Archive for December 15th, 2011


Pre-Chanukah Wine Tasting

This past Tuesday, Kosher Revolution author Geila Hocherman and I attended the Kosher Wine Society‘s Pre-Chanukah Wine Tasting Extravaganza. They featured eight Cabernet Sauvignon selections:

  • Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon ’09
  • Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon ’07
  • Weinstock Cellars Select Cabernet Sauvignon ’09
  • Teperberg Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon ’10
  • Dalton Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ’10
  • Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon ’08
  • Golan Cabernet Sauvignon ’09
  • Gilgal Cabernet Sauvignon ’07

A tablefull of Cabernet Sauvignon types...

In addition, other selections included:

  • Binyamina Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ’09
  • Lanzur Reserva Pinot Noir ’10
  • Chateau Bellerives Dubois Bordeaux ’10
  • Le Mourre De L’Isle Cotes du Rhone ’10
  • Teperberg Malbec ’09
  • Gush Etzion Cabernet Franc ’07
  • Gush Etzion Emek Bracha Dry Red Wine ’06
  • Gush Etzion Nachal Hapirim, Dry Red Wine ’07
  • Gush Etzion Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot ’06

In addition there were also:

  • L’ChaimVodka
  • Binyamina Chocolate Liqueur

Crackers, cheese, grapes and more helped neutralize the taste buds before sampling a different wine.

We started with the Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon ’09, for both of us this one turned out to be best of the bunch, we loved it. Dark garnet in color with silky tannins, showing oak on the nose and opening to aromas and flavors of black and red currants and citrus-peel, followed by vanilla and a lingering smokiness. Though very good, I still prefer the ’08 vintage which I’ve tasted before.

We followed with the Teperberg Terra Malbec ’09, dark – in typical Malbec fashion – and full bodied. Soft tannins finely balanced with spicy wood and fruits. On the palate one discerned plums, black cherries and wild berries balanced with notes of cinnamon, ending with a long finish of espresso coffee. While we both liked it, Geila preferred the Psagot, I found this Teperberg better.

In totally opposition to the norm we then tasted a white wine, Binyamina Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ’09. Pale straw in color, it opens with notes of grapefruit and lime, giving way to stony minerals with hints of asparagus. Nicely aromatic.

We went back to red wine with a Dalton Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, dark colored and well balanced with notes of currants, berries and mint well complimented with the subtle vanilla flavors of French oak.

We also liked the Gush Etzion Cabernet Franc 2007. Dark garnet, medium bodied with lots of soft tannins and notes of vanilla from the French oak casks where it aged for 18 months. On the palate it showed a rich array of blackberries, currant, black cherries giving way to Mediterranean herbs and saddle leather.

We capped the evening’s selection of potables with a L’Chaim Vodka. Very smooth and tasty!

Rabbi Mikhael Cohen, from the FJCCNY

Rabbi Mikhael Cohen of the French Jewish Cultural Center of New York (67 Wall Street; Phone: 212.202.1448 – Cell: 917.796.0680), spoke of Chanuka and its significance today.

Providing the musical entertainment...

During the tasting we are accompanied by the musical sounds of Yiddish and Israeli classics. All and all an enjoyable evening of good wines and great conversation.



Last Eve’s Wine Tasting, this Evening’s Show


The Jewish Daily Forward’s Annual Party

This past Thursday December 8th, the Center for Jewish History was the venue for the Jewish Daily Forward‘s Annual Holiday Party for its staff and associates. Kim Amzallag, Advertising Director of the Forward – graciously invited SYR and I to meet the JDF family.

It was delightful to spend an evening among such an eclectic group of people spanning the full spectrum of religious and political positions. What made the night so special was the collective passion and commitment of the weekly publication’s staff and contributors to remain at the peak of journalistic excellence. It was touching to hear so many political journalists, editors, writers on music, the arts and Jewish culture, chatting it up in Yiddish, in true mameloshen, clearly dispelling the myth that Yiddish is dead.

Dr. Wisse, of Y.U.M, introduced the evening’s program which consisted of a panel discussion with four of the women artists represented in the museum’s Graphical Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women an exhibit co-sponsored by the Jewish Daily Forwards

Dr. Jacob Wisse, Director of the Yeshiva University Museum

Next on the podium was Sam Norich , Publisher and Executive Director of the Forward Newspaper. He is a past Executive Director at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Sam Norich, Publisher and Executive Director of the Jewish Daily Forward

The Museum’s curator, Zachary Paul Levin

Yeshiva University Museum's curator, Zachary Paul Levin

… introduced the Graphic Details‘ creator, Michael Kaminer, and the panel of women comics artists. Michael writes on travel and other subjects for New York’s leading newspapers, his interest in creating this exhibit came from his own fascination and extensive collection of comics.

From Left to Right: Michael Kaminer, Miss Lasko-Gross, Miriam Katin, Diane Noomin and Lauren Weinstein

Various questions were asked the panelists, in response to the query whether the writing or the drawing was hardest, the answer that best summed up the effort involved came from Diane Noomin that “each balloon is like a haiku and therefore harder to perfect. ” To underline the growing importance of this genre – as American literature – Lasko-Gross said that seeing the pages “behind glass, commands respect.”

The Forward began publication in 1897; when my family moved to the US from Uruguay, in 1962, my parents – whose English was weak – joined thousands of other Jewish households in a daily reading ritual of the newspaper. The news, the editorials, the serialized novels, were relevant subjects of discussion with their friends. The evening’s program clearly showed the publication still holds its finger firmly on the cultural pulse of Jewish life in America. Its political writing and commentary are now more thought provoking, even more germane to current realities. It was was an evening filled with information and great conversation.


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December 2011


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