The question for many is precisely how to identify the wines that give the most satisfaction. The best way is to taste wines. After you read this book, you will know how to do this, and you will discover the wonderful new adventure of wine tasting.... I m sure you will find Irving Langer s book informative and enjoyable --Daniel Rogov, z''l, wine critic; author of Rogov s Guide to Kosher Wines and Rogov s Guide to Israeli Wines
Amusing as it is to read a book about wine from a publisher named Gefen, The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine warrants modest attention. Many kosher wine drinkers lack what wine connoisseurs know a knowledge of the history of grapes, how they re grown, and the best seasons for buying them. It s not enough to stick with the same old stuff you ve always enjoyed or simply to buy what someone recommends. Knowledge enables wine drinkers to buy what they desire all on their own. An overview to the kosher wine-making industry s information is presented by author and wine connoisseur Daniel Rogov, in The Kosher Grapevine s Introduction. The Kosher Grapevine s author Irving Langer augments the education with his own look at wine-making as well as the nature of the storage barrels used to age wines for taste perfection. Langer also teaches the surprisingly little-known but only correct technique for holding a glass of wine. He didn t expound, though, on the meaning of a given wine bottle s appearance. The color, neck, shoulders and shape of the bottle indicate the nature of a particular wine, cluing purchasers in to its sensory potentials. The rest of the book holds historic tales of Jewish facts, figures and history, a few jokes and lovely photographs, plus advice on how to pair wines with specific foods. Non-Jewish and new-to-observant Judaism adherents can benefit from the Hebrew/English glossary that can clue readers in to tenets of Jewish life and law. Gedalya Persky, a co owner of Israel s HaMartaf shop that sells wines, whiskies and beers, comments that the section on how to taste wines is well done. Facts about the Gemara and minhagim (Jewish customs) round out the book. It s nice start for beginners. Despite its lack of a more comprehensive survey of kosher wines, The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine can enhance a reader s growing appreciation for wine-making s technicalities. Add this hardcover coffee table sized book to your reading list and see what it does for your wine-drinking experience. --NY s Jewish Press, Yocheved Golani
The Kosher Grapevine. By Irving Langer. Gefen Publishing, 2012. Hardcover, 158 Pages, $34.50. Irving Langer is CEO of a real estate firm and lives on Long Island, NY; but more significantly he is creator of the Kosherwineclub.com and writes a wine and dine column in a Jewish paper. In his preface he writes that this book is my foray into the world of kosher fine wine. After an introduction on the history of wine making by Daniel Rogov (z l) Israel s late foremost wine expert there are chapters on what makes wine kosher; changes in Jewish wine drinking (25 years ago more than 90% of kosher wines produced in the world were sweet; today, over 80% of the kosher wines produced are dry); grape varieties (14 red and 7 white are used for kosher wines); which wines are best for you (those that give you the most satisfaction); and wine language (truly knowledgeable people....use these terms in order to best describe their experience in tasting wine). Part 1: Understanding Wine has four chapters a Jewish perspective on wine; the science of wine making; a clever discussion of wines relating them to Chassidim and differences between red, white and sparkling wines; and a global survey of kosher wines in America, around the world and Israel. Part 2: Practical Basics has four chapters 10 steps of wine tasting (how to develop an appreciation of fine wine), understanding dry wines (making the transition from sweet wine to dry), wine menus in a restaurant (pairing wine with food and breaking the rating code), and storing wine (simple dos and don ts). Part 3: Delving into Our Tradition has one chapter a fascinating scholarly voyage into Jewish history, law and tradition. Appendix 1 has a glossary of wine terms, Hebrew/English glossary and wine-producing regions of Israel. Appendix 2 has who s who in the industry, wineries (34 in Israel, 6 in Europe, 1 in New Zealand, and 5 in the US), wine distributors, online wine stores and web sites. There are approcimately 87 beautiful color photographs and numerous black and white. This is not a coffee-table book.This is not for wine experts. This is a very readable, enjoyable, informative, practical guidebook to supply all the answers with everything you always wanted to know about kosher wines. What occasion is coming up in your life? Couple announcing an engagement? Anniversary? Birthday? Wedding? Housewarming? Just going to friends for a lovely dinner? Buy this book! This book is more than just an exploration; it is an adventure, an exciting journey, an eyeopener into the wonderful world of kosher wine. --Jewish Post and Opinion
About the Author
Irving Langer is the CEO of E & M Associates, a real estate company he founded in 1970. He and his wife Miriam have three children and several, but not enough, grandchildren. Irving is active in numerous not-for-profit organizations and enjoys travel, writing poetry, fine dining, spending time with his family and, of course, wine tasting.