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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

What you should drink for Thanksgiving

By Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon

Three Colors Of Wine from Bigstock



Wines and spirits to put you in the spirit --- especially if you know you're having, ahem, unpleasant company for dinner

JewishWorldReview.com | Among our favorite varietals to serve during Thanksgiving is Pinot Noir. It is a notoriously finicky grape that can be difficult to grow and challenging to vinify but is also responsible for some of the world's greatest wines. It prefers cooler growing conditions and has been planted nearly everywhere in the world with variable success. Except, of course, in France's Burgundy region where the resulting wines can become ethereal and profoundly complex.

Pinot Noir is a medium to lighter bodied wine that expresses a broad range of aromas and flavors depending upon its growing conditions and the skills of the winemaker. Its multifaceted, fruit driven nature also makes Pinot Noir a very food friendly wine that complements a wide range of fare.

For this year's holiday celebrations consider opening the Tzuba Pinot Noir 2010. Beginning with scents of red and black berries, it has layers of red cherry and raspberry flavors that mingle nicely with earth, smoke and a minerality appreciated best in the long finish. Created from estate grown grapes in the Judean Hills, it is one of the finest Israeli Pinot Noirs and an excellent choice to match diverse dishes.

The Tzuba kibbutz is the home to the thoroughly modern Tzuba Estate Winery, located 700 meters above sea level and just one kilometer from the ruins of the Crusader-era Belmont castle that overlooks the property. Originally the kibbutz only grew grapes, preferring to sell them to local wineries, including Domaine du Castel. The winery was established in 2000 and released its first vintage of 30,000 bottles in 2005. While it still sells most of its grapes to several other Judean Hills wineries, Tzuba has been slowly expanding its production since 2007 under the supervision of winemaker Paul Dobb, an ex-pat South African who was also responsible for planting the original grapevines in 1996. Tzuba releases its top-tier reserve Metsuda ("fortress") wines when conditions permit, while its other wines are found under the Tel Tzuba label. The nearly 150 acres of vineyards also include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay but also some more exotic (for Israel) varietals such as Sangiovese, Grenache and Mourvedre.




Spirits-wise, we thought we'd revisit the whiskies of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS; the American branch is simply the "Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America" or SMWSA.com). By the time this hits print, the annual "Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza" hosted by the SMWSA here in DC on October 30th (check www.singlemaltextravaganza.com for other tour dates and locations) will have come and gone. Fortunately, before that we had an opportunity to sit with the charming, knowledgeable, unassuming, enthusiastic, and seemingly indefatigable Ms. Georgina ("Georgie") Bell, the SMWS's global ambassador.

Georgie's own love-affair with whisky began during her university days, studying geography at Edinburgh University by day, working in Edinburgh's bar and nightclub trade by night. She also has a diploma in distillation from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. None of which is, strictly speaking, necessary in her roles as global whisky promoter for the Society-but it sure helps.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the SMWS, and the 20th anniversary of the SMWSA, they've sent Georgie out to travel the globe visiting SMWS branches, talking to consumers, whisky enthusiasts, assorted journalists, and whisky-geek flotsam and jetsam like us. She clearly knows her clientele and so came equipped not merely with expert knowledge and witty repartee but also, far more importantly, with some excellent bottles of premium single cask single malt whisky. Obviously she had our undivided attention with the first gurgle of whisky from bottle to glass. Founded in Edinburgh Scotland in 1983 by Philip "Pip" Hills, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is now an international membership organization (over 26,000 members and branches in 19 countries) that bottles and sells single-cask, single-malt whisky, free of dilution, artificial coloring, and chill-filtration. The society purchases individual casks of whisky from more than 120 malt whisky distilleries, simply bottles them without any manipulation or artifice, and then retails each directly to its members. They essentially just tap the barrel directly into bottles.

Each cask will render anywhere from 100 to 600 bottles, depending upon size, age and the whisky's maturation conditions. So each bottle is not only naturally limited, but is essentially a pure if rarefied expression from the parent distillery and the quality of the cask. As Georgie put it, "Each cask, in a sense, acts as its own representative, narrating its story, its flavors, and, in a sense, its own personal journey for us to enjoy; and very often that story and those complex flavors are not what you'd otherwise expect from that distillery." Thus the Society's whiskies are practically liquid history and often liquid poetry, rather than regular whisky. Once the cask has been emptied, and the bottles sold and drunk, that's it. You may never taste another whisky like it ever again. Further, as Georgie notes, the Society "has the widest selection of single cask single malt whiskies found anywhere in the world, with new whiskies offered to members roughly every three to four weeks."

The society also runs private members' rooms in the U.K. (in Edinburgh and London), and through strategic partnerships Society whiskies can be found in a variety of other bars around the world. Likewise, here in the US, they've launched (so far) three "Society Spots" at prominent whisky bars across the country: Chicago's Drumbar, Seattle's El Gaucho and the always awesome Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th Street, NW) here in Washington, DC. Only Society members can purchase Society whiskies, but anyone can taste them at a Society Spot. The American branch of the society also does tasting events around the country, like the annual Extravaganza.

Membership, and the privilege of actually purchasing a SMWS whisky, is open to all who can afford it ($229 to join, with a subsequent annual renewal of $60; the welcome pack includes whisky and membership includes a subscription to their insightful and entertaining in-house magazine "Unfiltered"). Check out the details at www.smwsa.com (should you decide to join tell them Josh London, member #5956 sent you). You will not be disappointed.

Now, since the SMWSA is more about flavors and character than brands and distilleries, they bottle their whiskies without explicit regard for the whisky's parent distillery or single malt brand. Each bottle is labeled with a simple numbering system and fanciful flavor-name.

Without further ado, here are just a couple of the wonderful whiskies Georgie poured for us:

SMWS 66.44 "New Balls Please" (10 year old from the Ardmore Distillery; only 190 bottles; 56.9 percent abv; $95): We don't get the title, but whatever. This is a real beast of whisky: meaty, full flavored, textured, and a little dirty and unpolished the way whiskies of yester-year were (before technology helped eliminate most imperfections). With notes of slightly muted peat, floral notes of violet and hibiscus, soy sauce, and a touch of sulfur-though in a good way; this slightly savage whisky delivers on multiples levels, its "flaws" delightfully in full bloom, beckoning further interaction. Water reduces some of the heat and turns down the volume a bit, teases out a slightly nail-varnishy quality (though not exactly in a bad way); it also unleashes some of the more typical caramel and vanilla notes. Mostly though, don't bother cutting this mouth-watering, magnificent beast with water - it only seems to upset it.

SMWS 1.170 "Gingerbread man selling sweet delights" (19 year old whisky from The Glenfarclas Distillery; 680 bottles; 56 percent abv; $150): This unctuous, sweet whisky offers notes of caramel, vanilla, toffee, dried dates, candied if still slightly racy fruits, and some nice black pepper and zippy, oaky spice; with a long, warming finish. The addition of a little water helps draw out even more of the complexity, cuts some of the initial, more forward, sweetness while expanding the mid-palate and widening the finish. An absorbing, delicious, simply lovely whisky. L'Chaim!

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Previously:

Some atypical wine blends --- and a whisky-tourism trip

A wine bargain, and Johnnie Walker goes platinum!

And now they're kosher

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JWR contributor Joshua E. London is a wine and spirits columnist who regularly speaks and leads tutored tastings on kosher wines, whisk(e)y, tequila, and other unique spirits.

© 2013, Joshua E. London

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