Wine

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

Sparkle Up Your Purim

In praise of the Champagne-like, yet affordable, Cava.

03/04/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

When it comes to victory celebrations, the ubiquitous wine of choice is Champagne, that almost magical sparkler from Northern France. At sporting events, winners drink Champagne from trophies. Ship captains launch their vessels by smashing a bottle on the prow. In military messes, officers have long quaffed the bubbly to celebrate victories old, new and not yet won.

Cava is just as festive — but much less expensive — than kosher champagne. Courtesy of Freixenet

Delicious But Difficult

Pinot noir frustrates winemakers, but wine drinkers love it.

02/26/2014
Special to the Jewish Week

Pinot noir can drive winemakers mad. It’s difficult to grow and vinify, temperamental in the barrel and prone to closing down in the bottle for years before becoming drinkable again. But these challenges seem to inspire, rather than inhibit, winemakers who consider crafting a pinot noir the pinnacle of their profession.

Yarden Pinot Noir 2009. Photo courtesy of Golan Heights Winery

Blending Grape Varietals

Judean winery Barkan experiments, with delicious results.

02/11/2014
Special to the Jewish Week

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.

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

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

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

Seeing Red Over Wine Heksher

10/09/2013

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.

10/07/2013
Staff Writer

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.

10/01/2013
Staff Writer

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.

09/10/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
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
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