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

Here’s Johnnie with a new blended Scotch

Blended Scotch is a mix of malt whisky and nonmaltmalt grain whisky. Non-malt grain whisky is easier and less costly to produce, using large, highly efficient continuous distillation in the form of column stills. The resulting spirit is thought to be lighter, less interesting and less full of character and flavor. Malt whisky, which is… Read More

Toast Chanukah, New Year’s with these festive wines

Chanukah and New Year’s Eve coincide this year, so festive libations are most definitely in order. Whether having friends and family around for cocktails and candles, or for a full-on celebratory dinner party, adult beverage offerings are a must. Celebratory wines, whether bubbly or sweet, suit the Chanukah season’s festivities and make for great gifts…. Read More

A tale of two whiskies

Over the last decade, Israel has become well known internationally for its wine. In a sense, the Israeli wine industry represents some of the best attributes of Israel today: the energy, the vibrancy, the technology, the agricultural genius, the start-up nation ethic. “After all,” as Adam Montefiore, formerly of Carmel Winery and arguably still the… Read More

Playground of quality winegrowing

“I have a big playground of amazing vineyards in some of the most interesting terroirs in the area,” Dalton Winery winemaker Guy Eshel explained to me on a recent visit to Israel. “This year we yielded more than 1,000 tons of estate grapes.” Eshel joined Dalton in 2015 as head winemaker after several years abroad… Read More

Wonderful pairing of grape and goat

Israel’s Galilee is one of the best wine regions in the country. I recently enjoyed a brief excursion there to visit some choice wineries, including the wonderful Adir Winery. The visitors’ center at Adir is an excellent booze tourism destination. The winery was established in 2003 by the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families, but its first… Read More

One wine for two states

Recently I had the good fortune of sitting down with Jeff and Jodie Morgan, vintner-proprietors of the Covenant Winery, an urban winery in Berkeley, Calif., and now also of their latest wine venture, Covenant Israel. Covenant is the only American winery making wine in both California and Israel, and Jeff Morgan is the head vintner… Read More