Which wine goes with Passover? Passover

Picking wines to serve at your seder can be a little less straightforward than it might seem at first. For one thing, wine is de rigueur. So except for those dining alone or who otherwise require grape juice to fulfill their holiday obligations, an awful lot of wine will likely be opened. There are also… Read More

Don’t swallow this age-old whiskey myth

One of the most consistent trends in the global whiskey market over the last is the development of non-age statement (NAS) whiskies. Since whiskey is years in the making, it can be very hard to forecast appropriately enough into the future to determine an optimum level of production to quench consumer thirst. Yet another example… Read More

Keep your nose away from the cork

Over the years of scribbling these articles about kosher wines and distilled spirits, I’ve gotten a fair amount of correspondence from readers asking questions. This week I’m going through my email bag to answer some of them. What is the difference between red and white wine glasses? Do I really need to buy both? To… Read More

It wouldn’t be wine without oak

Why oak? At first glance it would seem unlikely that the wood from a tree and the fruit of the vine would have such a longstanding relationship. While both oak barrels and wine are ultimately made from plants, they are certainly cultivated, harvested, developed and utilized very differently. Yet without oak, the wide world of… Read More

Travails of whisky-making in Taiwan

The world of Scotch whisky lost one its great behind-the-scenes practitioners this month. Dr. James Swan died Feb. 14 at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was 75. As a drinks industry consultant to wineries, breweries, whisky blenders and distillers, Swan was a highly sought after expert. Among the many distilleries around the world Swan… Read More

When bad guys sell bad wine

The other day I watched the documentary “Sour Grapes” about a crime that rocked the wine world. The crime and the nature of the victims make this compelling and genuinely enjoyable film an indictment of a certain invidious elite class of wine collector. It also impugns some of the vagaries of the necessarily subjective world… Read More

Kosher single malts with a peaty tang

The Tomintoul Distillery distillery is situated in the “Strath” or valley between the Glenlivet Forest and the hills of Cromdale, east of the Avon River. Like nearly all distilleries of the region, Tomintoul was built to produce whisky for blending purposes, and although single- malt releases from Tomintoul have been available since 1973, they remained relatively hard to come by until… Read More

The tide has turned for Beaujolais

Until a little after World War II, Beaujolais Nouveau was little more than a traditional light vin de l’année (wine from the current year) produced for locals to celebrate that harvest, and to be consumed before the end of that year. It is called “nouveau” (“new”) because it is only fermented very briefly, just long… Read More

A snootful with the presidents

Like clockwork every four years we regular consumers of adult beverages do so either to toast a new administration, drown our sorrows, or maybe just to count our blessings and celebrate the nonviolent transfer of power. Regardless, this calls to mind trivia tidbits about U.S. presidents and alcohol. George Washington was, for example, the only… Read More

The Jews in Jim Beam’s family tree

Last week brought news of the passing of a bourbon whiskey legend: Parker Beam, master distiller emeritus of Heaven Hill Distillery, at the age of 75, after an arduous and public battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Born Earl Parker Beam in 1941, he was son of Earl Beam,… Read More