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2013 Jewish Week kosher wine tasting at the City Winery in New York City

City Winery PictureAs I stated in my previous post, my heart was in the Shabbos but my mind was on my trip that I was taking to New York. All the thinking did not help make the trip any less miserable. Once again I have proven to myself that flying to New York is hard enough, doing a stop in between is miserable and downright idiotic. Lets take a step back here and explain the situation. The Jewish Week holds a wine tasting every year, showing of the top kosher wines they thought made an impression to the wine judges. This past year, they tasted through some 400+ wines and came up with a long list of wines, many of which I like and some I did not like. Anyway, the tasting was this past Sunday, the 3rd of March, 2013, at 1 PM. To get there from the west coast, it would mean either sleeping in NY for Shabbos (not an option), or flying out Saturday Night.

I LOVE Jet Blue, but they canceled flying out Saturday night from San Jose airport, and now only fly out Saturday night from SFO – AHHH!!! So, the only other option was Delta, which I should never have done, because it meant a stopover in Atlanta. The idea was to fly out by 10:45 PM, have an hour in Atlanta and hop on the 9 AM flight to NY. That all sounded OK, no storms in the forecasts, no crazy storm trackers or watcher on the news – so it looked like I was in the clear! Not so fat, turns out that there may not be Godly reasons to not fly – but Delta is more than capable of creating man-made disasters – all by itself!

I arrived to the airport with an hour to go, and by the time we took off, I was in the airport for some 3 and a half hours! AHH!! Yep, you guessed it Delta screwed up and lost a tire on landing so the plane could not take us to Atlanta. By the time they fixed the plane, the man fixing it broke another part and we had to deplane and get on another plane – a gate over. By the time that plane was fueled and had everyone’s bags repacked – we were two+ hours behind. I slept like a baby on the plane, but by the time we arrived in Atlanta – I knew I was cooked. The connecting flight was 5 terminals over and the “plane train” could not get me there in time to save my bacon. So here comes the best part – I arrive at the gate and the plane was not departed, but the man would not let me on – no matter how much I screamed and begged. However, he gave me a printed ticket (I have not sen one of those in years) and told me to run to the next terminal where the Laguardia flight was boarding. I ran like a mad man, and in the interim broke my hand luggage! One thing after another – I know! Anyway, as I get to the gate the lady tells me that there is no such flight, I say what – the man told me there was a plane boarding now! She says – oh sure – that is one gate over, the dude gave me the incorrect gate number! Anyway, she walks me over and I start talking to the gate agent who tells me – once again – sorry the gate is closed and the plane is leaving. This is when the other gate woman turns into SuperWoman! She says – OH NO – this poor man has been through enough. She swipes her card, opens the gate door, walks me down the jetway – and bangs on the plane door! Seriously! She screams – open this door!

Now – let me please recap, I have a ticket – printed ticket, for JFK. I am trying to board a plane for which I have NO TICKET – none whatsoever! Actually I have a ticket for a totally different airport! Think of me as one of those lost souls dropped on a plane. That was me! Of course, I have no checked luggage – for two days, but still, this is COOL! The unflappable stewardess, behind a massive closed door replies; the door is closed. The gate attendant is equally unflappable, and she fires back (sorry bad use of verbage) open the door, you forgot this guy! Will you believe – the stewardess blinked and opened the door! Heck these folks were half way through the security demonstration! I was told grab any seat – we need to move. I grabbed the first window seat I could find, and promptly went back to sleep! WOW!! By the time I land in Laguardia, I had two hours to go and once I finished davening, I hopped in a taxi and found my way to the City Winery. Read the rest of this entry

Lovely Hevron Heights Elone Mamre Chardonnay

2010 Hevron Heights Elone Mamre Chardonnay_This past week I came back from the IFWF and the KFWE, and I was so tired I was not up to writing anything. Thankfully, we had some chicken and some olive and white bean soup in the freezer, so I had little to no work to do before the Shabbos weekend. The chicken was the lemon rosemary roasted chicken of course, and the soup was the Olive white bean soup.

So, to pair with this meal, we went for a lovely Chardonnay that I had the joy of tasting last year in NY, and based on that bought a bottle sometime ago. The wine is ripe, rich, and yet controlled with good acidity and great body. The fruit is far more tropical than summer and the body and acidity and creaminess, makes for a rich and fun white wine.

Hevron Height winery is one of those highly polarizing wineries, mostly because the late Daniel Rogov was never a fan. Actually, he hated the winery and its wines. To be fair, he did like a few bottles, here and there, but for the most part – he was very down on them. That made me not interested in tasting these wines for years. I then tasted wines from Hevron Heights, here and there in the past few years, and most of the time, the wines were a complete disaster.

Well all of that has changed in the past few years, with the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Hevron Heights wines being imported by Happy Hearts imports. The wines were quite nice, not winner winner chicken dinner kind of wines, or WOW wines, but clearly far better than the earlier wines I had endured. That said, the word on the street is that wine maker helping Michel P. Murciano, the founding owner and wine maker at Hevron Heights Winery has left the coop. Still, there is yet another rumor that the new wine maker helper, is a man that I highly respect and if he can get his hands on the overall process and make it hum, we could be seeing some killer wines from this winery in the future.

The wine note follows below:

2010 Hevron Heights Chardonnay Elone Mamre – Score: A-
2010 Hevron Heights Elone Mamre Chardonnay - back label_This is a lovely and unique Chardonnay with great aromatics all wrapped up in clear effects from the 6 months in oak. The gold colored wine’s nose screams of pineapple, bright citrus, toast, great caramel, nice mineral, fig, and guava. The mouth is rich, medium to full body, creamy, fruity, with tropical concentrated fruit, mango, peach, melon, and tart green apple that lingers. The finish is long, spicy, and rich with butterscotch, smoky notes, grapefruit, lemon, and toast.

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