Kosher Countdown

Consume as much pizza and pasta as you can; Passover is less than a week away.  Time to clean out your shelves and replace most of your foodstuffs with kosher-for-Passover (KfP) items.  Buh-bye bread, hello matzah.  Many people also change their wine selections during this holiday and only drink Kosher wines.  Luckily, this doesn't mean Manischewitz for a week straight; there are some great Kosher wine options out there.  I was fortunate to receive several bottles for sampling and will review them in this week leading up to the first Seder so you have some solid options for the big dinners and beyond.  Let the Kosher Countdown begin!

First, for a quick refresher on Kosher wines, read my previous post:  www.shanaspeakswine.com/2014/12/17/kosher-quickie

To start things off, I selected an intriguing New World option: The Pacifica - Evan's Collection, Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2010.  Oregon's wine industry essentially started in the 1960s when pioneering winemakers started successfully growing European varietals. Over time, many grapes have thrived, but the state's  cool climate has especially been successful for the Pinot Noir grape.  

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The winemaker, Phillip Jones, originally hailed from New Zealand, where he created wines for nearly 20 years.  He and his wife noticed an opportunity to create kosher wines in this emerging region and started the Pacifica label.  

On the nose, this wine showcases black fruits and spices with dominant layers of earth and soil.  On the palate, the body leans towards a fuller New World style, as opposed to a light-bodied Burgundy; however, I'd say it was still medium minus. Again, the palate echoes many of the characteristics the nose found, along with moderate acid and tannins. Elegant and structured, the fruits ripened as the wine opened up but still maintained the balance of the savory tones.  It's a rather high 14.5% ABV, which I found somewhat surprising; however, this could come in handy if your seder falls into the "we're taking 5 hours to go through the whole Haggadah" camp.   Overall, it's a delicious option, regardless of its Kosher certification, and a worthwhile wine to seek out. 









Wine Glass Diatribe

What's this?  

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I'm sad to tell you that this is considered a glass of wine.

At a recent girls' night, we checked out Bonnie Vee, a new-ish spot on the Lower East Side. Overall, it was everything we wanted for our catch-up; great ambiance, comfortable seating, well-prepared nibbles, good cocktail list and a small but decent selection of wines by the glass.

But why, oh why, if you're going to put some iota of thought into your wines, would you serve them in a water glass?!  The aromatics are muffled, the wine gets warm and ultimately, the pleasure of wine is taken away. I've seen this in way too many places and it's really unacceptable. Obivously the owners of proud their establishment and want to create a great atmosphere for their guests. But why skimp on the essentials? I'm not asking for expensive Zalto glasses but come on, just throw me a stem here.  

Palate Cleansers

Earlier this month, I spent a week bouncing around Northern Italy, wine tasting (and eating) my way through Verona, Alto Adige and Franciacorta. The marathon days of tastings, sometimes up to four producers a day, left me thinking about how I can reset my palate during intense tasting periods like this.  Anyone who's ever gone into a perfume store knows that coffee beans can help reset your sense of smell when sampling numerous scents - what's the tasting equivalent?

I recently came across this article that offers up a few suggestions and I'm eager to give them a whirl:

http://www.winemag.com/April-2014/Spring-Clean-Your-Palate/index.php/cparticle/1

 

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Has anyone had experience with any of these?

Where Would Cupid Eat?

So you thought the Super Bowl was THE food event for the winter season?  Nuh-uh.  Just as you are coming out of your beer-and-wings induced coma, Valentine's Day beckons in all its wine and chocolate glory. 

Whether you're coupled up or grabbing single friends for a group dinner, reservations are a must.  Luckily, OpenTable just released their list of the best places to celebrate the holiday, which makes drinking champagne and downing oysters easier than ever.  You can thank them the morning after.  

 Check out the complete list here: 

http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?metroid=8&sort=Name&excludefields=Description&promoid=102&ref=2138&regionids=16

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