Archive for the 'kosher wine from Spain' Category

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

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

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

24
Oct
10

Pizza at Basil


Recently, this blog was chastised on chowhound.com for not having any photos of Basil‘s pizza in either of my reviews of this superb restaurant (here and here), even though its menu offers a full array of mouthwatering pizzas. I had to agree the particular commenter was absolutely right, which gave me the perfect excuse to return to Basil (270 Kingston Ave; Brooklyn, NY 11213; Telephone: 718.285.8777) for the omitted shots. Ahhh, the things we do to keep our readers happy.

This past Thursday I made my way to the restaurant anticipating a superb pie. I entered their doors at 4:00pm to a front room overflowing with early diners, and was directed to the recently opened backroom. It’s a comfortable large room featuring two fireplaces that generate a warm and cozy atmosphere.

In spite of the early hour, there were some people there already. I ordered a Pizza Margherita a la Genovese, it came with home made mozzarella (made in house from  curd), fresh San Marzano tomatoes (most chefs consider these the world’s best for sauce) and pesto.

Pizza Margherita alla Genovese

Extreme closeup of the above...

I accompanied the pizza with a delightful glass of 2007 Ramon Cardova Rioja. Made fully from Tempranillo grapes from old vines around the Spanish village of Haro, in La Rioja, this bright ruby red wine paired perfectly with the pizza, totally complementing and enhancing its taste; a marriage made in heaven.

As I finished this superbly made dish, I got to to speak to Basil’s new Italian Executive Chef, Andrea Milazzo.

After graduating from the very exacting culinary school in Alassio, in Italy’s Liguria region on the gulf of Genoa, – Savona Province, Chef Andrea went to work in Montecarlo for world famous Alain Ducasse’s Le Roi Louis XV restaurant at the Hotel de Paris (regularly listed on the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List). After a while he left for Munich, Germany, where he operated his own establishment for 8 years.

A few weeks ago he accepted the position of Executive Chef at Basil. When you speak to Chef Andrea, his passion for food becomes all apparent. I asked him what is his main criteria in creating a new dish or a variation of an old classic, his quick response was: “I follow my senses!” To determine how good his senses are, I asked the Chef to prepare me a special dish – regardless of price – that I would take home; even I was unprepared for the resulting masterpiece…

Chef Andrea Milazzo dramatically flambeeing his special dish for The Kosher Scene

He made me Gnudi alla Toscana. Gnudi (nude) are close cousins to gnocchi but more tender. Whereas gnocchi are made from semolina, wheat flour, bread crumbs or potatoes, gnudi are made from Ricotta cheese.

Watching the Chef at work was like being a spectator at a George Balanchine choreographed ballet, the graceful, elegant and precise moves coupled with the facial expressions, all bespoke of truly inspired artistry at its highest levels.

Before starting the preparation of the dish, Chef Andrea had me inspect all the ingredients. Starting with the superbly aromatic in-house made truffle oil (truffles are infused for two weeks into pure Tuscan olive oil, the result is great scent and a very distinctive flavor), the fresh tomatoes, spinach and cheese all combined for a beautiful symphony of taste and aroma, well worth many an encore. Bravo Chef Andrea! Bravissimo!!!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Basil – Pizza & Wine Bar

Breakfast at Basil

Preserving or Policing the Dilemma?

Basil on Urbanspoon




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