Archive for the 'Gotham Wines & Liquors' Category

20
May
12

Wines I’ve Enjoyed – Part 1


Before the yomim tovim I make my way to Gotham Wine and Liquors (2517 Broadway – between 93rd and 94th Streets – New York, NY 10025; Tel: 212-932-0990), where I pick up old favorites, new selections I want to try and recommendations by Costas, whether for myself, or as gifts to family and friends.

Starting on Pessach I’ve tried some superb wines from $9.00 and up.

For the Four Cups, on the first Seder night, I drank the 2006 Segal‘s Argaman. Well balanced, easy to drink and made from Israel’s only native grape. The Argaman grape is a crossing between the Portuguese Souzão and Carignan. This delightful wine was fermented of the skins of Merlot; it shows notes of red and black berries. I should have gotten more than just two bottles of it!

The second night I turned to the 2010  Gedeon Cabernet Sauvignon for the Arba Kosos. It was fruity while combining toasted vanilla and tobacco notes from French Oak Barrels, with a smoky finish. I always buy this inexpensive selection by the case.

The 2011 Bartenura Malvasia has long been a favorite through various vintages since I first discovered the grape under the late Tonelli label. Aromatic, slightly fizzy and just sweet enough for even the inexperienced wine, it is  nice as a dessert wine or with a light meal. Very pleasant when chilled!

2010 Bravdo Coupage combines Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it exhibits slight floral notes mixed with subtle herbs and blackcurrant on the nose. On the palate it shows hints of black cherry, raspberry, ripe fruit and well balanced tannins, it has a long spicy finish and ends with a delightful hint of vanilla.

The 2009 Binyamina Reserve Gewurtztraminer Late Harvest has won 2 Gold Medals at the 2010 Terravino, the Mediterranean International Wine and Spirit Challenge. Made from Botrytis (Noble Rot) infected grapes, golden yellow in color with a rich and complex aroma of tropical fruit, honeyed dried apricots, lychee, red grapefruit and rose water. Its high sugar level is beautifully and precisely balanced by a natural crispness, it has a rich and long lingering finish with dominant fruity and floral overtones.

2009 Dalton Shiraz – Very dark in color, the nose is intense with black berries and liquorice, on the palate its shows buttery notes of cherry jam, caramel and a hint of black pepper. The wine shows soft integrated tannins and a long finish.

2011 Dalton Moscato is slightly effervescent with a fresh floral bouquet. Incredibly aromatic, and with just enough sweetness to not become cloying. It’s a perfect dessert wine!

2009 Livni Pinot Noir – Made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes, aged in French and American oak barrels it is full bodied and with a very deep garnet color. On the nose it shows blackcurrant with barely a hint of vanilla. On the palate it exhibits ripe cherries, wild berries and raspberry, with slight overtones of earthy minerals.

Connoisseur and novice alike will greatly delight in any of the above selections.

CS

30
Mar
12

Geila Hocherman & Costas Mouzouras – Passover Food and Wine Pairing – Recipes – Part 2


More recipes and video…

French Macaroons

Don’t confuse these glorious, slightly chewy mouthfuls, made from a few simple ingredients,
with the more common coconut macaroons most of us know.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large egg whites from large eggs, at room temperature (ideally, kept out overnight)
  • ¼ cup sugar

Flavoring Variations

  • ½ cup cocoa powder OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds from 1 bean OR 2 teaspoons coffee extract or raspberry extract.

Filling Variations

  • Chocolate ganache (recipe below)
  • Lemon curd (recipe below)
  • Lime curd, substitute fresh lime for the lemon juice
  • Jam, such as raspberry, strawberry, or black currant

Directions

  1. First make the macarons. In a food processor combine the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar and process until well combined, 90 seconds. Flavoring: If making chocolate macarons, add the cocoa powder to the blended mixture and stir. If making vanilla macarons with the vanilla bean, add the seeds. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the granulated sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff glossy peaks are formed, 90 seconds to 2 ½ minutes. If using coffee or raspberry extract, and/or food coloring, add now. Add the almond flour mixture all at once and beat until the mixture is just well combined, about 10 seconds. Do not allow the mixture to get soupy. Check by dropping 1 teaspoon on a flat surface. The mixture should spread slightly, not thin out. Surface marks should dissolve into the batter. If the mixture doesn’t spread at all, give it a few more stirs, and test again.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ -inch tip. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Anchor it at the corners with drops of the mixture. Pipe 1 1/2 – to 2- inch circles onto the paper. To do this easily, hold the bag at a 90- degree angle and squeeze it while keeping the tip stationary as the mixture spreads in a circle. Quickly lift the tip and form the next macaron. Let the macarons rest until their surfaces become dull and a crust forms,
    about 60 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 F. Bake the macarons until the tops are completely dry and the macarons come off the paper easily without any residue, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the macarons while still on the paper to a countertop. Cool and remove from the paper. To fill the macarons, turn them flat side down and pair them by matching size. Place 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of filling on the bottom half of each pair, cover with the top half, and press to form a sandwich. The filling should be visible. Repeat with the remaining macaron pairs. Refrigerate overnight
    and bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Grind the chocolate in a food processor. Place the cream in a small glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir and heat for 30 seconds more. The cream should be very hot. Alternatively, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and the mixture is well blended. Refrigerate, stirring every 15 minutes, until cool and the consistency of frosting is reached, about 60 minutes. If the ganache becomes too solid to spread, microwave it for 5 seconds and stir, or
    beat it in a bowl over hot water for about 30 seconds.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 8T margarine, cut into ½-inch dice

Directions

  1. In a mini food processor combine the sugar and lemon zest and pulse until combined. Fill a small saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a nonreactive bowl, combine the yolks, sugar and zest mixture, lemon juice and starch, place over but not touching the water, and whisk until it thickens to the consistency of a loose pudding, about 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the margarine, stirring to blend. Strain the mixture into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap so it touches the top of the curd, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

 — Bonus Recipes

Onion-stuffed knaidlach

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons chicken stock or seltzer
  • 5 tablespoons chicken fat or canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine eggs, stock, 3 tablespoons of the fat, salt, pepper, parsley and cilantro, if using. Add matzo meal and blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. In a medium skillet, warm remaining fat over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Drain onions on a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat so the water boils slowly. (Rapid boiling can make the knaidlach break when cooking.) Using wet hands, form 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons each of the matzo meal mixture into a disk held in one palm. Place 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons onion in the middle of the disc, pinch to enclose, and roll between both hands until a ball is formed. Drop into the water. Repeat with remaining mixture and onions.
  4. When the knaidlach float to the surface of the water, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the knaidlach with a slotted spoon, transfer to soup, and serve.

Photo from Kosher Revolution, page 75, by Antonis Achilleous

Miso-glazed black cod

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups white miso
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 black cod fillets (6 to 8 ounces each), skin removed

Directions

  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine mirin and sake and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute (to cook off the alcohol), reduce heat to medium, add miso, and stir until dissolved. Add sugar, increase heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Dry fillets with paper towels and put them in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag. Add miso glaze, seal and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  3. Bring the fillets to room temperature. Preheat broiler or place a grill pan or heavy skillet over high heat. Wipe excess glaze from the fillets and broil or grill, turning once, until brown and glazed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

30
Mar
12

Geila Hocherman & Costas Mouzouras – Passover Food and Wine Pairing – Recipes – Part 1


Geila Hocherman, the author of Kosher Revolution, and Costas Mouzouras, the walking wine encyclopedia at Gotham Wines & Liquors, got together to discuss food and wine pairings. Here we post two out of the three part video of their discussion and we bring six of Geila’s recipes, all from her book, except for one:

Cinnamon chicken tajine with prunes and apricots

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 chickens, about 3 1/2 pounds each, each cut into 8 pieces, or 16 breasts, thighs and legs, any
    combination, rinsed and dried well
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 large onions (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, ground, powdered or crushed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
  • 2 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

    1. Heat a large skillet, paella pan or large roasting pan, set over two burners, over medium-high heat. Add almonds and toast, stirring, until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
    2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat half of the oil in the pan over medium heat. Working in batches, add chicken and saute until brown, turning once, about 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter and set aside. If the oil or browned bits in the pan have burned, wipe out the pan.
    3. Add remaining oil to the pan. Add onions and saute, stirring, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to the pan. Add saffron to stock, and pour over chicken. Add cinnamon, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the white meat to the platter. Add prunes and apricots to the pan and simmer until the rest of the chicken is done, about 15 minutes.
      Transfer the chicken to the platter and discard the cinnamon sticks. Add honey to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until liquid is syrupy and coats a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Return chicken to the pan, baste with sauce, cover and warm. Transfer all to a warmed platter, sprinkle with almonds, and serve.

Mina

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. onions sliced thin
  • ¼ cup grape seed/vegetable oil,
  • 2 lbs. Swiss chard
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 lbs mushrooms sliced thin- I prefer combination of shitake and cremini or Portobello
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2-10 0z package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • Juice of 2 lemons plus zest of one
  • ¼ cup finely diced sundried tomatoes or roasted red pepper
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup stock- chicken or vegetable
  • 8 sheets Matzo

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13-baking dish and line with parchment.
  2. In a large skillet heat ½ of the oil and sprinkle the onions with salt. Sauté until they are translucent. Add ½ of the garlic and pine nuts and toast for 2 minutes. Add the chard and cook down until almost dry. Add the balsamic and the sugar and cook for 2 more minutes. Place mixture in a strainer and let drain.
  3.  Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt and sauté mushrooms with 3 cloves of garlic until they have released all of their water. Add the wine and cook down until all of the moisture has been absorbed. Set aside.

Pignoli Cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 oz almond paste
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pine nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325○F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the almond paste and sugars and process until the mixture reaches the consistency of sand. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium bowl, and add the egg white, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat on medium speed or by hand for 4 minutes.
  3. Place the pine nuts in a small bowl. Next to it place a small bowl of water for wetting your hands. Wet your hands and form 1 ½- to 2-inch balls with the paste mixture, making 5 at a time. Drop them into the bowl of nuts and press down gently so the nuts adhere to the bottom of the dough. Transfer to a cookie sheet nut side up. Repeat, filling each prepared cookie sheet with about 15 balls. Bake until puffed and beginning to color, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on the parchment paper on a countertop. When completely cool, peel the cookies off the paper and serve.

This post is getting a bit long, we have no choice but to break it up into two parts…

Meanwhile enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

14
Mar
12

This Evening’s Radio Show


Our guest at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) this evening on BlogTalkRadio.com, will be Alec Borenstein, Esq., Success Coach and powerful Motivational Speaker.

Who is Alec Borenstein? He’s an award winning speaker and coach who partners with clients to take massive action in their lives.  Alec’s mission is to ensure that every speech or coaching session is replete with practical strategies to ensure immediate change for both individuals and organizations.

Whether it’s the real estate broker who grew his business 40% in a down economy, or the teacher who discovered his greatest passion, or the woman who finally took control of her finances, Alec has the background, experience, and talent to help all of his clients create powerful goals and break through any barriers that might be in the way.

This evening, we will have the pleasure of learning from his wisdom we will hear what motivates him and how he can motivate others.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, please listen to our archived special from this past Monday on Gotham Wines & Liquors 9th Annual Kosher Wine Extravaganza. We spoke with Gotham‘s resident wine connoisseur and walking encyclopedia, Costas Mouzouras, as well as various wine makers, food manufacturers, wine distributors, and attending wine lovers. You may may also want to watch our video, where Costas explains the fine art of wine tasting.

Please listen in this evening at 8:00pm (Eastern Time), for an interesting and inspirational show. We’ll be waiting for you!

CS

12
Mar
12

This Evening’s Radio Special


On March 4th, Costas Mouzouras and his staff from Gotham Wines & Liquors (2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025 – Tel: 212.932.0990) held their 9th Annual Kosher Wine Extravaganza, featuring 300 wines and liquors, at the West End Institutional Synagogue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Costas Mouzouras - Gotham Wines and Liquors

Shiki Rauchberger, Chief Winemaker for Teperberg 1870 Winery, started the private tasting, he introduced us to several selections which are already on the market and some which will not be available until shortly before Passover 2013.

Shiki Rauchberhger - Teperberg 1870

There were some very interesting wines, Shiki selected, wines that clearly showed why Teperberg 1870 is one of Israel’s top wineries.

A partial view of the Teperberg bottles we tasted...

Costas followed Shiki‘s presentation with his own. He demonstrated new wines and old favorites (we will write about them…), he also gave us some very interesting pointers on how to appreciate wine.

We then proceeded upstairs to the general admission area where we met old friends, made new ones, tasted superb wines from all over the world, as well as a great selection of cheeses from Anderson International Foods and some delicious chocolates from Chocolate Works NY. In the center there was a table laden with dips, salads and crackers as large tables laden with wines circled the room.

This is the third extravaganza presented by Gotham Wines that we attended, and frankly, they keep getting better and better!

Please tune as in this evening at 8:00 pm (Eastern Standard) on BlogTalkRadio.com for a special pre-taped show with Costas Mouzouras, winemakers, food purveyors, and more. Listen in to learn about the latest wines for this Passover.

In case you missed it you can listen to our archived show with Brent Delman, from The Cheese Guy.com. Brent regaled us with his knowledge of cheese while being in an informative but entertaining manner.

Please tune us in this eve, we’ll be waiting for you!

CS

27
Feb
12

Upcoming Wine Events


Sunday, March 4th

Gotham’s 9th Annual Kosher Wine Extravaganza

Where:

West Side Institutional Synagogue – 120 West 76Street, New York, NY 10023

When:

VIP Tasting: 1:00pm – 2:00pm – $60.00 per attendee
VIP tickets are entitled to attend the whole show.
Part1: Join Chief Winemaker Shiki Rauchberger of Teperberg Winery for a wine tasting showcasing wines from his iconic winery.
Part 2: Join Costas Mouzuras in a short tasting featuring some new and old treasures.

Early Admittance: 2:00pm – 3:00pm – $40.00
Enjoy chocolate samplers from ChocolateWorksNYC.com.
Cheese tasting
sponsored by 
Anderson International Foods.
Join Brigitte Mizrahi from AIFoods and taste a huge selection of cheeses.

Be adventurous and try our chocolate and wine pairings, our cheese and wine pairings and… YES! will also be presenting TISHBI’s Fruit and Wine Preserves. What a heavenly combination!

General admission: 3:00 – 6:00pm – $30.00 ($35.00 at the door)

What:
Over 300 wines from offering a panoramic view of Kosher wines in today’s market. Sample amazing wines from every major vineyard from Israel, France, Italy, Spain, South America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, United States and more at this annual Wine Extravaganza.

Taste and enjoy wines from wineries such as: Adar, Aldaz, Alexander, Baron Herzog, Barkan, Bartenura, Binyamina, Borgo Real, Bravdo, Capcanes, Carmel, Casa Da Corsa, Castell D’Olerodola, Chosen, Cordovero, Covenant, Dalton, Elvi, Domaine du Castel, Dovev, Drappier, Efrat, Ella Valley Vineyards, En Fuego, Five Stones, Flechas, Florenza, Gabriele, Gamla, Goose Bay, Guillermo, Gush Etzion, Harkham, Joseph River, K Wines, Kinneret, Lan Zur, Laurent Perrier, Luis de Sacy, Mony, Noah, Notte Italiana, Odem Mountain, D’Owyers, Or Haganuz, Pacifica, Psagot, Ramon, Rashi, Recanati, Segals, Shiloh, Tabor, Teal Lake, Teperberg, The Cave, Tierra Salvaje, Tishbi, Tzora, Vignobles David, Weinstock, Yatir, Yogev, exciting new wineries from France, and many many more.

Get your tickets at Gotham Wine & Liquors‘ website.

—-)OoO(—-

Sunday, March 11th

Where:
City Winery – 155 Varick Street, (between Spring and Vandam Streets) – New York, New York 10013

When:
2:00 to 5:00pm

What:
Over 100 of the best Kosher wines from around the world!

  • Taste exciting new Kosher wines,  including the winners of The Jewish Week‘s recent Top 18 Kosher Wine Competition.
  • Meet Kosher wine vintners, wine experts and local retailers
  • Enjoy food from various leading NYC Kosher restaurants and food companies

 $35 in advance/$40 at the door

Pick up a free copy of  The Jewish Week‘s Kosher Wine Guide packed with great ideas for food pairings, as well as the Top 18 Kosher Wines in 8 categories, and more.

DO NOT MISS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT WILL NOT REPEAT ITSELF FOR ANOTHER YEAR!!!

SYR and I expect to attend both events, we’ll we meet you there?

CS

05
Dec
11

Champagne Drappier


French kings were anointed with champagne. During the 17th, 18th and 19th century European royalty spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. With the emergence of the middle class, champagne became a symbol of upward mobility and luxury. Since their earliest days the noble wines from France’s Champagne region were synonymous with wealth, luxury, power.

Champagne is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, or Pinot Blanc grapes.

While there are many kosher sparkling wines from wineries around the globe, until recently there was no kosher champagne that could compete on an equal footing with those brands famous throughout. The Drappier cellars date from the 12th century, however the Drappier family only took over the estate in 1808 and hasn’t stopped making champagne since.

Recently we partook of a feast worthy of such a noble wine…

Champagne Drappier - Carte Blanche Brut, wrong shape glasses, but even these did not detract from our enjoyment of the champagne! Photo by: Irving Schild

On a recent evening, my good friend – photographer and teacher Irving Schild (whose work has graced our pages many a time before) – and I came to my co-blogger SYR‘s home where we enjoyed some superb dishes she graciously prepared from Geila Hocherman‘s Kosher Revolution, a cookbook we reviewed on these very pages.

We started the meal with an incredible Peshwari Challah (page 190), Geila based this recipe on a pashwari naan – an Indian bread filled with nuts and raisins – to which she added pistachios, coconuts, spices and a touch of honey. Very aromatic and full of flavor! We then proceeded with a Coconut-Ginger Squash Soup (page 61), Duck Breast with Port and Figs (page 89) and Braised Lamb Shanks (page 106); we finished it with the Maple Pecan Pie (page 170) As a potable, to wash it all down, we had a bottle of Champagne Drappier Carte Blanche Brut (purchased earlier in the day at Gotham Wines and Liquors). In the glass, it exhibited a beautiful clear light gold color, with a persistent stream of pinpoint bubbles, this fine Champagne presented us an inviting aroma of milk chocolate and fresh apples. Mouth-filling and creamy, it offered fresh apple-jelly and toast flavors with crisp, pleasantly cleansing acidity. By the way, to allay any fears… this Drappier is mevushal.

A meal we will long remember!

CS

15
Nov
11

Our Next BlogTalkRadio Broadcast


Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16th, at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) we will be joined by Costas Mouzouras, Manager of Gotham Wines & Liquors and wine-master par excellence. We will talk about kosher wine and how it evolved from being the industry’s laughingstock to where it’s winning international awards in direct competition with the finest wines from all over the world.

Costas hails from Cyprus, where his grandfather was a winemaker. During summer vacations from school, young Costas would help out in the winery. In 1988 he came to these shores to attend Queens College and shortly after, at a friend’s urging, he took a job at Gotham and he’s been there ever since. He first became the kosher wine buyer, at a time when the choices were very limited. As he advanced in rank – at Gotham – so did the quality and the number of kosher wine selections.

In the second half of our broadcast, at 8:30pm, Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Esti Berkowitz,(Primetime Parenting), Kim Amzallag, (Director of Marketing for The Jewish Daily Forward)  and Shoshana Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic) and Roberta Scher (KosherEye), will join me for a discussion on last week’s Kosherfest 2011. What impressed us, what trends became apparent, where the kosher industry might venture next, how the internet is impacting it all; we will cover these topics and more. Please tune us in at BlogTalkRadio.com/ tomorrow at 8:30pm (Eastern Time) for an interesting and informative show. We’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

28
Apr
11

Wine and More… Wine!


Aside from the Arba Kossot on both sedorim, whenever there are large festive gatherings wine is sure to flow. This year I partook of a great collection of potables that showed how far kosher wines had come since the days of my youth, when the choices were extra sweet and even sweeter. No longer were these wines just from Jewish vintners, but many wineries – already renowned around the world – joined the fray and produced kosher versions of their best sellers. What entails making a wine kosher? Not – as the old joke went – adding a few cups of sugar per bottle, but merely following the standard process under rabbinic supervision.

I was privileged this year to taste various superb wines from around the world (which I picked a few days before Passover at Gotham Wines ans Liquors, 2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025-6934 Tel: 212.932.0990) including some from well known wineries that have already made their mark in the world at large.

During chol hamo’ed and the last two days of Pessach, when there were large numbers of people, both at my oldest son’s home in Lakewood (NJ) and at my oldest daughter’s in Providence (RI) I tasted some superb wines which I brought from New York. In the photo above we have a Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild 2007 Haute-Medoc, Binyamina, 2006 Odem Ruby Series Syrah, Mount Hevron 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a Jonathan Tishby 1999 Special Reserve Merlot.

The 2007 Haute-Medoc was superb, complex, yet delicate; fruity and spicy with blackberry accents, it had a long finish. Mevushal.

2006 Odem Syrah had blackberry and black pepper with floral accents on the nose. Full bodied and well balanced it greatly enhanced the lamb dish with which it was paired. Only 5190 bottles were produced.

Mount Hevron‘s 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon offered ripe raspberry flavors finishing with aromatic spices.

Tishbi 1999 Special Reserve Merlot, aged for 18 months in oak barrels, it brims with blackcurrant, berries and plum flavors and aromas. Exquisite! Out of a limited, numbered edition we had bottle number 5123.

Thishbi 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition is an inexpensive wine that tastes far better than its price suggests. It’s a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. It shows forest berries, blackcurrant, plums, cloves and a bit of green pepper on the nose, followed by sweeter notes of spice and dark fruit on the palate. Moderate tannins complete the rich feel to the long, lush finish. Approachable and decadent.

CAPÇANES 2008 Peraj Ha’abib/Flor de Primavera from Montsant in Spain. Robert Parker rated it a well deserved 90. Made from Garnacha, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it has a deep ruby/purple color. It was aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels; it displays sweet blackcurrant notes combined with black pepper. It displays earthy minerals and tobacco on the palate leading to a long luscious finish. Daniel Rogov estimates it will reach its best by 2012 to 2018. I’ve tasted this wine before and through every vintage it seems to get better! Only 1300 cases of 6 bottles each were produced for this vintage.

Borgo Reale 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Brunello variety of the Sangiovese grape. Floral and fruity on the nose, its flavor suggests plums, berries and minerals with subtle hints of coffee and tobacco leading to a long finish. Italy’s done it again!

For dessert we enjoyed Willm 2008 Gewurztraminer and Balma Venetia 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

The 2008 Gewurztraminer is made from grapes that reach their full potential in Alsace. These wines are far above those of produced elsewhere. Served chilled, it exhibited rose petals and lychee on the nose; on the palate its very, very subtle sweetness combined with the perfect amount of acidity to make it very refreshing.

The 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise displayed glorious notes of peach, grape, apricot, mango and lychee. We also had it at lunch with a selection of cheeses, this past Monday, its sweetness was balanced by just enough acidity to make me feel I had bitten into the actual grape.

Two wines that we finished off before I got a chance to photograph (yes, they were that good!!!) were Barkan 2006 Superieur Shiraz and Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Barkan was, by far, the best Shiraz I ever remember tasting. On the nose it’s a complex symphony of notes of black cherries, blackcurrant, mulberries, cloves and cinnamon with overtones of coffee, dark chocolate and smoke (typical of Judean Hills wines). It is a full bodied, with a long finish. Winner of France’s Vinalies Internationales 2010 Silver Medal and Israel’s TERRAVINO Mediterranean International Wine Challenge Gold Medal for 2010

Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, It shows deep black fruit aromas awith generous notes of spicy oak, both the brawn, nicely balanced. On the nose it exhibits blackcurrants, berries and figs, those supported by notes of espresso and roasted Brazil nuts. It was a pleasant surprise and far better than more expensive wines, in fact it easily rated among the best I’ve tasted this Passover.

Next year may we sip the cup of redemption in Yerushalayim Ir Hakoidesh!

CS

13
Apr
11

This Evening’s Two Hour Internet Radio Show And a Recipe…


Last Wednesday’s live broadcast from Gotham Wines and Liquors‘ 8th Annual Wine Extravaganza, held at the West End Institutional Synagogue. We had some great guests on that show and made new friends. Unfortunately the .mp3 file got trashed, so we never got a chance to hear it the actual broadcast. Tonight’s show will focus on wine and food. Our guests will be several kosher winery spokesmen and distributors, then at the last half hour we will talk to Chef Jeff Nathan, Chef/owner of Abigael’s on Broadway.

We will discuss the reasons for the 4 cups of wine and other Pessach customs, we will hear about their selections from the various wineries, while Chef Jeff will explain the whole concept of the New Jewish Cuisine, which he made into a wildly successful series on Public Television. We will also talk about his journey to become a successful restaurateur and what Abigael’s is planning for Passover.

Please listen in to The Kosher Scene’s Show, this evening at 6:30pm to 8:30pm Eastern Time,

The first cookbook Jeff Nathan published – in 2002 –  Adventures in Jewish Cooking, included some great recipes that can be made on Passover. Here is one I intend to savor on the last day of Pessach, when I finally do eat gebroks. It will go perfectly with a glass of  Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Veal Chops Milanese with Tomato Salad and Arugula

In Milan, you’ll find golden-crusted veal chops so big they fill your plate. Before being cooked, they are pounded while still on the bone. This creates wide flaps of meat to allow for more crispy coating that everyone loves. A combination of matzo flour, matzo meal, and matzo farfel is my secret to creating a crunchier crust than is possible with bread crumbs alone. Using matzo also opens up the possibility of enjoying this dish right through Passover week. You will need a very large, 12-14 inch skillet to cook both chops at once. Of course, if you have two such skillets, you can invite a couple of friends over for dinner, doubling the amount of tomato salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, preferably 1 red and 1 yellow, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two twelve ounce bone-in veal chops, about 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup matzo flour (also called matzo cake flour)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 cup matzo farfel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (regular or extra-virgin)
  • 6 ounces arugula, washed and dried, torn bite-sized pieces.
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. To make the tomato salad, whisk the lemon juice and oil in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano and rosemary and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, while preparing the veal.
  3. Place the chops between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a heavy mallet or rolling pin, pound the meaty part of each chop until it’s about 1/2 inch thick, to create chops with a thinner flasp of meat attached to the rib bone. (In Milanese restaurants, the veal is pounded even thinner and wider, but at home, practicality demands that you pound the veal to a size that will allow two chops to fit into the skillet.) Season the chops with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the matzo flour in a shallow dish, the beaten eggs in a second shallow dish and the matzo farfel in a third shallow dish, Coat each veal chop with matzoh flour, then the egg wash, and then the matzoh meal.
  5. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chops and cook, turning one, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place the browned chops on a large baking sheet. Bake until they feel firm when pressed in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, add the arugula to the tomato salad and mix. For each serving place a chop on a dinner plate and heap the tomato salad on top. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

Just like his other book (which we reviewed) and has become one of my favorites, this one is also chuck full of mouth watering recipes which I can’t wait to try.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!




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