Archive for February 22nd, 2010

22
Feb
10

A Private Wine Tasting


I recently had a private wine tasting with Costas Mouzouras, the Wine Director at Gotham Wines & Liquors (2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025; Telephone: 212.932.0990). Costas, who’s been in the business for 22 years, selected four outstanding wines for me to try. To keep everything strictly kosher, I opened and poured the bottles for both of us.

The choices were: 2007 Lambouri Ya’in Kafrisin, 2006 Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Dalton Reserve Wild Yeast Fermentation Viognier and a 2007 Yatir Sauvignon Blanc.

We started with the 2007 Lambouri Ya’in Kafrisin. This wine comes from Limassol, Cyprus. It’s made from a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mavro and Grenache Noir grapes. These grapes are grown in Europe’s highest vineyards. The color is a dark garnet with orange and purple reflections. The Mavro grape is indigenous to Cyprus, and unlike any grape grown in the rest of Europe, it is still grown on ancient rootstock. Most mainland Europe’s vineyards have been attacked by the Philoxera Epidemic during the 19th century, as a result most European vineyards were devastated and their grapes had to be grafted on American rootstock. You can, therefore, surmise that while most European grapes may have, however subtly, changed their taste, the Mavro grape remains untainted and has tasted the same (with fair consistency) for thousands of years.  One will detect a nice fruitiness, with emphasis on blackcurrant, blackberry, purple plum fruits and notes of bitter orange peel, those on a background of white pepper and oriental spices, with the tannins and fruits rising on the finish. It leaves the drinker with an unusual but delightful after taste. Goes superbly well with juicy meats. Definitely one of my new favorites!

We followed it with the 2006 Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very good Israeli wine, grown in the Judean Hills. Aged aged in French oak casks, it is very fruity with blackcurrant and plum undercurrents and vanilla (due to the French oak casks). It goes well with drier meats.

We then went on to the whites. 2007 Dalton Reserve Wild Yeast Fermentation Viognier was our next selection. It started with a certain smokiness, showing intense, vibrant and complex spicy, floral, fig and melon aromas and flavors. Deep and rich with a long, broad finish. This wine was, by far, much better than its price range would suggest!

We ended the tasting with a 2007 Yatir Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and lively, with elegance and subtlety. It is light golden in color with orange and green reflections, showing citrus, passion fruit, green apple and grapefruit aromas and flavors on a grassy and stony-mineral background.

All in all, these four selection running in price range from $15.99 to $37.99 were excellent! Costas Mouzouras started working at Gotham Wines & Liquors in 1988, where he soon became the kosher wine buyer, at a time when most of the few available kosher wines were of the extra sweet variety. In his 22 years at Gotham he has seen an explosion of kosher wines with award winning selections from all over the globe including many dry wines (which would have been unthinkable to our older generation), as well as semi dry, semi sweet, and sweet ones.

I liked the wines enough that I had to bring each one home, this is their aftermath...

Currently, they are offering 10% off on any bottles and 15% off on solid cases. (solid meaning a case of the same product.)

On Sunday, March 7th, Gotham Wines & Liquors will present its 7th annual Wine Tasting. It will take place in the afternoon at the Lincoln Square Synagogue (200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY; between 69th and 70th). They will present over 300 bottles from all over the world, starting at 2:00pm and going until 5:00pm. Pay $30 per person at the entrance or $25 on line at Gotham Wines & Liquors‘ own site. At 1:15 going on until 2:00 there will be a guided VIP tasting for $45 which is only available at the door.

CS

22
Feb
10

Interesting Products


Being a foodie I’m always on the lookout for new or interesting products. I recently came across a company with over 1400 products many, many of which have good, globally accepted, hechsherim. That company is Roland Foods.

I tried four of their products in various dishes and liked them!

Mandarin Oranges, Fire Roasted red Peppers, Capers, Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I found quite a few uses for the Oven Roasted Tomatoes Marinated in Oil with Garlic and Oregano and here is a very simple, delicious recipe by SYR:

Penne Rigate con Pomodoro Arrestito

Penne Rigate con Pomodoro Arrestito

3 cups penne rigate (you can substitute your favorite pasta)
4 cloves chopped garlic
8 ozs. shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb Roland oven roasted tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the chopped garlic, until golden brown, in olive oil.

Bring water to a boiling point, add a half teaspoon of salt, (it keeps the pasta from becoming bland), add just under a capful of oil (will keep the pasta from sticking to each other, if you use more than a capful it will make the pasta soggy), add the pasta and cookal dente stirring frequently. How do you know that the pasta is ready? Look at the pasta box’ recommended cooking time and start testing about 30 seconds before the lowest recommended cooking time. If you gently toss the pasta against the wall and it sticks… it’s ready!

A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, warm the oven roasted tomatoes with some of their own oil.

Drain it, put on a serving dish, while hot about half of the shredded mozzarella, the sauteed garlic, the chopped oregano, chopped basil, the tomatoes and the rest of the shredded cheese. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish according to your own taste, we used cheery tomatoes Serves 4.

You’ll find the oven roasted tomatoes give this simple dish a delightfully delicious, rich taste.

Next SYR made a salad with the can of Whole Mandarin Oranges.

Mandarin Orange and Cubed Mango Salad

Mandarin Orange and cubed Mango Salad

One can of Mandarin Orange, one cubed mango, fresh red lettuce, fresh romaine, radicchio, arugula, craisins, cherry tomatoes and diced fresh cucumber. Colorful, refreshing, delicious!

Next we tried a variation on the traditional bagel with lox and cream cheese.

Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel

Every day I pick up a dozen dozen bagels, still hot, with that just baked aroma at: Bagels & Cheese (1304 Avenue M; Brooklyn, NY; Telephone: 718.998.8778), this morning I did so as well but I added lox and cream cheese. For the photo above we added Capers to the lox a bit of tangy, lemony, flavor. We added a Fire Roasted Red Pepper to the cream cheese. The pepper was surprisingly sweet. The whole combination made an incredibly succulent bagel sandwich.

We liked these four products tremendously and we will be using them in a variety of old and new recipes.

CS




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