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The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Fine Wine Hardcover – March 26, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing House (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9652295736
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652295736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,331,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Wine is an essential part of Judaism. It is mentioned 136 times in the Hebrew Bible, sometimes to emphasize its possible harmful effects on people, as with Noah, Laban, and King Ahasuerus; sometimes as part of the sacrifice that was offered to God, as in the book of Leviticus and elsewhere; and sometimes to praise it, as in Song of Songs and Proverbs. When the wine was poured as a sacrifice on the altar, the Levites in the Temple would break into song. Wine introduces the meal of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the Sabbath, when before the Sabbath meal is eaten, a meal more sumptuous than meals during the rest of the week, a blessing is said before eating that meal over wine because wine taste good and enhances the meal and it is therefore a suitable introduction to the meal. The drinking of the wine at this time came to be thought of as being on a human level similar to the wine offered to God with sacrifices, and therefore, just as only the best kind of wine was offered as a sacrifice, so too many Jews felt that only the best kind of wine should be used for this blessing, which is called kiddush, meaning “sanctification,” and which teaches the possibility for holiness that can exist in the Sabbath if it is properly observed.

Rabbis extolled wine in the Talmud. Bava Batra 12b states: “one who routinely drinks wine – even if his heart is totally stopped up – the wine will make him intelligent.” Nedarim 10b states that a Nazarite who swears off drinking wine because he wants to rectify a personal failing or to rise to a higher spiritual level through abstinence must bring a sin offering because one should not abstain from legitimate pleasures.
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Format: Hardcover
I wanted to read this book because I enjoy a good glass of win every once in a while. Also, I have been fascinated by wine making and wanting to be a wine conissiour and host a wine party. Wow, I got more than I bargained for with this book. I now know more about wine making, grapes, and Jewish lifestyle than I ever thought I would.

There is the process of Crushing the grapes, than Separation, Fermentating in eich grapes have sugar in them that makes them have a chemical reaction during this stage that the sugar from the grapes than turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide, Racking, Clarifying and Filtering, Aging and than finally the Bottling of the wine. This is when you finalyl can open the bottle, pour a glass and sit back and relax.

Mr. Langer discusses the differences between six main wines...Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I like the white wines but usually I perfer the red like Merlot, which has more of a full body taste than a fruity, dry taste like the white wines.

Here are the Ten Steps to Enjoying Wine:

1) Choose the Wine -This can be very important as you don't want to choose the wrong wine and not enjoy it.

2) Set the scene and just sit - Location, location, location!

3) Hear the wine -Listen to the sound of the wine as it is hitting your glass

4) See the wine -Look at the different colors in your wine glass

5) Smell the wine - What scents do you smell. Do you smell the oak or other scent that the wine was sitting in while it was going through the wine process?

6) Recite the blessing - Thank God for the fruit of the wine

7) Drink the wine and sense its subtleties - Enjoy the wine.
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