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wine

Thanksdrinking

All festive meals, and nearly all extended family gatherings, are greatly improved by the judicious provision of choice wines and spirits. Thanksgiving is no exception.

Indeed, Thanksgiving should be thought of as an opportunity—unbounded by the usual constraints imposed by Shabbat and Jewish holidays—to entertain big with kith and kin. It is a festive meal entirely free of religious overtones or holiday-specific obligations.

A Snowball’s Chance in Shul

Advocaat. credit: Sebastian Koppehel

With the cold weather season now firmly upon us, I’m finally plucking up the courage to try a classic Snowball cocktail.

The Snowball was all the rage in the UK just a few decades back, and, I am assured, remains popular in Anglo-Jewish circles come Shabbat kiddush time.

This is a drink I had been avoiding for 15 years, ever since I learned what its primary ingredient, advocaat, is made of.

An Evening of Whisky Delight

I recently attended a tasting of 13 whiskies from the John Milroy Selection brand of independently-labeled, single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies.

The tasting was held at the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in the District of Columbia under the auspices of John Milroy Selections’ importer, Spirit Imports, a family-run company with a solid history of bringing distilled spirits to the American market. Representing the company was its president and founder (and landsman) Alan Shayne and his daughters Gabby and Lauren. 

Hagafen Cellars Hit by Cali Wildfires

This week, my thoughts and prayers turn to California whose wine country has been ravaged by ongoing wildfires.

Wines That Won’t Break the Bank

Entertaining friends and family on Shabbat and holidays can be expensive enough just on the food front; adding several bottles of $30+ wines can easily tip the balance from festive towards extravagance.

To help, I’ve rounded up a handful of affordable options to consider:

Kosher Winery Damaged As Wildfires Rage On In Northern California

The scene at Hagafen Cellars after wildfires raging in Northern California burned land, vegetation and equipment, Oct. 10, 2017. (Courtesy of Hagafen Cellars)

(J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — A kosher winery in Northern California sustained widespread damage from a wildfire still raging along the southern part of the Silverado Trail in Napa County.

Ernie Weir, owner of Hagafen Cellars, the North Bay’s only kosher winery, said Wednesday that all employees are safe and the main winery building is intact, but that the fire destroyed fencing, all of the agricultural equipment, a guest house, nearly an acre of Cabernet Sauvignon vines and all of the property’s trees.

7 Solid Wines For Sukkot

When it comes to thinking about kosher wines for specific Jewish festive holidays, such as Sukkos, I invariably find myself looking to the Israeli wine scene for inspiration. This is only natural, of course – Israel is the Jewish State, after all. Further, Israel produces a terrific volume of kosher wines (roughly 50 million bottles annually), and while the Israeli lake of kosher passable plonk is both wide and deep at times, some Israeli wine is not only very good indeed, but truly exceptional.

At NY Allied Event, Tasting New Wines & Whiskies

Recently, Allied Importers USA, Ltd. held its first “Portfolio Tasting of Fine Food, Wines & Crafts Spirits” at the swanky Midtown Loft & Terrace in Manhattan. For those new to the kosher wine scene, Allied is the second largest importer and distributor of kosher wines in the US.

Wine Recommendations For Your Post-Yom Kippur Meal

Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky makes for a great post-fast toast. Flickr CC/Alex Avriette

Every family seems to have its own traditions when it comes time to breaking the fast after Yom Kippur. Since the meal occurs at the end of a very long day, the foods are often some variation of a milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral) breakfast or brunch. While there are typically loads of desserts and other sweets, such as honey or jams—serving as both reminder and ardent wish of life’s sweetness and the promise of the New Year—at least one (and often many) of the dishes will contain eggs, perhaps recalling the cycle of life.

5 Medium-Bodied Reds For The Sukkah

Until recently, the trend in kosher wine has been to create red wines that are both exceedingly fruity and full bodied. While there are many occasions where such wines can be delightful, a warm afternoon in a humid sukkah is not one of them. Fortunately, there are now a growing number of quality medium-bodied kosher reds available. In preparation for Sukkot I tasted more than a dozen such reds and have selected five, priced under $40, any of which would make a lovely addition to a meal in your sukkah.