1. No Need to Uncork: Draft Wines Are Gaining Favor

The Best In Boxed Wines: Thinking Inside The Box

Product Pick: Classic Trio wine box

2. Long-term wine investment is the key says 'Crystal Ball' adviser

Investing in wine

3. March 1-3  6th Annual New York Wine Expo

March 11-15  The Fifty-second National Wine Week

March 18

TastersGuildNY Jean Luc Columbo Tour of Rhone Valley Wines

 March 27       Something to Wine About: Wine Tasting & Comedy

4. Carignano [Carignan] del Sulcis [Sardina] at Eataly 
What Argentina did for Malbec, Sardina may do for Carignano (Carignan). 

Eataly is New York’s Italian food & wine lovers mecca. At La Scuola Grande over an all too short 2 hour lunch, we literally feasted on delicious assorted dishes and made a wine discovery: 100% Carignan wines can be especially delightful.  Not in the style of the French or Spanish blending varietal, but wines from Sardinia: Ancient, bush-trained pre-Phylloxera vines (Latin vines) preserving their original rootstock thanks to the sandy soil. All tasted AUTHENTIC- one could easily felt/tasted Sardinian Terroir. Unfortunately, this is increasingly a rare experience due to the proliferation of international wine styles.

Sulcis wines sport a wonderful nose and naturally, like almost all Italian wines, were deliciously food matched.
Carignano is outstanding with lamb chops and grilled meats and also goes with well-seasoned cheeses. Like Chianti it matches well with tomato sauces.  Our tasting selection prices ranged from $20 to $60. My favorites were obviously the higher quality, older vine (80 year average age of vineyards) wines:
Sardus Pater IS Arenas, Carignano Del Sulcis Doc Riserve 2008 $30 100% Carignano 
Santadi Terre Brune  Carignano Del Sulcis Doc Superiore 2008 $60  Carignano 95%, Bovaleddu 5%

The parting words that I strongly recall were: “If you drink Carignano, you live to 100 years old”.
IF TRUE, Step aside French Paradox and buy and drink all can of these wines BEFORE this news gets out!  :)

This year while I missed the presence of some of top offerings previously tasted, as usual this was overall a fun experience. I recommend this special wine tasting whether you are Jewish and keep kosher or are not even a member of the tribe! This year I especially enjoyed the unique Bokobsa Boukha Fig Brandy as well as the offerings of the Psagot winery. 

Irene’s Tasting Notes:
Shiloh Mosaic (Israel, 2006) was among my favorites. The wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Verdot and 6% Petite Syrah. It's full bodied and spicy, with notes of black fruit, vanilla, and coffee.
Psagot Edom (Israel, 2010)  is a Bordeaux style blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot - full bodied, rich and spicy.
Herzog To Kalon Generation VIII Cabernet Sauvignon (California, 2006) has a bouquet of dark berries followed by rich flavors of fruit and oak. Retailing for over $150 a bottle, on par with other Napa Valley Cabernets, this wine is definitely not a bargain, but will definitely impress any Kosher wine connoisseur.
Clos Mesorah (Spain, 2010) -  a blend of Carinena, Garnacha and Syrah, a very elegant wine, with complex structure of spice and red fruit on the palate and a wonderfully perfumed nose.

What was most memorable was Irene and I tasting two identical high quality 2009 Cave wines (Binyamina Winery). They were identical except one was Mevushal [An extra step can be taken to make wine kosher] and the other was not. Mevushal wine is heated to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.  It remains kosher even if non-Jews handle the wine and is the kosher wine usually served in American restaurants. What was the difference in taste?  To again quote Irene:
The Cave (Israel, 2009) comes both Mevushal and non Mevushal. Even though modern flash pasteurization technology doesn't require "cooking" the wine, the difference in both the nose and palate is hard not to notice. Mevushal wine is strongly dominated by cooked red fruit on the palate and the complex nose and structured tannins that non Mevushal. The Cave is boasting disappear in the Mevushal one. So don't cook your wine unless you absolutely have to!

NYC Winter Wine Fest
Here we tasted  200+ everyday wines at the Best Buy Theatre, a very convenient location but a bit crowded.  This year there were many generous food stations with plenty of cheeses, pasta and the like.  My value discovery was Calina Carmenere from Chile $11.  Also memorable was Erasmo Reserva Di Caliboro Erasmos 2006  $33 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 

To be researched: 
A claim by The Most Romantic Wine (TMRW) Caroline Cellars Ice Wines.  When I mistakenly remarked to my plus one they were from the Finger Lakes, I was corrected and informed no from Canada.  I flippantly remarked: “Same thing”.  I was instantly chided and was lectured that only Canada and Germany do not use short cuts.  “They are made from grapes that have been intentionally left on the vine passed normal harvest to freeze. After a few frosts of temperatures in the range of 14°F to 9°F or lower, the grapes are handpicked and immediately pressed while they are still frozen.”  I have to check with NY State wineries if they do not use the same procedure, but rather “they pick earlier and freeze them”.

While I enjoyed tasting these somewhat sweet wines and find them appropriate for Valentine’s Day - I would strongly argue against their slogan as being gospel: The World’s Most Romantic Wine ™.   They did not make Gayot’s top10romantic-wines list but then, neither did the most obvious choice—Pink champagne!

5. Green tea, red wine stop Alzheimer's in its tracks

Red Wine – More Good News For Those Who Like To Imbibe

WINE: The urge to consume

6. Which wine does NOT match well with asparagus?
a) Grüner Veltliner b) Sauvignon Blanc  c) Chardonnay  d) Riesling

What is the best way to learn about wine?
a) Read books
b) Take wine classes
c) Buy a corkscrew and use it
d) All of the above

7.  READER: Very interesting newsletter! José Manuel Ortega Chairman O. Fournier Group www.ofournier.com
HW: Thank you. I look forward to reviewing more of your wines in the future as well as the progress of your Argentina project.
JMO: We have sold and reserved more than 22 properties in 8 months. Let me know if you need further info.

READER: I enjoy reading these...thanks for sending!
BTW my full length wine tasting comedy is coming to NYC on 3/27...would love to have you and any help spreading the word is appreciated. Link: http://gothamcomedyclub.com/show.cfm?id=230970&cart
HW: Thank you we have mentioned it above- it is wine fun and I can strongly recommend this a wine talk/tasting that will interest and amuse both newbies and wine geeks!

READER: Once again Thanks for your comments and insights. You note that men age like wine, it has been noted that while that is true, women on the other hand age like milk. While writing this I am savoring a brilliant Pinot, from of all areas, New York. It is a Brotherhood, America's oldest Winery. Apparently the US State Dept. serves this at official dinners. 

READER: I wholeheartedly agree with you on the Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne.  It was excellent and, if I recall correctly, an outstanding value. Cheers.
HW:  GMTA.  Cheers.

Henry Weingarten
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