Archive for the 'kosher Argentinian wine' Category

03
Jun
13

Experiencing Wine


In February 2011, Eric Asimov wrote in the New York Times:

…most of the gaudy descriptions found in tasting notes will not help to understand the character of a bottle or to anticipate the experience of drinking it.

Photography by Irving Schild

(from his private collection)

for

The Kosher Scene

ExpWine1

While it may seem heretical to say, the more specific the description of a wine, the less useful information is actually transmitted. See for yourself. All you have to do is compare two reviewers’ notes for a single bottle: one’s ripe raspberry, white pepper and blackberry is another’s sweet-and-sour-cherries and spice box. What’s the solution? Well, if you feel the need, the urgent need, to know precisely what a wine is going to taste like before you sniff and swallow, forget it. Experience will give a general idea, but fixating on exactitude is a fool’s errand. Two bottles of the same wine can taste different depending on when, where and with whom you open them.

Wine is a moment, is a mood. A few year’s ago, Yoav Siseley (at the time the distributor of Tishby Wines), said on my radio show that if you drink a favorite wine, as you sit with good friends or a loved one, your taste buds will experience the full rainbow of flavors in that bottle; if, however, you drink that same bottle at a moment when you are upset about something, or someone, the taste experience will be very different. And then, then there is breathing time…

ExpWine4

Shortly after we first started this blog, I had a tasting session with walking wine encyclopedia, taste teacher extraordinaire, Costas Mouzouras from Gotham Wines and Liquors, in Manhattan. He had me open a bottle (among others) of a Cyprus’ wine, we tasted it and… I was not impressed! He told me to wait 15 minutes, then half an hour, then 2 hours. While the bottle remained the same, each time revealed new richer notes, the taste kept on improving until it was barely recognizable from that first sip.

John Cleese, of Monty Pithon fame, made a series of videos explaining wine to the uninitiated. In one of them, he invited various celebrities to his estate. Some knew wine, some did not. In many cases the reactions were so different the viewer had to wonder if they were all talking about the same bottle. Because, as we said, wine is a personal experience, an experience shaped by the moment, shaped by the mood.

ExpWine5

Barely a few years ago, kosher wines were of the extra sweet Concord, or extra sweet Malaga variety, almost exclusively, with an occasional sweet Tokay thrown in to the mix. Those days are now thankfully well behind us. Kosher wines come in a variety of grapes and mixes of grapes, they range from sweet to semi sweet, from semi dry to dry. There are many world class, award winning, vintages that just happen to be kosher. They come in all price ranges and there is always something to suit your taste.

Yes, you could roll the wine in your mouth – just like the experts – because they try to expose it to all the different taste sensitive parts of the tongue. At the tongue’s tip are the sweetness receptors, just a little back you’ll taste the saltiness. The sides of the tongue will tell you about the acidity or sourness while the back of the tongue will tell you of any bitterness. Yes, you could do all that or you could just relax and sip…

CS

11
Oct
11

Sukkot Wine Pairing


[I have the pleasure of introducing you to my good friend Jeff Ingber. He lives in Providence, RI. A trained Chef and graduate from Johnson and Wales in RI, one of America's top culinary schools, Jeff graciously agreed to share his menus and pairings. CS]

Rosh Hashanah is behind us and most of us Jewish households here in the North East are preparing to dine “al fresco” for a week, while enjoying good company in the Sukkah.  The change in temperature and the observance of the holiday offer us a chance to snuggle up to some bigger and bolder wines on these cooler nights. For over 20 years now here in Providence, people have long anticipated seeing and tasting what wine gems would be served in my Sukkah.

At the beginning of the Israeli Wine Revolution, I was still a student in college. I remember traveling to New Jersey on Sundays to pick up as many varietals of Kosher Wine I could get my hands on, at a store in Teaneck. I would arrive at 11:00am and the clerk would remind me that I could not complete a purchase until after 12:00 in Bergen County. I do not think she knew I had just driven 175 miles and 10 more minutes would not kill me.

Today, I manage a small Wine Store that is located inside my children’s school.  Yes, that is not a typo.  We are the largest retailer of kosher wine in Southern New England.  We carry over 100 labels and sell over 500 cases a year.

This morning I reviewed my menus to ensure some great pairings.

I am not a huge fan of wasting print with personal reviews. It is too refined a process for me.

I have become a huge fan of kosher wines coming out of Spain and Argentina.  Israel is running right behind them.  I try to do my pairing at this time of year with those countries offerings in mind so here goes.

Over the next 1o days or so I will be serving the following:

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Chorizo and Jicama……….. Elvi Adar (Spain)

Arugula Salad with Sweet Potato Crisps and Dried Cranberries……….. Capçanes Peraj Petita (Spain)

Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Slivers……….. Arco Nuevo Shiraz (Argentina) $9.

Garlic Soup……….. I must say, this is a good time for my favorite Bourbon.  (Willet’s or W. H Harrison)

Jeff Ingber showing one of his catches

Black Sea Bass Ceviche (I catch it myself)……….. Barkan Classic Pinotage OR Carmel Shaal Gewürztraminer  (Israel)

Grilled Southwestern Style Salmon……….. Flecha De Los Andes Gran Malbec (Argentina)

Chicken with Apple and Fig Chutney……….. Or Haganuz Amukah (Israel)

Chicken with Roasted Sweet Chilies and Cilantro……….. Segal’s Single Vineyard, Dovev, Merlot (Israel)

I know , this is a wine Blog not a food blog but it is important to know what we are pairing with here.

There are many other super wines for the season.   Wines from the Dalton Winery like their Shiraz or Tepperberg Meritage a big and bold are just the thing on these cooler nights to keep your senses on high alert. Other great wines like Bynyamina’s Yogev  Cabernet Zinfandel blend or Binyamina Choshen label Ruby Syrah are dancing with a mouthful of Mediterranean flavors of mineral dark fruit.  Elvi’s EL26 Priorat and Ramon  Cordova Rioja remind you that you can sit in the sukkah with tapas, fine wine and great friends for a night under the stars. And, as my wife walks by and takes a look at my musings, she reminds me that Baron Herzog’s Late Harvest Chenin Blanc is her favorite accompaniment to fresh berries and custard. These wines are all in the $7.00 t0 $28.00 range, except for the bourbons which are around $40.00 Everyone can get in on the season of rejoicing!!!

Jeff Ingber




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