Archive for the 'Asaf Paz' Category

14
Feb
12

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 1


Yesterday, we spent the afternoon and well into the evening at Pier 60, in Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers for the Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2012. We taped interviews with wine makers, wine executives, restaurants, etc., for tomorrow evening’s two hour show special at BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene at 7:30pm (Eastern Time). We started by interviewing our long time friend, Jay Buchsbaum (the walking wine encyclopedia I consult on all my wine and spirits’ questions). As Vice President of the Royal Wine Corporation, and after a few decades with the company, no one is better qualified than Jay to introduce us to this event.

We followed that intro with Asaf Paz and Sasson Ben Aharon, winemakers at Israel’s Binyamina Winery

The owner/founder/winemaker of Elvi Wines in Spain, Dr. Moises Cohen came next, not only did he describe his wines, he shared some fascinating vignettes from his life. It was interesting to hear how his vineyards helped him discover some aspects of Jewish history, in the region, predating the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews in the 15th century. It also gave some great insights into his passions and personality.

Phillip Jones, the colorful owner/winemaker at New Zealand’s Goose Bay and Oregon State’s Pacifica was next…

Jürgen Wagner, winemaker at Capçanes in Spain, spoke to us next…

Domaine Netofa‘s owner, consultant to the Royal Wine Corporation and to some of France’s greatest wine making châteauxPierre Miodownik spoke to us next…

Wine writer, seven times published cookbook author (together with his wife), owner/winemaker of Napa Valley’s Covenant – Jeff Morgan - joined us next. His writing on wine led him to some unintended, but fascinating places in his life’s journey…

Mordy Herzog, Royal Wine Corporation Vice President and Spokesman talked with my co-host, Geila Hocherman (author of Kosher Revolution)  and I, about the history of eight generations of winemakers in his family…

Next, Geila and I spoke to my dear friend Jeff Ingber, a trained Chef who graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI – where he still resides – and volunteers as manager for the wine shop at the Providence Hebrew Day School. The wine shop is a fundraising tool to help defray the cost of tuition for frum parents who don’t have the means. Jeff told us about his favorite wines on the show and how he would pair them with various dishes in Geila’s cookbook.

Finally we spoke with the charming, young owner of Guilty PleasuresMaureen Sussanah. She left a successful real estate career to pursue her dream of creating shapes, colors and incredibly delicious chocolate treats.

Please listen in to our upcoming two hour broadcast special, tomorrow evening at 7:30pm to 9:30pm (Eastern Time) on Blogtalkradio.com/kosherscene. We’ll be waiting for you!

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, listen to our archived Bitayavon – A Talk with Shifra Klein. Shifra is Editor-in-Chief of Bitayavon, an award winning kosher foodie magazine.

CS

24
Feb
11

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 2


Yesterday we spoke of the food at KFWE, today we will give our views on the superb potables… As we entered the exhibit hall we found Walders Vanilla & Vodka, nestled among the food tables.

Grrrrreat tasting!

…we’d heard quite a bit about it and we just had to try it, what a delicious dessert drink! The wine selection was huge, obviously we’d never taste all of it, thus we had to be selective knowing full well we’d likely miss some real jewels. In any case here are our impressions of some  we tasted:

Alexander Winery Alexander the Great Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – Alexander’s top of the line composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5%Merlot grapes, it has a beautiful dark color with a hint of black. On the nose it shows berries, cherries and tobacco. A full bodied wine, rich and well balanced, a new favorite of mine!

SYR found the Baron Herzog Pinot Grigio 2009 delightful. – With a superb balance of acidity, a not so subtle perfume on the nose followed by tropical fruits, it goes perfectly with light pasta dishes. It proves, unequivocally, that a good wine need not be expensive.

Asaf Paz, at a wine tasting in 2009

Stopping by Binyamina‘s table, we tasted The Cave 2006 and 2007… This wine never ceases to amaze me, it’s consistently good. Aged in a 300 year old cave for 24 months it consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. A world class wine that just happens to be kosher, the 2007 vintage was a bit more balanced in its taste and a bit more aromatic. Asaf Paz, one the two winemakers at Binyamina, was there presenting his wines and passionately discussing his craft. When I saw Binyamina‘s fruit liqueurs I just had to have some of their delicious Sour Apple, truly fruit in a bottle!

At Selection Bokobsa‘s table we tasted their Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2001… Woooow!!!! With aromas of lilies, mango, peach, honey and apricot, it is an intense, complex dry wine.

We tasted the CAPÇANES Peraj Ha Abib 2008, from Spain. Aged for a year in French oak barrels, from grapes grown on high mountain mineral stony terroir, grapes whose vines yield low amounts of fruit, this is an amazing full bodied wine.

There were more great wines we tasted, but the ones above impressed us the most. Let me also mention some of the liquors I liked. As a kid, growing up in Uruguay, I always wondered why the adults kept on referring to “agua ardiente,burning water… I finally got to taste Aguardiente Antioqueño, from Colombia. Now I understood the oxymoron. The name suddenly made sense and, yes, it was very good!!

Another liquor I’ll mention is San Francisco’s Distillery Number 209‘s Gin. Very fruity aroma, superbly tasting! Before leaving I had some Glengoyne 17 Year Old Scotch Whiskey, extremely smooth with a very concentrated palette of incredible flavors!

As SYR put it, “It was a great evening of food, wines, meeting old friends and finding new ones. A truly amazing evening and I can’t wait until next year’s KFWE!”

CS

RELATED POSTS

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 1

16
Mar
10

Benyamina Wines Tasting, Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Tasting


On the evening of  Thursday, January the 21st, I attended a wine tasting of Benyamina wines given by Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club. Asaf Paz, one of the two wine-makers at the Benyamina winery, presented a selection of wines in all price ranges.

Some of the wines we would taste...

Eran Elhalal, the club’s chef, prepared a nice assortment of cheeses (sharp and mild), fruits and sweets. Raphael Sutton, who edited Israel Food and Wine magazine and wrote on wines for Globes (Israel’s premier financial publication) was the resident expert together with Eran and Avi.

Asaf started the presentation with a Chardonnay 2007, we tasted it first at room temperature. It was pleasantly tart, with hints of citrus, grapefruit and apricot. When chilled it became fruitier with peach and floral notes. It’s made in the Champagne style since the Chardonnay grape together with its red grape cousins, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier is part of the triumvirate of grapes used for Champagne. This grape which easily adapts to every climate, no matter how extreme, is also used in large proportions in the production of classic sparklers around the world.

We followed with Yogev 2007, that combined Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. With Cherry and berry notes, the Shiraz gave it a smoky spiciness. Made from classical warm weather grapes, it won’t age as well as other higher end wines.

We continued with another Yogev 2007 selection, also a dry red. This wine combines 20% Petit Verdot (grown in the Negev Mountains, it has high acidity and produces fruity tannins) and 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s aroma brought out mint and black currant tones. Ages well and has a very unique strong personality.

Next we had a Reserve Merlot 2005, with hints of cherry and sweet spices. it goes well with lamb shanks and strong flavored meats. Next we had a delightful Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

Some of the higher end selections

Sapir 2004 followed this wines is aged for 16 months in the cask and 4 years in the bottle before it leaves the winery. It has 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, and 25% Merlot, fruity with floral accents and sweet spices.

Odem 2005 was next, this wine has 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier it has a nice smoky taste and goes well with charcouterie meats.

Finally we got to taste Benyamina’s top of the line, The Cave – Hama’arah 2006, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. A superior wine that is aged not in the main winery but in a 300 year old cave in the heart of the Carmel Mountains, hence its name. This top quality wine, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the grapes were harvested in  the Upper Galilee. The wine was aged over 24 months in new French oak barrels and will continue to age well. Truly a superb wine.

Tomorrow, March 17, the Israeli Wine Lovers Club will be meeting again in Manhattan, at:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) NYC
6th Floor
The buzzer, on the ground floor, is # 6.

As Avi’s email advised: “Earlier today I got the wines for the “How Sweet It ISrael” tasting from the Royal Wine Company (the largest Kosher wines importer/distributor). The list is great — Carmel Shaal, Gamla White Riesling, Carmel Moscato, and more. Eran (our Club’s Chef) promised to make special treats for the tasting…. So, are you ready for a sweet feast as I am? We’d like to see you at the event.

You can RSVP at their web site: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/12765713/ The cost for this tasting is $36 at the door. Hope to see you there.

CS




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