How Much Time Should The Wine Spend In Its Bottle?

January 16, 2013

A review of the Carmel Mediterranean 2007 and several GlenDronach Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

In a strictly biological sense, there is nothing “alive” in a bottle of wine, and yet there is no doubt that wine continues to evolve after bottling. Many have compared wine to a living creature since it begins as an organic product that changes over time and has a limited lifespan. Indeed, most well-made wines seem to have their own unique personality, and often with the inherent potential to become more complex and interesting over time.

Most wines are made for early consumption rather than extended maturation, and accordingly are generally consumed within days or weeks after purchase. There are some wines, by contrast, that require additional time in the bottle to allow the various components to merge and reach their full potential. A great many wines fall somewhere in between and will benefit from a few years of additional time in the bottle.

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A Taste Of Black And White

January 9, 2013

A review of the Vinobles David Cote du Rhone Villages-Reserve 2010 kosher wine and the Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky.


The Rhone river valley produces some of the world’s finest red wines. It is comprised of two geographically and viticulturally distinct regions. The Northern Rhone climate varies widely through the year and is known for cold winters and warm summers. Its red wines are exclusively syrah although some subregions permit the addition of a small amount of white grapes. In the southern Rhone, the weather is more Mediterranean with a milder winter and hotter summer. The wines are predominately grenache based blends that can include over a dozen other red and white varietals.

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On The Importance Of Vintage

January 3, 2013

A review of the Recanati Petite Sirah/Zinfandel Reserve 2010 and several Springbank Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Vintage is the most important number on a wine label. Each growing season brings its own differences in vineyard temperatures and rainfall, which significantly affect the quality and character of the grapes. The winemaker’s role is to create the best possible wine every year in a specific style despite these annual variations.

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Sparkling Wine: Too Good For Just New Year’s Eve

December 28, 2012

Reviews of the kosher Louis de Sacy Brut Champagne and the Lagavulin 16 Year Old and Distiller’s Edition 1996 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated with a Champagne toast. This is likely because the bubbles are considered festive, or perhaps in the belief that drinking something expensive will bring good fortune for the coming year. Whatever the reason, more Champagne will be consumed during the hours after midnight on Jan 1 than during any other time of the year.

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Options Abound For Holiday Cheer

December 26, 2012

Sparkling Wine Recommendations To Celebrate The New Year

A consequence of the current economic doldrums is the savvy wine consumer’s greater willingness to explore less-familiar wines and regions that offer both quality and value. This is especially true for those who wish to toast the holidays with something bubbly but do not want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a bottle of vintage Champagne.Thankfully, there are some terrific sparkling wines being made in many other locations including Italy, Spain and California.

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The Kosher Wine Exception

December 19, 2012

A review of the Martins Malbec 2010 and Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin 2012 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Week after week, we write about some of the many worthwhile kosher wines being produced all over the world. For many months we made a point of indicating where the wines we reviewed could be purchased locally, but as some of our regular readers have occasionally pointed out to us, we have done so a lot less frequently of late. Partly this is because it can be difficult for us to stay on top of who carries what, and partly because of the reality that those in Maryland and Virginia have different access than Washingtonians.

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The Essential Tool Of Blending

December 12, 2012

A review of the Shiloh Winery Mosaic 2007 and Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Blending, as we’ve noted before, is one of the essential tools in the winemaker’s bag of tricks. Often winemakers find that many of their single varietals need a bit of help in becoming more balanced, fragrant or interesting. So they will add some other grapes to create a blend that is more expressive and appealing to consumers.

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Better Than Chanukah Gelt

December 6, 2012

Four Gates Winery

Our Chanukah wish list including some kosher wines and a bunch of the great spirits we’ve recently enjoyed.

Chanukah gift-giving is really just an American transmogrification mimicking Xmas of the actual Jewish custom of giving Chanukah gelt (money). Still, we have nonetheless given in to modern convention and have compiled a list of a few things that we wouldn’t mind being given.

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Making Kosher Wine – In Italy

November 28, 2012

Glen Grant

Reviews of the Borgo Reale Chianti Vespertino 2009 and several Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

There have been Jews in Italy since Judah Maccabee sent ambassadors to the Roman Senate in 161 BCE. Conditions have varied during the subsequent centuries depending upon the dispensation of various pontiffs and secular rulers. The ravages of World War II severely diminished Italian Jewish life but there still remains evidence of its vibrant culture including the magnificent Moorish-styled Great Synagogue of Florence and a smaller one in Siena. Like Jews everywhere, the Jews of Italy were influenced by the local conditions, customs and agricultural products. So it is interesting to speculate what types of grapes Italian Jews utilized to create their kosher wines.

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