Get Your Crush On…In New Jersey!

Who knew? Here in the most densely populated state in the union, we seem to have more "make on premises", Do-it-Yourself, hands-on winemaking shops than Doan has pills. So if you want to try your hand at making wine, and get a little professional advice and support in the process, New Jersey is the place to be. We're more than just the turnpike, the highest property taxes in the nation and mandatory full-service gas stations, you know! Anyway, two of these places I know well - California WineWorks up in Ramsay, and The Vintner's Circle in both Hackettstown and Whippany, as well as a Pennsylvania location. I've visited another, Grape Expectations in Dayton, NJ, and all of them have happy…

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Get Ready For Passover

With Passover now a WEEK away, it's time to think about GOOD Kosher wine. Let's start with a little understanding of what makes a wine Kosher. Grapes are grapes, neither Kosher nor non-Kosher until they arrive at the so-called crushpad where they begin the process of becoming wine. Once that happens, for the wine to be Kosher, the grapes must be handled from that point by Sabbath-observant Jews. So far so good. So, let's assume that the grapes are crushed, pressed and fermented by this Kosher crew, using only Kosher ingredients and approved processes. For example, wine can be fined with egg whites, which is pretty standard in the industry, but not using Isinglass which is made from Sturgeon bladders…

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Mumbai Millionaire

In case you were inspired by the eight Oscars that Slumdog Millionaire brought home, here are some suggestions for pairing wine with Indian food. And a pairing chart is available here with suggestions for other foods and wines. A great wine with Indian food is a mix of Chenin Blanc and Viognier from Pine Ridge...it's pretty great with all kinds of Asian food too, and you should be able to find it anywhere in the US. My very favorite Indian pairing is 100% Pinot Blanc - you can try one of many from the Alsace region of France, such as Meyer-Fonne Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes, or one of many domestic Pinot Blancs such as WillaKenzie from Oregon. Good stuff that!…

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State Of Denial

Have you recently visited an out-of-state winery and wanted a case sent home, only to be told it's illegal? Confused by wine shipping laws? You're not alone. First let me say that I support the right of wine retailers, wholesalers and distributors to exist and make a living. The idea that we could or should just toss aside the three-tier system and buy all our wine, as the Brits might say, via "the post" is neither practical nor fair for all concerned. Having said that, wineries simply ought to be able to ship directly to consumers, too, with few or no restrictions and with as little administrative burden as possible. For small wineries that cannot command the attention and shelf…

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Wine-Flair’s New Look

As you check out the new Wine-Flair.com, please take advantage of the resources on this site. First, click the Fun Stuff tab and take advantage of a wine and food pairing chart; a wine notes sheet for recording your impressions about wines; and tables that list the grape varieties found in a number of red, rose and white European wines. Two other places to get useful information: The Wine FAQs tab, where you'll find a glossary of wine terms written in language you can understand, and some Q&A; around the questions we're asked most. And you might enjoy the periodic columns in Words of Wine, some of which you can download and listen to at your leisure from the Podcasts…

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