The key to this cocktail is balance

Special to WJW A seemingly simple concoction of iced tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire and usually also lemon juice and then something spicy like horseradish or Tabasco, a well-made Bloody Mary is refreshingly tangy, rich, and earthy. A badly made Bloody Mary is, well, deeply inadequate. Try to get too fancy with additional vegetables, and you… Read More

Can good barbecue be kosher? You be the judge

PHILADELPHIA — A Styrofoam box full of smoked brisket is being eyed by a line of people. To the uninitiated, it looks like a to-go box. But to the 26 participants of the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) certified judging class, it adds up to an abundance of questions, concerns and critiques. In typical Jewish… Read More

The right way to make a wine breathe

Special to WJW Going through my email bag to answer some of your questions about kosher wines and spirits. If you have a question, from the simple to the seriously technical, feel free to email me at What does letting the wine breathe mean? The idea is metaphorical. A wine “breathes” in the sense… Read More

Love and whiplash with a mystical bent Review

“Bashert” by Herb Freed. Los Angeles: Bellrock Press, 2017. 325 pages. $14.95 As implied by its title, “Bashert” (soulmate) is a novel about love. But it comes with a distinctly mystical bent. Filmmakers Dan and Marion — the book’s protagonists — rush to the hospital to see the baby just born to their friends Steve… Read More

A few bottles to brighten your mood

Special to WJW Being originally from California, when I want to lighten the mood, I usually reach for a something from the Golden State, like the dependably delicious Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($27) from Napa Valley, or the always enjoyable Covenant Red C Rose 2016 ($35) from Sonoma. Both are absolutely fine choices, and I… Read More

Will Gal Gadot be the next Moshe Dayan? As Wonder Woman, is she destined to become as iconic as the Six-Day War hero?

Try to think of the most famous Israelis in history. Not necessarily the most consequential — like any number of Nobel Prize winners or behind-the-scenes Middle East peace deal negotiators — but those who are most universally recognizable. Most lists would likely include a pioneering role model (Golda Meir), a supermodel who once dated Leonardo… Read More