Pushing the (winemaking) envelope

Winemaking is a complex, time-consuming and often expensive endeavor. The inherent risks of dealing with the vagaries of weather, yeasts and market forces would seem to favor a more formulaic approach to making wine. Fortunately, some winemaking folks not only tinker with how they make wine, but also sometimes experiment with uncommon grape varietals. Alicante… Read More

Wine for the holidays, Part 2

There is something very stressful yet comforting about planning the typical Thanksgiving meal. On the one hand, the menu is pretty much standard fare with turkey, stuffing, fall vegetables, something cranberry and plenty of dessert. On the other hand, the stress involved can be stultifying, leaving one’s head abuzz with questions: Which recipe or style… Read More

Wine for the holidays

Since oil played a significant role in the Chanukah story, oily foods have become traditional during the holiday. So those celebrating both Chanukah and Thanksgiving are likely to have some interesting menu variations this year. Wine, of course, should play an important role. As a symbol of joy that also helps ease tensions and lighten… Read More

Wine for ‘Thanksgivukah’

This year, due to the distinct dynamics of the secular and Jewish calendars, Chanukah is the day before Thanksgiving (the first night of Chanukah is erev Thanksgiving, which means that the first day of Chanukah is also Thanksgiving day; so those who celebrate both will be lighting the second night and then fressing at their… Read More

Labors of love

Beyond all the many good-to-excellent kosher wineries out there slaking the growing thirst of the kosher consumer, we always enjoy it when some well-established and prestigious nonkosher winery gets in on the act and produces a limited batch of kosher wines. These days, as often as not, these limited run wines are pet projects of… Read More

Magic in the bottle

Blending various grape varietals to create a beverage that is greater than the sum of its parts can often seem like magic. Especially after half a bottle. The Hebrew word for “magic” — kessem — is also the name of a delicious Israeli blend created by Shuki Yashuv, owner and winemaker of the Agur Winery. … Read More

Preparing for fall (wine)

Sukkot is approaching now, and the prospect of additional lavish entertaining looms large. Time to gather our thoughts, and materials, to build and decorate our sukkot, plan and prepare our meals, and maybe plan and prepare some sage Torah thoughts to share with our family and friends as we celebrate together. So, obviously, we should… Read More