Wine Blogging Wednesday 56: a Kosher Wine from Utiel-Requena

It’s always nice when Wine Blogging Wednesdays lead us off the beaten track, and allows us to expand our views on the world of wine. I mean, drink AND learn? How could you go wrong?

WBW 56 is certainly such an opportunity, with the kosher wines theme thought out by the Corkdork, just in time for Passover. 

It allowed me to realize that there are dozens of kosher wines available at the Société des alcools du Québec, our good old State monopoly for wine and spirits. Wines ranging from Concord grape Manischewitz to 100-dollar bottles of Burgundy from a négociant called Roberto Cohen. Lots of wines from Israel, of course, but also from France, California, Italy, Australia, Argentina and Spain.

That’s where I picked my kosher wine from, a wine from the Utiel-Requena appellation, near Valencia, called Makor. Makor is made by by Elvi Wines, a Spanish producer entirely dedicated to making kosher wines from various Spanish regions (Priorat and Rioja, among others) and even from Chile. 

The 2004 vintage, which I tasted for the WBW, is made from 50% bobal, a native grape from Utiel-Requena, along with 20% tempranillo and 30% cabernet sauvignon. And that’s where the label is strangely not quite… kosher, as it only insists on bobal, without mentioning the other grapes.

Whatever’s in there, it sure packs a punch. The wine is dark purple, with intense aromas and flavors of black fruit (blackberry and, especially, plums), smooth tannins and an almost creamy texture. Not a light and subtle wine, but a simple and fun one.

Without knowing that it was a kosher wine, I wouldn’t have guessed. Which is a great thing, really: you wouldn’t want kosher wines to be some sub-class of wine. So it’s all good. And it’s even great with refried-bean enchiladas, as the intensity of the wine competes nicely with the starchy texture of the beans – and the tomato sauce, and the cheese. Not a classic kosher meal. But let’s all be open and enjoy the good things.

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Wine Blogging Wednesday 55: North vs South – a bipolar roundup

It’s always fascinating to see the many ways people can interpret a proposition. So what did the participants in the 55th Wine Blogging Wednesday make of this idea of confronting North vs South?

From Michigan Riesling to Tasmania Pinot Noir, from Spanish Garnacha to Tennessee Chambourcin, there sure were a lot of possible pairings (and threesomes, and foursomes) put together by the 33 participants who took up the challenge. Three of those, I’m happy to say, were first timers in the world of Wine Blogging Wednesday (this one, this one and this one), showing how the concept is still going strong and breaking new ground. (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday 55: North vs South, just across the Loire

The North vs South theme I proposed for Wine Blogging Wednesday provides bloggers with certain guidelines (use the same grapes, so you can compare), but also with a lot of leeway. Thousands of miles of leeway, really.

If you wanted, you could pick similar wines from the other side of the world. The antipodes, really. Spanish vs New Zealand pinot noir. Or Finger Lakes vs Australian riesling. That’s as far apart as it gets.

I wanted to raise the challenge for myself (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday 55: North vs South

I’m so stoked about hosting the 55th edition of the Wine Blogging Wednesday. It’s a nice number, too. A kind of symmetry, even, since I joined in on this collective tasting event for WBW 44.

As a Québécois frequently discussing wines with my American wine blogger friends, I thought that the perfect theme for “my” Wine Blogging Wednesday would be North vs South. 

But hey, it’s not a Civil War reenactment kind of theme, really. Nor a reminder of the victory of 1775, when Quebec City successfully repulsed an assault from American troops under Arnold and Montgomery.

Unless you want it to be. Wine-wise, I mean.

If this is what you want to do, (more…)

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 9:13 am  Comments (56)  
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Wine Blogging Wednesday 54: How do I love Piedmont? Let me count the ways

There are so many good things about Piedmont that I could hardly have been more excited about the 54th edition of the Wine Blogging Wednesday. David McDuff’s theme, A Passion for Piedmont, was really my kind of thing.

I love just about everything about Piedmont, in every color and style. Recently, I wrote about Moscato, this Northern Italian region’s sweet little treasure, which I can’t get enough of. I keep going back to barbera, with its refreshing acidity and bright fruit that makes it such a terrific food wine. And the Pio Cesare Ornato Barolo from the 1998 vintage remains one of my best wine tasting memories ever: incredible depth, intensity, yet subtlety and softness as well.

Just last week, (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday 53: Would you like some Slovenian chardonnay with your breakfast?

You know, it isn’t just by chance that Jeff Stai, from the Twisted Oak Winery, wound up with the Twitter nickname Eljefetwisted. I mean, a man that calls his wines Pig Stai, Potty Mouth or River of Skulls is obviously not walking on the straight and narrow – and thank God, because his wines are all the better for it. (I tried them at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference – including The Spaniard, at the live blogging event – and thought they were really terrific).

Also, his Wine Blogging Wednesday themes are all the more… twisted for it. Which is how all the bloggers who gleefully joined in for WBW 53 are all writing about which wines you should have with breakfast. Or more precisely, with breakfast foods, no matter what the time of the day you want to have them. (Of course, having breakfast foods at night would be a little twisted, don’t you think?)

So, to start off, (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday #52: an inexpensive organic red from Chile

When I heard about the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday number 52, Value Reds From Chile, proposed by Tim of the Cheap Wine Ratings blog, I knew that it was right up my alley. After all, for Wine Blogging Wednesday #48, when Lenn Thompson asked us to go back to our roots, to the first wines we liked to drink, I went straight back to Chilean cabernets.

And since, as far as I’m concerned, the most interesting ones are generally under 20$ (or only a little above that), it wasn’t too difficult to follow Tim’s lead and stay under the 20$ line.

But beyond the price, I thought I’d try (more…)

WBW 51: Madeiration in all things (Henriques and Henriques 1995 Single Vintage)

I really have to thank Joe Roberts, aka 1WineDude, for proposing this baked goods theme, about wines that have gone through the test of time and heat, and have only become all the better for it. Because when I tasted the Henriques & Henriques 1995 Single Harvest Madeira I chose for this edition of the Wine Blogging Wednesdays, I could only think: “Wow. Why don’t I drink this kind of stuff more often.”

It’s true that the idea of “baked goods” and oxydative wines go well beyond madeira itself – the vin jaune of the Jura region of France, sherries of Spain, old cuvées of some muscats of southern France… – but madeira is what I was really looking forward to taste, this time.

Just the caramel/copper color of this teenage wine is enough to get you daydreaming. And then (more…)

WBW 49: Bush Goes, Maison Blanche Stays

Although it is, for me, a part of everyday life, wine is also a celebratory drink. A well-chosen bottle can be a great part of special occasions.

For instance, asked dhonig, the soul behind the 2 Days per Bottle wine blog, as the theme for the 49th Wine Blogging Wednesday: what wine would best to toast the end of the George W. Bush era in American (and heck, world) politics?

Facetiously, I immediately thought of Shiraz, since, (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday 48: Catching Up with Chilean Cab

I had a moment of hesitation, when I read Lenn Thompson’s announcement for the 4-year anniversary edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday. As he called upon us to go back to our roots, to taste back wines we particularly favored early in our wine guzzling tasting days, I immediately thought of Robert Mondavi’s 1987 Napa Valley Reserve Pinot Noir, which had been my first revelation of the potential of wine to enlighten life. But with the man himself gone and his own brand name disposessed from him and his family, it just didn’t seem right. Sometimes, you just can’t go back.

So instead, I turned my eyes south. Way south.

Back when I started to be truly interested in wine (more…)