April 27, 2011
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.
April 13, 2011
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.
March 30, 2011
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.
March 28, 2011
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:
March 18, 2011
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.
February 24, 2011
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.
January 26, 2011
Some suggestions for Valentine’s Day wines including Cremant d’Alsace, Pedro Ximenez and several whose names reflect romance.
Many centuries ago, Euripides noted the intimate relationship between wine and passion: “Where there is no wine, there is no love.” The ancient Greek playwright undoubtedly was alluding to the aphrodisiacal qualities of wine’s myriad flavors. The choices for this Valentine’s Day include many wines that allow the full expression of this association along a broad range of styles
December 22, 2010
Some sparkling wine suggestions for the holidays including Schramsberg, J Vineyards and Gruet.
The versatility and variety of flavors in sparkling wines make them a favorite for the holidays. Sparklers are the result of a secondary fermentation that occurs after the first is completed, usually because some additional sugar and yeast is added to the base wine. The resulting carbon dioxide is dissolved in the wine and appears when the bottle is opened. Techniques utilized to create sparking wines include the traditional, very laborious (and costly) methode champenois where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle and the less-expensive “charmant” where it occurs in a tank.
December 1, 2010
Holiday gift ideas including some special Scotch, Gin and Vodka as well as two book suggestions
Options abound for the wine-lovers on your holiday gift list, many of whom also enjoy other spirits. For those who like Scotch, a special whisky is a great present. From the noted Japanese distillery Suntory is Hibiki 12 Year Old ($55). Its name is a word that can be translated into a number of positive expressions including “harmony.” This version is offered in a lovely 24-sided bottle that represents the ancient Japanese calendar. It has vanilla and fruit aromas along with a clean, slightly sweet, soft caramel, clove and tropical fruit notes with a pleasant smooth finish lacking the burn of lesser made spirits.