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

Keeping your balance at the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving dinner is one of those American traditions that’s regularly greeted with joy or dread, depending entirely on one’s attitude and forbearance. The proceedings generally progress with greater joviality, or at least cordiality, when well lubricated. Just drink responsibly or your Thanksgiving feast is likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The goal… Read More

A bubbly election follow-up

Last week’s presidential election reminded me of a famous quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.” Champagne is usually associated with celebrations and secular holidays, but is so pleasing to the senses and so food friendly that it should be enjoyed anytime. Served chilled, Champagnes and… Read More

Paean for the versatile hot toddy

Generally enjoyed in cold weather, and often sipped late in the evening to facilitate sleep, the hot toddy is actually a fairly versatile potion, one that can be enjoyed in much the same fashion as an evening tea or after-dinner coffee. The drink is most directly associated with Scotland, and refers to a mixed alcoholic… Read More