Archive for October, 2010

Sweet Red wine is GREAT!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Yes, I said it, sweet red wine is GREAT!

I was at a food/wine trade show today and had a great conversation with a young lady.  She came by to taste some wine and said that she would like to be more into wine but doesn’t like the bitter & tannic (not her exact words) taste of most red wines she has tried.  So she reluctantly said she would take a Chardonnay.

Lucky for her, among the wines we were sampling was a semi-dry red wine.

I know, these semi-dry wines supposedly aren’t meant for serious wine drinkers.  They are not known as classy wines.  They are said to be used for sacramental purposes.  They are seemingly terrible.  WELL, actually, when made well (with the care given to table wines) they can be great.

But most important, they are a GREAT TOOL.

Most people did not grow up drinking wine, or other dry beverages.  We grew up on soft drinks…soda, fruit drinks, juice, etc.  Our palates are not used to dry drinks.

Sweet (or semi-sweet) red wines are great.  It is a gateway wine (her words) to getting into the more typical dry table wines.

Happy sweet red wine tasting!


Israeli wine is the best!

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Call it writer’s block, call it a much needed vacation or blame it on the J-O-B…what can I say?  I took 10+ weeks off from blogging.  It is like the gym, once you stop going for a while, getting back into the routine can be difficult.

Well, I’m back…and with a purpose.  I’m here to explain why Israeli wines are the best.

OK, maybe not the best (yet), but I do believe that many of the better Israeli wines are also some of the most interesting wines in the world.

I was compelled to post this thought given the incredible award recently bestowed upon the Carmel Winery, Israel’s oldest and largest winery.  Decanter Magazine in their annual awards declared the Carmel 2006 Kayoumi (single vineyard site) Shiraz the best Rhone varietal over £10.  This meant the wine was deemed better than Syrah/Shiraz from famed French Chateau & Australian wineries.

Israel is considered by most to be a “new world” wine producing region.  Which makes sense when you consider that the MODERN wine-making culture in Israel is only about 30 years old.  But this New World region is like a child with an OLD SOUL.  You know those kids…the ones whose maturity is well beyond their years – who seem to literally possess an old soul.  Well, so too Israel & its vineyards.  These are vineyards that are planted amongst ancient (3000 years +) wine presses.

So what does all this have to do with Israeli wine being the best?  Well, other “New World” wines are generally fruit driven.  While typically “Old World” wines are earth or spice driven.

Talk to people in the know about Israeli wines and you will hear about wines that are a mix of fruit & spice.  The warm Eastern Mediterranean sun ripens the grapes and gives the wines a fruity character.  In addition to this fruitiness there is a unique & interesting spicy herbaceousness to Israeli wines.  Some say it is the wild herbs that grow all over the country.  Others say it is the magic of the place.

If you ask me I believe that all are contributing factors.  No matter…all I know is Israeli wines are really good, and starting to garner international recognition.

Happy Israeli wine tasting!