern Italy’s Piedmont region is best known for its Barbaresco and Barolo offerings, which are created from the Nebbiolo grape. Both are big, powerful wines that need several years of aging to achieve their potential. In contrast, Dolcetto is a fruit-forward, low acidity wine that is very food-friendly and is meant to be enjoyed young. Produced within several areas in Piedmont, the best originate in D’Alba.

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Around the World of Wonderful Wines

September 12, 2011

Morgon Descombes

A review of several Cru Beaujolais, some Pinot Grigios and New Zealand Pinot Noirs.

To appreciate the variety of notable wines being made around the world, try less familiar varietals or more familiar ones that come from different locations. Begin your journey in France’s Beaujolais region where the Gamay grape is made into remarkable, reasonably-priced and often underappreciated wines. Distinct from the simply styled “Beaujolais Nouveau” meant to be consumed soon after harvest, the better Beaujolais have complex fruitiness along with minimal tannins, making them the ones to pour for a friend that usually likes only white wine.

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Making the Desert Bloom – With Vineyards

September 7, 2011

Penderyn Single Malt

A review of the Kadesh Barnea Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, the Johnnie Walker “Blue Label” and the Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky.

It seems almost poetic that the barren region where Moses brought forth water from a rock would eventually become a winery. Also known as the place where Miriam is buried, Kadesh Barnea in the western Negev is the site of a unique boutique winery. While it seems counterintuitive to grow grapes in the desert, the hot days and cool nights actually provide the type of wide temperature variations that result in flavorful and well-balanced wines.

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Harvesting a Liquid Dessert

August 31, 2011

Hafner Icewine

A review of the Hafner Gruner Veltliner Icewine 2002 and the story of the “Hot Toddy,” a classic curative cocktail.

There are times when you need to have something sweet. Cookies, cake, ice cream and even fruit usually quench that craving. But for a less caloric and often more interesting alternative, consider a late-harvest wine. More commonly known as “dessert wines,” late-harvest wines are among the world’s most desirable and expensive, with many bottles costing hundreds of dollars. Dessert wines are created in a number of fashions but most include harvesting the grapes after a prolonged growing season. Over time, the sugar levels increase and the flavors become more concentrated- and the results can be ephemeral.

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