It is not yet summer and here in NorCal, it feels more like winter with these strange May storms with thunder and hail. Sorry, but in NorCal, we do not get thunder, it is very strange indeed! Anyway, enough with my meteorologist fanboy moment, the weather was not conducive for my last tasting here in San Jose with a group of folks, but Rose was on the docket so rose it was.
Rose wine in the non-kosher market is exploding – especially Rose wine from Provence; a wine region of France. Sadly, in the kosher wine market – that is not quite the case. I did not stress my previous statement with a suffix of AT ALL, even though I am not allowed to open a bottle of rose on my Shabbos table with guests – why? Well, that is simple – no one will drink it!!
Even worse, is that wine manufacturers may well have jumped the shark! There will be some 60+ kosher roses available in the USA this year! That may not sound like a lot, but when all you had was Herzog White Zinfandel 10 years ago – it is insane. The first high-end rose was Castel’s 2009 rose and that was only 10 years ago. Back then, there were few to no real Rose wine options, other than a handful of Israeli wines and almost no French Rose made it here. Now we will have tons of Rose, and I really think the real question here is will people drink it all?
Also, I want to bring up a topic I rarely talk about – price! Yeah, I hear you, Avi Davidowitz, of KosherWineUnfiltered, please quiet down, gloating does not suit you – (smiley face inserted here). The prices of Rose wines have gotten out of control. QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) has become nonexistent, essentially here in the USA, for the kosher rose market. Finally, I am sorry, but I really feel that wineries were either horribly hampered in some way with the 2018 rose vintage, or honestly, they just threw in the towel, The 2018 vintage is the worst one in the last 10 years. We have hit Peak Rose, we really have. Peak X is when X becomes so default within the construct of our lives, and the quality and quantity of X peaks. Clearly, calling peak kosher rose is a subjective call, but look around. The roses of 2018 feel commodity at best, they feel rushed, no real care, rhyme, or reason. They feel like we have peaked. They are nowhere near 2017, and 2017 was nowhere near 2016, and so on. I am sure next year may be another peak rose, and to be honest, many have called for Peak Oil and Peak TV, so maybe I am just projecting what I see around me, but this year’s crop of roses feel half-hearted pure cash cows, and really without love behind them.
As always, I will be chastised for my opinions, my pronouncements, and I am fine with that. This is wakeup post, there may be ONE or two roses I would buy, but respectfully, given the prices, I would rather buy, the 2018 Covenant Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 O’dwyers Sauvignon Blanc, the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, and so on. Throw in the 2018 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc and the 2018 Or Haganuz Amuka Blanc Blend, and really who cares about a rose?
I was thinking about going with the title: 2018 kosher roses, thanks, but who cares? Because that is how I feel. This vintage is a massive letdown, prices are too high, quality has hit rock bottom, and overall professionalism, IMHO, has gone along with the quality. Wineries have been getting away with less and less quality for years, raising prices, and this is the worst I have seen in the rose market overall. So, yeah, who cares?
What is rose wine? Well, simply said, a rose is a wine that can best be defined as the wine world’s chameleon. Where white wine is a pretty simple concept – take white grapes, squeeze them, and you get clear to green colored juice. Yes, the white grape juice is clear – well so is red grape juice, but more on that in a bit. Read the rest of this entry
Alcohol and Brown Sugar Braised Short Ribs and 2007 Beckett’s Flat Five Stones Margaret River Shiraz
On the weekend of December 25th, we were north of Napa Valley hanging out at a lovely and quaint area called Clear Lake. Clear Lake is actually not the name of the city, nor is there a city near the famous Clear lake that bears its name. Still, if you tell anyone you were hanging out in Nice, they will think you went to France, and not a quiet and lovely city in California. Anyway, as we were away from home for the weekend, we tried to take the smallest number of things with us. So dinner was cooked in a crock pot and lunch was cold, which makes things simple. Dinner consisted of Flanken/short ribs, white rice, fresh green salad, and some awesome roasted new root vegetables (fresh from out of the ground), that we bought at a Farmer’s Market in Los Gatos, CA. I need to take a tangent, as usual, to highlight the difference between flanken and Korean short ribs. First and foremost – flanken – is a flat slab of meat over a single plate bone – like depicted here.
Note that there is a single bone and a nice chunk of meat on it. This cut of meat is also known as English Cut. Also, the meat on this cut of beef is chock full of intercostal muscle and tendon, and a layer of boneless meat. The meat, is not thin and easy to cook, but rather tough and in need of a long hot bath of some finger licking good sauce. Now, in stark and obvious contrast, there is the cut of meat sometimes known (incorrectly in my eyes) as flanken or Korean Ribs, which is cut across the bones. The meat is a thinner cut, more meat and less bone, actually a few small bones. This is what the meat looks like, as explained earlier, it is cut across the bones and sliced thinly, allowing it to be grilled (with some marinating ahead of time), sautéed, or seared into perfection. That said, my favorite is still the English cut flanken, with its meaty and heavy flavors, that come to life with a nice sear on all three sides (counting out the bone of course). After the meat is seared nicely, sauté cubed onion, carrots, celery, ans mushrooms in the left over fat. Finish the dish with a nice amount of Johnny Walker or Canadian Club, along with some brown sugar to cut the bitterness of alcohol, for 5 or so hours. Anyway, remember that flanken is with the bone and short ribs are against the bones.
For the final pièce de résistance, I present, roasted root vegetables. We had, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, gorgeous red and yellow beets that we roasted until they puckered up and released some of their sweetness. The roasting process helped to extract the water from the vegetables, while concentrating and caramelizing the vegetable’s sugar. Quite a treat and a great pairing for the meat.
To pair with the meat, I went looking for a wine that was fruity, acidic, and had just enough body to keep up with the meat and sweetened vegetables, and I found that in the 2007 Beckett’s Flat Five Stones Margaret River Shiraz. I must say that it is a HUGE upgrade from the lack luster 2006 vintage. In our previous tasting of the 2006 vintage, it came to a screaming halt a few feet after the mid palate, while the 2007 vintage is luscious and full throughout. The wine has not much pepper to be found, but in its stead is a lovely mineral and earthy tone that keeps this wine on its toes.
The wine notes follow below:
2007 Beckett’s Flat Five Stones Margaret River Shiraz – Score: B+
First of all, yes this bottle has a twist-off cap, get OVER it, now to the wine note. The nose on this dark ruby to garnet colored wine is nice with rich plum, raspberry, and cherry undertones, along with deep mineral notes, and a hint of chocolate. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has rich and bright flavors of plum, raspberry, and cherry. The mid palate has some nice oak, bracing acidity, and balancing yet not totally integrated tannins. The finish is bright and long with red fruit and mineral notes along with a few chunks of chocolate.