Tasting notes from the JW's oenophile, Gamliel Kronemer.

Blending Grape Varietals

Judean winery Barkan experiments, with delicious results.

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One of the more difficult aspects of winemaking is creating a blend. It requires the ability to predict how a very young wine will evolve, as well as knowing which additional varietals will enhance the finished product. Since the bottle might not be ready to drink for years after the vintage is harvested, a finely crafted blended wine is a true testimony to a winemaker’s skill and experience.

Barkan Assemblage Tzafit 2010. Courtesy of Barkan Winery

Light And Dry For ‘Thanksgivukah’

Four American wines for the hybrid holiday meal.

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Chanukah and Thanksgiving are both holidays in which food — latkes for Chanukah and roast turkey for Thanksgiving — is a significant part of the celebration. For the first time in 115 years, and for only the third time since President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, Thanksgiving will occur during the eight days of Chanukah. So for many American Jews, a meal combining fried latkes and “turkey with all the fixin’s” will be an absolute must for dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28. 

Invite guests, not "palate fatigue," to your Thanksgivukkah feast. Fotolia

Kosher Cocktails

Red wine, bourbon and a twist: an easy way to play the cocktail craze.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

3 ounces dry, fruity red wine
2 ounces bourbon
2 teaspoons simple syrup (a mix of water and dissolved sugar)
Orange twist

Seeing Red Over Wine Heksher

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It’s David and Goliath in the Holy Land, again, but this time the giant is the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the weapon wielded by the little guy is a bottle of dry red.

Rajum Winery offers desert-grown grapes and kosher supervision from outside the Rabbinate. Photo courtesy Rajum Winery

Rabbinate Vs. Movement

Masorti's kashrut invalid, warns Israel's Chief Rabbinate.

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The Israeli Chief Rabbinate issued an official warning that the Masorti Movement’s kosher certification is invalid and illegal after a boutique winery in the desert town of Miztpe Ramon decided to seek certification from the pluralistic movement affiliated with Conservative Judaism, according to Haaretz.

Wine certified kosher by the Masorti Movement doesn't go with challah, says the Rabbinate. Fotolia

Reds From Spain

Thumbs up for two new cheap kosher wines that don't taste like it.

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A popular kosher wine blogger is giving two enthusiastic thumbs up to a pair of cheap new kosher reds available at Trader Joe’s: a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Tempranillo, both from Spain.

Splash these reds around a little -- at $4.99, you can afford it. Fotolia

An Eye-Opener, Post-Fast

A fizzy, frothy drink, by way of New Orleans.

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These days, serving liquor with breakfast is seen as taboo, as popular culture suggests that it’s “indecent” to drink, particularly hard liquor, before noon. However from colonial days until well into the 20th century, liquor was a staple of the breakfast table, and for many the liquid “eye-opener” was a regular part of one’s morning ablutions. And while the break-the-fast meal isn’t exactly a morning affair, it’s light fare, brunch-like quality makes a splash of alcohol a bit more palatable. 

When breakfast, or break fast, is at night, a gentle fizz is in order. Fotolia

Green Chili Apple & Honey Galette

Green chili peppers make this dessert a slightly savory tart ideal for ringing in 5774.

Special To The Jewish Week

It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over and the High Holidays are upon us. First up is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year: very similar to secular New Year’s, except with less cheap champagne and more apples and honey. Much like every Jewish holiday, there are customs and symbols for the day, including especially the practice of eating sweet foods for a sweet new year: pomegranates, dates, beets and the iconic apples-and-honey combo.

For crust: (makes two, but you will only need one)
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
¼ cup ice water
For filling:
3 cups granny smith apples, peeled, and cut into ¼ inch slices
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tbsp green chili (Anaheim, poblano, hatch, jalapeno, depending on how spicy you like it), diced
2 tbsp honey
1 egg

Heimishe Holiday Wines

Pairings for starchy delights as well as fruity fall desserts.

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Reims and Bialystok would seemingly have little in common: one is a cathedral town in Burgundy, the other an industrial city in northeast Poland. Yet the sparkling wine of the one — Champagne — seems to be made to go with the starchy, fatty, “hemishe” foods of the other. So when searching for the right wine to serve with kasha varnishkes, potato kugel or a schmaltzy potato knish, look no further than the sparkling wine section of your local wine shop. 

Conversation at Shabubbe ranged from Israel and Judaism to ’80’s pop music. Cait Oppermann

Fairway And The KOF-K

Prepared holiday meals available at all 13 Fairways this year.

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Fairway Market, the grocery store giant known for kosher products like European house-brand olive oil, is making its prepared holiday meals available in many more of its stores this year – all 13 of them.

Customers at the Upper West Side store will be able to buy prepared kosher holiday meals this year. Photo courtesy Fairway
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