Kosher wine production is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, yet the framework and guidelines for its production have changed little, and while kashrut law, or Jewish dietary law, can seem very complex, its regulations toward wine production can be distilled into a few key points. See what they are when you keep reading.
Whether or not you're celebrating the Jewish New Year, there's reason to give kosher wines a try. Until a few years ago, the Sabbath-observing were limited to little beyond the syrupy Manischewitz, but in recent times, kashrut wines have gone through quite the makeover.
While there is quality kosher wine being made in America, some of the most intriguing wine hails from the homeland itself, in regions such as Israel's Galilee. To show you some of the variety that's coming out of Israel right now, our office previewed a number of wines from Yarden. Keep reading for our tasting notes.
Maybe you're like me, and when you hear about all of the health benefits associated with wine — like how one glass a day can increase bone strength and reduce your risk of having a heart attack — concern about calories fades into the distance.
The good news: if you are looking to indulge in an after-work aperitif, wine is one of the most waist-friendly libations you can choose, unlike other happy hour bevvies, which can contain a ridiculous amount of calories. Per ounce, wine is lower in calories and also free of cholesterol, sodium, and fat. But keep in mind the sweeter you go (I'm talking about you, dessert wine), the higher the calorie content.
Keep reading for a calorie breakdown of all your favorite types of wine.
With Summer coming to a close, there is no better way to end it than pairing your favorite dish with one of our favorite wines from this month. We had so much fun back in July, celebrating wine month that we continued the tasting into August. As a result, we've added even more favorites to our list. We couldn't help but fall for honeysuckle-sweet Italian Rieslings, rich Austrian Grüners, red sparkling wine from California, and more. Take a look at what wines we tried every (week)day this month.
Although still a rare sight, sparkling red wines are quickly gaining ground in wineries and restaurants across the United States. My first experience with this effervescent treat was a few years back at De Kas in Amsterdam, and more recently, I've seen the varietal hit Gioia Pizzeria, my go-to local pizza place. Generally speaking, Italian Brachetto and Lambrusco are what's on offer, as they're the most well-known examples of red sparklers, but there are a handful of worthy bottles produced on our own home turf.
Today's bottle comes from Northern California's Chandon Winery, a proud maker of an exceptional sparkling red ($30). This Pinot Noir and Zinfandel blend is currently exclusively available at the winery, making a visit to the gorgeous Yountville location all the more enticing, and here's why.
Mention Sonoma or Napa in a conversation, and most people will nod their heads in recognition; sadly, the same can't be said of Mendocino, even though its high elevation and moist, mineral-rich soil make it an ideal region for wine production. Near tailor-made for Pinot Noir (a favorite around Sugar HQ), discover Mendocino's finest with a bottle of 2009 La Follette Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir. While it's on the pricier side at $50 a bottle, the carefully crafted wine exemplifies the vibrant Pinots that come out of this up-and-coming area.
The wine's cherry and rose scent coaxed us to pour a glass on the heavier side, and as we sipped, the flavor bloomed on our palates. Smooth yet smoky, jammy yet peppery, and floral yet earthy: each sip built upon itself with new notes. Although many Pinot Noirs are thinner bodied and lower in tannins, this wine held its own without being overly acidic. We'd pair it with rich, crispy duck confit or a vegetarian entrée with portobello mushrooms.
While Susannah will be in Germany sampling Rieslings at their source this Labor Day weekend, I'll be stuck stateside, but believe it or not, I'm not lamenting my lack of long-weekend plans. That's because I'll be taking things easy, sipping on a well-chilled glass of 2010 Arnaldo Caprai Grecante Grechetto dei Colli Martani ($20), an Italian white wine that I consider my Summer secret weapon.
While any variety of drinks might do the trick, Grecante is my wine of choice for sweltering Summer days; it's immensely refreshing, thanks to its mouth-puckering acidity and smooth long finish. I'll be pairing mine with a good book, but it'd be equally at home consumed in concert with grilled fish, burrata stuffed squash blossoms, or a simple appetizer of cheese and crackers.
What will you be drinking this Labor Day weekend?
Photos: Anna Monette Roberts
We've been on a bit of an Italian wine kick lately at Sugar HQ, imbibing everything from spumante Rosé to smooth Valpolicella. Now, you might think that this recent surge would quell my interest in the region (at least temporarily), but rather, I've found myself lingering longingly in the Italian section of the wine store, plotting my next exploration by glass.
Today's find was a happy accident of sorts, plucked off the shelf by my beau at random — or so he says — to pair with a home-cooked Italian feast. The 2008 Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulicano ($20), demarcated with an official, purple DOCG label, signifies this wine is truly sourced from Tuscany. Further establishing its authentic Italian origins, the wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Colorino, and Mammolo grapes. Although it sounded foreign to our taste buds, the first sip had us sold. We found that its light body and velvety-smooth texture paired exceptionally well with a range of Italian cuisine, from bucatini coated in vodka sauce to pork ragu.
One last note: while we relished this bottle in its relatively young state, this is the sort of wine that's worth aging. So if you're feeling particularly canny, snap up a bottle or two, and hold tight. I can only imagine what wonders a few years will add.