The Summer Seasonal List

Today and yesterday it has been sunny and somewhat warm out for the first time in what seems like forever, meaning thoughts of golfing, fishing, and just enjoying the upcoming summer are crossing our minds again.  And what goes best with the above mentioned activities?  Beer of course.  Most breweries are ahead of the game and have already released their summer seasonal beers, even though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st. Below is a list of summer seasonal beers we have in, as well as a few we are expecting to hit our shelves soon.

 

 

Abita Wheat  Unlike most breweries wheat offerings, Abita Wheat is a lager, not an ale (Coming Soon).

 

Anchor Summer Beer This light and crisp wheat beer has been brewed and enjoyed since 1984.

 

Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Tastes like an orange cream saver in a can.  One of the most drinkable beers on the planet.

 

Arcadia Whitsun Ale This full bodied wheat ale clocks in at 6.2% ABV, but is still light enough to quench your thirst.

 

Bell’s Oberon On the citrusy side for a wheat beer; will be available in 5L mini kegs for a limited time.

 

Big Sky Summer Honey Ale   A full flavored beer brewed with Montana Honey and an array of spices (Coming Soon).

 

Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat Has some sweetness from the Clover Honey it is brewed with, also brewed with orange peel.

 

Breckenridge SummerBright This quaffable wheat ale is brewed with fruit.

 

Brooklyn Summer Ale A modern take on the old English style of “Light Dinner Ales” that were brewed to be packed with flavor and refreshing without being filling. 

 

Capital Summerfest Capital may be the only brewery that offers an Oktoberfest style brew as their summer seasonal.

 

Flying Dog Woody Creek White Has everything you would expect from a wit:  citrus, wheat, coriander, and orange.

 

Goose Island Summertime Ale This is a Kolsch, a light and drinkable German style that continues to gain popularity among American craft brewers. 

 

Great Lakes Holy Moses Ale This Belgian wit style ale is spiced with chamomile, coriander, and orange peel.

 

Harpoon Summer Beer This kolsch is gold colored, light bodied, and has a mild flavor.  It is dry and refreshing, with each sip making you want another.

 

Hoppin’ Frog Turbo Shandy This combination of lemon and malt clocks in at 7% ABV, making it a ramped up version of the style.

 

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy A combination of two of the most popular summer drinks: beer and lemonade.

 

Magic Hat Wacko You might be shocked when you see the pinkish-red color of this brew, but don’t be surprised by its drinkablity on a hot day.

 

Mendocino Summer Ale A floral, spicy, and invigorating blonde ale.

 

Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat –  An unfiltered and lively wheat beer.  Of course, clothing is not mandatory when drinking this one.

 

Rogue Summer Orange Honey Ale This easy drinking brew takes its name from the orange peel and Wildflower Honey it is brewed with.

 

Samuel Adams Summer Ale This wheat ale’s unique flavors are a result of atypical brewing ingredients:  lemon peel and grains of paradise.

 

Shiner Ruby Redbird A summer lager that is brewed with Texas Rio Red Grapefruit and ginger.

 

Sierra Nevada Summertime  This pilsner’s smoothness is a result of the extra long lagering process it goes through (Coming Soon).

 

Southern Tier Hop Sun A pretty hoppy wheat beer, similar in profile to the elusive Three Floyd’s Gumballhead.

 

Two Brothers Dog Days This one is a dortmunder lager, a rarely brewed style similar to a pilsner with its color, crispness, bitterness, and drinkability 

 

Tyranena Scurvy The Wisconsin based brewery’s summer offering is an IPA with a big citrus element, thanks to the added orange peel.

 

Victory Brewing Whirlwind Wit Brewed with imported Belgian yeast, resulting in a classic interpretation of the Belgian white style.

 

Wild Onion Summer Wit  Orange peel, coriander, wheat, and Belgian yeast form this refreshing white beer (Coming Soon).

 

Binny’s First Hand Picked Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

   Have you tried our Binny’s Hand PickedKnob Creek Single Barrel bottlings? We’ve gotten requests, so here’san explanation of our choices and my personal tasting notes.

   Before we get into all the details,know that two unexpected things happened. First, the distributorbotched the delivery, only bringing us three of our four barrels,leaving us with 75% of what we ordered, and no control over whichbarrels wound up where. The fourth (actually Binny’s Barrel #1) is onits way. Second, the stock that did arrive sold faster than we couldhave dreamed. The next time we do a Hand Picked Knob Creek SingleBarrel Reserve (we hope to soon) we’ll be looking for ten or sobarrels instead of the scant four we picked this time. This purchaseis already running low, so snatch them up when you see them.

   The Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve isa close sibling to the standard Small Batch Bottling. The two arefrom the same mashbill and see the same time in barrel. The SingleBarrel Reserve is chosen from the best barrels for intensity andconsistency, while the rest of the barrels are vatted to the SmallBatch profile. The biggest difference in the Single Barrel is themuch higher bottling proof: Small Batch is 100 proof, while theSingle Barrel Reserve is labeled at 120, with our selections clockingin at a punchy 128-132 proof.

 

Decode the Label

You’ll find one of these labels on theside of each of our bottlings.

Confusing? Let’s break it down:

 

BARREL # is what we (Binny’s)use to quickly identify each. (Note to the tasting panel: next time,let’s come up with hilarious names.)

LOT ID is distilling date, andit breaks down like this:
- The first two digits are the year.
- The letter is the month, in order (skipping I)
- The last two digits are the day.
So 02A16 refers to the lot distilled on 2002, January 16.

WAREHOUSE is the warehouse at Beam. Knob Creek only comes from G, H and P.

FLOOR is (what else?) the floor. Most Beam warehouses have eight floors. Thebest comes from middle floors, where temperature is stable. Higherfloors get extremely hot.

RICK/TIER  further breaks down location. You’ll notice that our barrels #3 and #4 camefrom the same tier, neighbors for over nine years.

BOTTLED is the bottling date. Ours were bottled only after we chose them.

BARREL PF is barrel proof. Ours were bottled at barrel proof, so watch out.

 

Tasting Notes

   The panel had just finished selectingthe new Four Roses barrels. Then we took a break to rest our palatesand drink water (we drink a LOT of water). Then we reconvened totackle the Knob Creek.

   We tasted fifteen samples plus adistiller’s bottling. It’s important to have a comparison sample, sowe’re not just picking our favorites, but our favorites within atarget profile. The fifteen samples were in three flights of five,each from a different warehouse. We tasted through all silently, thendiscussed after we reached our own conclusions.

 

Distillery Bottling

   Quite spirited, this bourbon is weighty with plenty of sour grain and prune fruit notes. After the 90 proofFour Roses samples, this is a hard-edged punch in the mouth, with more focus and way less spice. It’s a lot like the Knob Creek Small Batch bottling, only really, really alcoholic and more extreme. For the record, I really like this bottling. With ours, we’re looking for this profile, only bigger, more complex, better.

   We chose some from each warehouse, noton purpose, but because they were voted the best. Each flight hadsamples numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 without a 5, so if I mention 6, themath does work and I’m not crazy. Sorry if I ramble; I’ll be candid.In general, the samples have way more similarities than differences,so I’m being nitpicky here:

 

#1- 02A16 G 5 49 2 (Still hasn’t shipped as of today, 4/28)

   Several of the samples from warehouse G show fruity peach notes along with baking spice and caramel. All arevery spirited. Outliers here include 4 and 6. My top choice is 6,really complex and dry with floral notes and tea and lemon peel. I’min the minority though, the group votes in 4, which is moreimmediately pleasing with lots of butterscotch and honey, reallyround on the palate with a buttery caramel candy sort of texture. Ihave no complaint with this choice.

 

#2- 02A17 H 6 7 2

   Our warehouse H samples might be themost diverse, but 3 and 4 stand out as special. Both are in profilewith our sample, both have complex fruit: amped-up peach and a littleraisin and tropical fruit. There’s good butterscotch andpalate-blowing levels of alcohol (which doesn’t happen to me veryoften anymore).

   What is interesting here is that,because they come from the same rick, we wonder if maybe 3 and 4 arefrom the same barrel. They’re just that similar. So we all do aside-by-side comparison. It’s one of those things that catches youoff guard one of those moments where you’re challenged as ataster to dig deeper, and as a group to discuss at more analyticallevel. We agree that 4 is the one, and very nearly buy both.

 

#3- 02A15 P 6 37 3

#4- 02A15 P 6 37 3

   Warehouse P is oddin retrospect because there are a couple of easily dismissed samplesand a couple of the best. 1 is in profile but nothing special, 2 issmall and thin. I really like the nose on 3 super-obvious peachand apricot and spice but the palate falls short. Both 4 and 6are great. 4 (our #3 bottling, the one bottled at 132.4 proof) is themost herbal of our four selections, with more fennel and clove andmore, wearing its grain on its sleeve. Sample 6 (our #4 bottling, theone bottled at 130.7 proof) is bigger and rounder – more of thatpeach and butterscotch, honey, buttery, darker. Also, I wrote in mynotes that it is more traditional which makes less sense nowthan it did then.

   If you check out the above labels, you might notice that, similar to the wa

World of Whiskies 2011

   On April 14th, We held our annual World of Whiskies event at our Lincoln Park store. This could have been the best whisky event ever. Or, at least a unique opportunity to mingle with the people who make the spirits you love. This year, the event features over 20 sneak previews, items that have not yet hit the market yet. Pretty cool, huh?

   Thanks to everybody for coming, and thanks to the producers who came out to share their creations with everybody.

 

Heavan Hill

Ardbeg

Tomatin

Brown Forman

Balvenie

Glenmorangie

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Bordeaux 2010 – Another Vintage of the Century?!

Really? Another Vintage of the Century? In decades (and centuries) past, Vintage of the Century meant something. It was typical that only 3 or 4 vintages in 10  would produce wines that were considered “good” or better. Now it seems that it’s at least 3 or 4 “Vintage of the Century” years in a decade! The 2000 vintage really kicked it off. For the first time we saw great quality Bordeaux at every level. They said it was a blessing that is as rare as their famed comet year (last one was 1811, wasn’t it?). Then came 2005. The Perfect Year. Critics compared it to ’49, ’59, ’82. And even 2000, the last vintage of the century - 5 years ago.

 

Bordeaux fans were re-energized with the 2009 vintage. After a couple of so-so vintages, they said this is “What the World is Waitng for…” Maybe this was true. Our futures campaign was huge. The frenzy was big and drawn out.

 

To 2010. Someone is truly smiling on Bordeaux.

Another “Vintage of the Century”? It is more than good. It is Great. The wines are pretty uniformly spectacular. Some regions more consistent that others. The best may be Pauillac with some really brilliant purity to the wines. Margaux shines too. The slightly more feminine character is well served in a year where everything (fruit, tannin, acids) are super sized. For me? For 2009 and 2010, look for the values. These are the years that will bring new Bordeaux fans to the game.

 

Maybe 2010 is another “Vintage of the Century”. Let’s just call it something else…

 

The 2010 Futures campaign will start soon. Buying Bordeaux on futures (paying now for delivery in appoximately 2 years) is a great way to get in the game. And you don’t have to spend a fortune. (There should be some great wines starting at under $15 a bottle). Buying Bordeaux futures does two things. Most importantly, it secures your wine. And at a price that is almost guaranteed to be the best these wines will ever see.

South Loop Tasting Room Taplist Available on Our Website

Are you a fan of the tasting room at our South Loop location?  Specifically, the 16 continually rotating craft beers we have on tap? If so, be sure to bookmark this page: South Loop Tasting Room Tap List, as we have recently added a permanent tap list feature to the beer section of our website.  We will be updating the list frequently; at the bottom of the page, it will tell you when the last time the page was updated.

 

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LIMITED EDITION

Last Saturday was Record Store Day. Being something of a vinyl geek, I found myself in line outside a record shop, hoping to get my hands on a short wishlist of special releases, limited pressings offered just for this event.

 

The mood in the line was amicable. People talked about music and about the cold rain and about beer. But there was this undercurrent of paranoia, too. Somebody asked What’s on your list? And nobody said anything. We all looked uncomfortable for a couple seconds and then everybody laughed. But it was still there, this undercurrent of desire leading to entitlement and then competition.

 

You ever feel that way? I’m guessing that if you’re on the Binny’s blog, you have felt the knot in your stomach that goes with desire. What was it? Hot new bourbon? Wine of the year? Rare beer? The last time I felt it was when I was waiting in line at Dark Lord Day a year or two back.

 

What drives this impulsive desire? Bragging rights? The chase? Cash value of the thing? The fear of missing out? An elusive sense of completion? It has to be about investing some sense of the self, right?

 

We convince ourselves that we must have it, and forget alternatives. I know I don’t actually need the limited vinyl pressing I can listen to the music in other formats for cheap, even free. I know I don’t actually need that one special Russian Imperial Stout there are aisles of other beers that will bring me as much satisfaction. But I want it. And because I want it so badly, I deserve it.

 

Unlike wine and spirits, beer geeks still have the luxury of affordability. The model of supply and demand doesn’t seem to apply. A single cask Scotch might yield a few hundred cases and sell for $80 a bottle. A cult Napa Cab might yield the same and cost a couple hundred bucks more. A first growth Bordeaux will produce tens of thousands of cases in a vintage, and some futures sell over a grand per bottle.

 

Considering this, beer fans are lucky, at least for now. A special one-day, brewery-only release might go for ten or twelve or even fifteen dollars per. Last year saw one beer release at $40/720mL, a price that was less a barrier of entry than I expected. It sold well and then it was gone.

 

Back to me and Record Store Day. I got all the records on my wishlist except the one that I wanted most of all. I had to remind myself that my hands were full of great new releases, but it was tough to shake the disappointment that came from missing out on that one special piece of plastic that I didn’t get. How childish of me.

 

So what is it that drives collectors? Why do we allow scarcity to be a desirable trait in a product? Why put so much focus not on what we have, but instead on what we can’t get?

 

Many Hands

The Craft Beer Road Show Lake Zurich Lineup

Below is the list for our 8th and final Binny’s Craft Beer Road Show that takes place at our Lake Zurich location on on Saturday, April 16th, from 1-4pm.  This tasting will incorporate a hefty dosage of European beers, especially Belgian, when compared with the American craft beer dominated road show that takes place at our Des Plaines location on  Friday, April 15th from 5-7pm.  Hopefully you can make it out to see us on Friday or Saturday!

 

1. Alba Scots Pine Ale
2. Augustijn Ale
3. Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock
4. Biere Du Boucanier Dark
5. Biere Du Boucanier Golden
6. Biere Du Boucanier Red
7. Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout
8. BrewDog Devine Rebel
9. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 2010
10. Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
11. Brooklyn Lager
12. Brooklyn Monster Ale 2007
13. Brooklyn Nut Brown Ale
14. Brooklyn Summer Ale
15. Coopers Original Pale Ale
16. Duchesse De Bourgogne
17. Duvel
18. Duvel Tripel Hop
19. Grand Teton Bitch Creek Extra Special Brown Ale
20. Great Lakes The Dopplerock
21. Het Kapittel Abt
22. Het Kapittel Blond
23. Het Kapittel Pater
24. Het Kapittel Prior
25. Liefmans Fruitesse
26. Liefmans Goudenband
27. Lindemans Framboise
28. Lindemans Kriek
29. Lindemans Peche
30. Lindemans Pomme
31. Malheur Brut Noir (Black Chocolate)
32. Maredsous 10 Triple
33. Maredsous 6 Blonde
34. Maredsous 8 Dubbel
35. McChouffe
36. New Holland Golden Cap Saison
37. Petrus Blond
38. Petrus Dubbel
39. Petrus Gouden Tripel
40. Petrus Winter Ale
41. Samuel Smiths India Ale
42. Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale
43. Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout
44. Samuel Smiths Organic Cider
45. Samuel Smiths Pure Brewed Lager
46. Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome Ale 2010
47. Saxo Caracole Ambree
48. Scaldis Refermentee
49. Schneider Aventinus Wheat Dopplebock
50. Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Charlie, Fred & Kens Bock
51. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 2008
52. Straffe Hendrik Tripel
53. Summit Extra Pale Ale
54. Summit Great Northern Porter
55. Summit India Pale Ale
56. Summit Maibock
57. Troubadour Obscura Mild Stout
58. Victory Storm King Stout 2008
59. Wittekerke
60. Wittekerke Framboise

 

The Craft Beer Road Show Des Plaines Lineup

The seventh installment of the Binny’s Craft Beer Road Show is coming to our Des Plaines store this Friday, April 15th from 5-7pm. If you can’t make it out to Des Plaines, our eighth and final stop will be the following day, Saturday April 16th from 1-4pm at our Lake Zurich location. Below is the list of beers that we will be pouring at Des Plaines on Friday.  You will notice that they are all American craft beers, to coincide with our massive American craft beer sale.  We hope to see you this weekend!

 

1.Allagash White

2.Anchor Liberty Ale

3.Anchor Steam

4.Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

5.Bells 25th Anniversary Ale

6.Bells Batch 10,000

7.Bells Batch 9,000

8.Bells Consecrator Dopplebock

9.Bells Double Cream Stout

10.Bells Expedition Stout

11.Bells Java Stout

12.Breckenridge Avalanche Ale

13.Breckenridge Lucky U IPA

14.Breckenridge Regal Double Pilsner

15.Brooklyn Local 1

16.Brooklyn Local 2

17.Capital Island Wheat

18.Chatoe Rogue First Growth Creek Ale

19.Chatoe Rogue First Growth Dirtoir Black Lager

20.Clown Shoes Brown Angel Double Brown Ale

21.Clown Shoes Clementine White Ale

22.Clown Shoes Eagle Claw Fist Imperial Amber Ale

23.Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black India Pale Ale

24.Dogfish Head Aprihop

25.Dogfish Head My Antonia

26.Dogfish Head Squall IPA

27.Flossmoor Station India Pale Ale

28.Flossmoor Station Pullman Brown Ale

29.Flossmoor Station Station Master American Wheat Ale

30.Goose Island Pepe Nero

31.Great Lakes Conways Irish Red Ale

32.Green Flash West Coast IPA

33.Lagunitas IPA

34.Mendocino Black Hawk Stout

35.Mendocino Eye of The Hawk Ale

36.Mendocino Imperial IPA

37.Mendocino White Hawk Select IPA

38.Metropolitan Flywheel Lager

39.Ommegang Abbey Ale

40.Ommegang BPA

41.Ommegang Three Philosophers 

42.Ommegang Tripel Perfection

43.Ommegang Witte

44.Rogue Brutal IPA

45.Rogue Double Chocolate Stout

46.Rogue Double Mocha Porter

47.Rogue John John Hazelnut Ale

48.Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA

49.Ska True Blonde Ale

50.Southampton IPA

51.Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

52.Stone IPA

53.Stone Pale Ale

54.Two Brothers Bitter End Pale Ale

55.Two Brothers Domaine Du Page French Style Country Ale

56.Uinta Detour Double India Pale Ale (Crooked Line Series)

57.Uinta Labyrinth Black Ale (Crooked Line Series)

58.Uinta Tilted Smile Imperial Pilsner (Crooked Line Series)

59.Victory Golden Monkey Tripel

60.Widmer Brothers Series 924 Pitch Black IPA

 

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Whiskey Hotline Updated 4/14/11

Be sure to check out the newest update to the Whiskey Hotline. This update has tons of info:

– Keep up with the newest releases with What’s Rollin’ In?
– See what spirits are hot and which are not: Unsung & Overhyped
– Be in the know on upcoming events and products: Breaking News
– Get updated on Binny’s 2011 Hand Picked Selections: Barrel Report
– See answers to the Hotline’s most frequently asked questions: Hotline FAQ

As always, you can call The Whiskey Hotline at 888 817-5898, you can email spirits@binnys.com, or you can find us on twitter and Facebook, and of course, if you’d like to start a conversation, you can leave a comment right here on the Binny’s Spirits Blog.

The Whiskey Hotline

The Kosher Standard

 One of the darkest memories, still a lump in my throat, of my generally bright and careless Eastern-European childhood is a story about the black volga.

 In the 70′s the Black Volga was after small boys. According to well informed second- and third-graders, a dark Russian limousine driven by Orthodox Jews will stop at the playground and all naughty kindergartners will be kidnapped. Then they will be turned into matzah, a bread Jews bake for Passover.

 The striking absurdity of this children’s horror story helps swallow the bitter truth. The knowledge the average Christian has about the Jews, our elder brothers, is a mixed bag of jokes and a few more-or-less ludicrous urban legends. There is not much difference when non-Jews come across kashrut, the ethical norms ruling what Jews can or cannot eat or drink. No matter what the urban legends may insinuate though, it is rather the wine, not the poor Catholic boys, that have special place in the Jewish diet.

 

Covenant Cabernet SauvignonI Drink, Because I Believe

 In the Jewish tradition, wine is more than just a beverage of choice. Paraphrasing the Pascal’s Wager argument, you’re better off drinking it than suffering the consequences of remaining abstinent. A kiddush, the blessing over a glass of the holy beverage, wine, remains from centuries an integral part of many religious ceremonies. There are even some Jewish festivals where the wine plays first fiddler.

 During the Seder, for example, which begins the Passover celebration, Jews drink four glasses of wine to celebrate their freedom from Egyptian slavery. Why four glasses? There are scholars who talk about the four terms God used when promised to free the Jews from their bondage. Others mention that the four glasses symbolize the freedom from the four exiles which the chosen nation has suffered. Yet others see the four glasses as a metaphor of the liberation from the four decrees of the Pharaoh.

 In any case, it seems that four glasses of wine may not be enough when the celebration of Purim, the Jewish carnival, starts. The wine in Purim is not mere a symbol anymore, it becomes functional. According to the Talmud, the primary source of the religious law of Judaism, a devout Jew shall drink at Purim so much wine so to find it very difficult at the end to get his tongue around the difference between words Haman and Mordecai. Anyway, notwithstanding whether one keeps counting or is just about to lose the count, each glass of wine he drinks must be kosher.

 

Kosher? What does it mean?

 Kosher wine doesn’t have to originate from Israel and it is not transformed into kosher by a prayer. On the contrary, it is the kosher wine that makes the blessing possible and a prayer accurate.

 In accordance with the Jewish dietary laws, kosher food and kosher wine are simply those proper to eat and drink, but the wine is subject to special rules that do not apply to any other kosher food. Kosher wine must be processed and bottled by a Sabbath-observant Jew, a man. That said, in the Jewish-Orthodox wine world such thing as a woman-winemaker doesn’t exist.

 The production line and the equipment should be used exclusively for production of kosher wine. No artificial coloring or preservatives or any by-products of animal origin can be used at any stage of the production (yes, all kosher wines are vegan-friendly). In addition, all additives used in the production, such as yeasts and filtering agents, must be kosher certified. And, because religion’s uses are often different from religion itself, the production of kosher wine has to have a reliable Rabbinical supervision.

 On the top of that, there is a special etiquette for serving kosher wine, which proves the old wisdom that it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. According to the kashrut, wine poured by a non-Jew or wine in a bottle that has been opened by a non-Jew is simply no longer kosher. This can really make sharing a glass of kosher wine a difficult mission. Fortunately, things turn out to be considerably simpler.

 

The Shortcut, or Mevushal

 Over 80% of the kosher wines sold worldwide are those which are heated to near boiling, the so called “cooked” wines or, in Hebrew, mevushal. Mevushal wines are marked as such somewhere on the bottle and are a proper choice every Jew, even Orthodox, can accept. There is a bit of spirituality and a vast dose of pragmatism behind this process, as cooking it makes the wine useless for other religions. Some may say also that it makes wine worthless to any conventional wine drinker too. The fact is that for years Judaism has been treating wine as a religious symbol, and because of that, the taste of the “matter,” didn’t matter much.

 For centuries the social status of the Jewish people in exile have presented them with a real oenological puzzle. For ages they were not permitted to own land and did not have the opportunity to become farmers and, consequently, winegrowers or winemakers. That is why mevushal wines have been serving well all the Jewish Diaspora and their introduction made each and every kiddush possible. All what really was needed at that point was a kosher pot and some wine, any wine.

 Things have certainly changed since the mevushal got a contemporary interpretation. In modern times, when commercial production of kosher wines became a flourishing business, the mevushal process was toned down to require heating the wine to only 90 C (194 F). The orthodox wine didn’t want to be a synonym of unorthodox taste anymore.

 

New Definition of Kosher-ness

 When flash pasteurization was invented, it enabled mevushal wine to wear its kosher status lightly. During this process (practiced by non-kosher winemakers too) the wine or the grape juice is quickly brought up to 180 F, kept at this temperature for up to 20 seconds and rapidly cooled down to 40-50 F. The sensorial evaluation conducted by UC Davis has shown that flash pasteurization doesn’t affect the color, the aroma or the taste of the wine. Despite the inspiring evidence not everyone is yet thrilled. Most wine drinkers roll their eyes and mutter into the glass that talking about quality in kosher wine is a waste of breath. No doubt, there is a little argument over the need to enliven the Manischevitz and the others alike.

 The way forward seems to be clear, at least for Jeff Morgan. Mr. Morgan, a journalist, wine educator and winemaker, simply wants to produce the finest Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. He brings to the wine table a new covenant – I will make the best ever kosher Cab and you should try it, no matter whether you keep kosher or not. It seems less like a plan that an aspiration until you actually taste a glass of his Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is excellent and may easily fit any palette. It is also kosher, which doesn’t hurt at all. As we are no longer kindergartners and have learnt that all wines, kosher or not, are either bad or good. A simple truth which we better always remember.

 

– Jaroslaw Lewandowski