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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Internet Tycoon under Fire for Rare Hitler-Signed Mein Kampf

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

A German-born Internet tycoon who is fighting extradition from New Zealand to the United States for racketeering is under fire for admitting he owns a rare signed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Kim Dotcom, whose actual name is Kim Schmitz, is the founder of MegaUpload, a file-transfer website that U.S. authorities shut down in 2012.

He has just launched the Internet Party to contest New Zealand’s election in September, but denies being a Nazi sympathizer, saying the book was an investment because it will increase in value.

“I’m being told by some people in a disgusting smear campaign that I am somehow embracing a Nazi ideology,” he told local media earlier this week. “That is completely false; it’s a smear campaign to try and derail what we are trying to achieve today with the launch of the Internet Party.”

But Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told JTA, “People will be offended by this action and stating it with such pride from such a high-profile position shows great disrespect to those who suffered under the Nazi regime as well as the New Zealand soldiers who fought and died to rid the world of this tyranny. While this ownership is legal in New Zealand, it is morally unacceptable.”

Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces several racketeering charges for facilitating illegal downloading of songs and movies via his MegaUpload website.

Conservative leader John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee from Europe, is seeking his third term in office in September’s election.

Swastika Painted on New Zealand Jewish Center

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A swastika was painted on the Wellington Jewish center, which houses the city’s only Orthodox congregation and is the focus of Jewish life in New Zealand’s harbor city capital,”  according to its website.

Jewish officials said the swastika was painted on the back wall, and they reported the incident to police.

“It was fairly minor and nowhere near as serious as the attack on the Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland last year,” a Jewish official said, referring to the defacing of more than a dozen historic Jewish graves in Auckland. “That tagging had other features [like the '88' tag signifying 'Heil Hitler'] which clearly identified the perpetrators as neo-Nazi, but this tagging doesn’t appear so sinister.”

Only Jewish Day School in New Zealand Capital Closes

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The only Jewish day school in New Zealand’s capital city closed after 25 years.

The Moriah School in Wellington, which held a highly publicized project in 2008 to remember children murdered in the Holocaust, cited a lack of resources for shutting down. The school held its last graduation on Friday.

In August, the board said it had “no option” but to close the school, which had fewer than 20 pupils aged 5 to 13. A Hebrew school will still operate, as will the kindergarten, the board said.

Moriah was founded in 1985 and at its peak had nearly 60 students.

Its 2008 project amassed 1.5 million buttons — each one representing a child murdered during the Holocaust — and took more than two years to complete. It attracted the attention of Prime Minister John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee who escaped Austria on the eve of the Holocaust. The collection has been given to the Wellington Holocaust Research and Education Center.

Wellington is the second largest Jewish community after Auckland, which is home to the majority of the country’s estimated 7,000 Jews as well as its last Jewish school, Kadimah College.

From New Zealand to Israel

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from Caliber 3 range, a firearms training facility outside of Efrat. Hillel Ma’or, one of the instructors and assistants at the range, joins him. Together, they discuss Ma’or’s background and how he managed to come to both Judaism and Israel. Do not miss this inspiring and interesting segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Kosher Food And Wine Experience

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

   Kosher wines have improved greatly in the last 20 years. Much of the credit can be given to the Golan Heights winery in Israel, which ignited the quality wine revolution when they released their first wines in 1983. Stateside, however, it has been the Herzog family and their Royal Wine Corporation that has introduced U.S.-based kosher consumers to premium wines.

 

   Recently, Royal Wine began to host an event known as the “Kosher Food and Wine Experience” to showcase their numerous offerings. On February 23, the third annual event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street in New York City.

 

   From Spain, a new winery in the Royal portfolio is Elvi Wines, which began producing kosher wines in 2002 with the leadership of consulting winemaker and agronomist Dr. Moises Cohen.

 

   Elvi produces a Spanish sparkling wine known as “Cava.” They are set to release their first white wine, a blend of sauvignon blanc and muscatel that has beautiful aromas of flowers, tropical fruit and bubble gum. But Elvi has become known for their Spanish-style red wines. I tasted six reds, including the 2007 Elvi Classico, their first mevushal wine. One of them is the 2005 EL 26, a wine I would be proud to pour at my Seder. A blend of five varietals, the EL 26 features a combination of aromas from mint and wood smoke to dark fruit and forest pine. This velvety wine has an excellent structure and long finish (aftertaste) and is a perfect pairing for roasts made with Mediterranean spices.

 

   Moving around the world we land in New Zealand where Goose Bay is producing world-class wines under the guidance of winemaker Philip Jones.

 

   Goose Bay wines are mevushal (flash pasteurized) and the only kosher wine made in New Zealand. Clean, crisp, and refreshing are not words one might associate with mevushal wines, but Jones’s wines prove otherwise. He furthermore believes that his method to quickly bring the juice (before it is fermented) up to 187 degrees and then quickly back down to 75 degrees helps to bring out some of the fabulous aromas his wines possess. The event featured the crisp 2007 Pinot Gris with its fruity pear aromas and the subtly elegant 2007 Pinot Noir, a delicious light-bodied wine with red forest fruit aromas and flavors. But when one thinks about New Zealand wines it is sauvignon blanc that first comes to mind, and the 2007 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc does not disappoint. This light straw, almost clear wine has lovely citrus and grassy aromas. Lemon zest flavors and a zippy acidity make it a terrific match for spicy foods as well as sushi.

 

   Israel’s wines have gained recognition of late, following extensive tastings by Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator magazines. While the larger wineries in Israel produce most of the country’s wine, they are outnumbered by the boutique wineries more than 20 to 1. The small family-run winery Castel is the darling of the boutiques.

 

   Castel is represented by patriarch and winemaker Eli Ben Zaken and his son and COO Eytan Ben Zaken, who make wines that they love to drink: a white from chardonnay, known as C Blanc du Castel, made in the style of a French white burgundy; two reds, both bordeaux blends; and the highly sought after flagship wine, the Grand Vin, and its little brother, the Petit Castel.

 

   They were pouring both the 2006 as well as the 2003 C Blanc du Castel. The 2006 had a big tropical fruit nose, but I preferred the 2003 that also possessed toasty and tropical aromas but was at this point in its life more subtle and elegant.

 

   They also poured two vintages of the Grand Vin. The recently released 2006 and the 2005 from a double magnum, which is three liters or the equivalent of four bottles. The 2006 Grand Vin seemed a bit young while the 2005 Grand Vin was delicious with black cherry, spice and earthy characteristics.

 

   But it was the 2006 Petit Castel that stood out. Made from 50 percent merlot, 45 percent cabernet sauvignon and five percent petit verdot, this wine had aromas of herbs and eucalyptus and lovely red and black fruit flavors. At about half the cost of its big brother, the Petit might not age as gracefully or pack the same punch, but it was showing very nicely and I would recommend popping the cork of a Petit with a steak or lamb stew.

 

   The show was a clear success, evidenced by the guest’s reluctance to leave. They were savoring the desserts and final sips of their wine until the lights went out and the final curtain closed on the 2009 Kosher Food and Wine Experience.

 

   Gary Landsman, a.k.a. the “wine tasting guy,” makes, sells, writes about and, of course, tastes wines. Visit his blog at www.winetastingguy.com or contact him with any wine related questions at gary@winetastingguy.com.

Kosher Food And Wine Experience

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

   Kosher wines have improved greatly in the last 20 years. Much of the credit can be given to the Golan Heights winery in Israel, which ignited the quality wine revolution when they released their first wines in 1983. Stateside, however, it has been the Herzog family and their Royal Wine Corporation that has introduced U.S.-based kosher consumers to premium wines.

 

   Recently, Royal Wine began to host an event known as the “Kosher Food and Wine Experience” to showcase their numerous offerings. On February 23, the third annual event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street in New York City.

 

   From Spain, a new winery in the Royal portfolio is Elvi Wines, which began producing kosher wines in 2002 with the leadership of consulting winemaker and agronomist Dr. Moises Cohen.

 

   Elvi produces a Spanish sparkling wine known as “Cava.” They are set to release their first white wine, a blend of sauvignon blanc and muscatel that has beautiful aromas of flowers, tropical fruit and bubble gum. But Elvi has become known for their Spanish-style red wines. I tasted six reds, including the 2007 Elvi Classico, their first mevushal wine. One of them is the 2005 EL 26, a wine I would be proud to pour at my Seder. A blend of five varietals, the EL 26 features a combination of aromas from mint and wood smoke to dark fruit and forest pine. This velvety wine has an excellent structure and long finish (aftertaste) and is a perfect pairing for roasts made with Mediterranean spices.

 

   Moving around the world we land in New Zealand where Goose Bay is producing world-class wines under the guidance of winemaker Philip Jones.

 

   Goose Bay wines are mevushal (flash pasteurized) and the only kosher wine made in New Zealand. Clean, crisp, and refreshing are not words one might associate with mevushal wines, but Jones’s wines prove otherwise. He furthermore believes that his method to quickly bring the juice (before it is fermented) up to 187 degrees and then quickly back down to 75 degrees helps to bring out some of the fabulous aromas his wines possess. The event featured the crisp 2007 Pinot Gris with its fruity pear aromas and the subtly elegant 2007 Pinot Noir, a delicious light-bodied wine with red forest fruit aromas and flavors. But when one thinks about New Zealand wines it is sauvignon blanc that first comes to mind, and the 2007 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc does not disappoint. This light straw, almost clear wine has lovely citrus and grassy aromas. Lemon zest flavors and a zippy acidity make it a terrific match for spicy foods as well as sushi.

 

   Israel’s wines have gained recognition of late, following extensive tastings by Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator magazines. While the larger wineries in Israel produce most of the country’s wine, they are outnumbered by the boutique wineries more than 20 to 1. The small family-run winery Castel is the darling of the boutiques.

 

   Castel is represented by patriarch and winemaker Eli Ben Zaken and his son and COO Eytan Ben Zaken, who make wines that they love to drink: a white from chardonnay, known as C Blanc du Castel, made in the style of a French white burgundy; two reds, both bordeaux blends; and the highly sought after flagship wine, the Grand Vin, and its little brother, the Petit Castel.

 

   They were pouring both the 2006 as well as the 2003 C Blanc du Castel. The 2006 had a big tropical fruit nose, but I preferred the 2003 that also possessed toasty and tropical aromas but was at this point in its life more subtle and elegant.

 

   They also poured two vintages of the Grand Vin. The recently released 2006 and the 2005 from a double magnum, which is three liters or the equivalent of four bottles. The 2006 Grand Vin seemed a bit young while the 2005 Grand Vin was delicious with black cherry, spice and earthy characteristics.

 

   But it was the 2006 Petit Castel that stood out. Made from 50 percent merlot, 45 percent cabernet sauvignon and five percent petit verdot, this wine had aromas of herbs and eucalyptus and lovely red and black fruit flavors. At about half the cost of its big brother, the Petit might not age as gracefully or pack the same punch, but it was showing very nicely and I would recommend popping the cork of a Petit with a steak or lamb stew.

 

   The show was a clear success, evidenced by the guest’s reluctance to leave. They were savoring the desserts and final sips of their wine until the lights went out and the final curtain closed on the 2009 Kosher Food and Wine Experience.


 


   Gary Landsman, a.k.a. the “wine tasting guy,” makes, sells, writes about and, of course, tastes wines. Visit his blog at www.winetastingguy.com or contact him with any wine related questions at gary@winetastingguy.com.

New Kosher Wines For Passover

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

         Passover is to the kosher food market what Christmas is to the rest of retail – it’s make-or-break time, and the season to roll out new and exciting products. The kosher wine trade is no exception, and this year there are plenty of new and interesting kosher wines to enjoy at your Seder.

 

         Passover is a special and holy time. It is the Jewish festival commemorating the exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery, and is probably the best known Jewish holiday. It is the ultimate excuse for Jews to gather and eat and schmooze and contemplate the divine, as well as divine food, such as brisket, tzimmes, matzah balls, and kosher wine.

 

         Just in case there are any doubts, there are some truly excellent kosher wines in the market today. We have all read the usual tiresome obligatory introductory shtick by wine writers the world over: “It’s not your grandfather’s kosher wine anymore!” Part historical stigma and part cultural apologia, kosher wine as a category still suffers an image problem.

 

         True enough, kosher wine in the United States has most often been associated with sweet and heavy Concord grape wines made by companies such as Schapiro’s, Manischewitz, and Mogen David. Nostalgia helps keep these labels alive among Jews, but the kosher consumer market has drastically shifted up the quality scale. Since kosher is a dietary code rather than a taste profile, there is nothing about kosher wine that requires it to be qualitatively any different from non-kosher wine, much less sweet and syrupy or disappointingly undrinkable.

 

         Here, then, are 10 kosher wines that are well worth seeking out for your Passover festivities this year.

 

         Goose Bay, Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2006 ($26): The latest from this New Zealand label – produced by the Spencer Hill Estate winery under contract for kosher wine importer Royal Wine Corp – is a very appealing lemon-to-chartreuse colored, mouth-watering, dry, crisp, textured and fruity chardonnay exhibiting aromas and flavors of apples, tropical fruits, something faintly herbal, and with pleasantly light oak and vanilla undertones. This should prove to be both a crowd pleaser and an appetite enhancer. Score: 4/5.

 

         Psagot, Merlot, Judean Hills, Israel, 2004 ($25): This dark, deep medium bodied, fairly oaky, garnet colored merlot offers aromas and bright flavors of plums, black cherries, and something a tad bell-pepper-like, but with some enjoyable whispers of clove and green peppercorn-like spices; the tannins are a bit too soft, so drink it in the next year or so, rather than further down the road. Score: 4/5. Note: Psagot, which means “summit” or “the peak” in Hebrew, is a settlement situated northeast of Jerusalem on top of a hill overlooking the al-Bireh village of Ramallah, as well as the Wadi Kelt basin, the Jericho Valley, the Dead Sea, and the Edomite Mountains.

 

         Barkan, Reserve, Shiraz, Israel, 2005 ($20): Made of 93% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Petit Verdot grapes from Barkan’s vineyards in Kiriat-Anavim (in the Jerusalem Hills) and Eliad (in the Golan Heights), this dark violet to purple colored wine is firm, intense and rich with aromas and flavors of oak, black currants, blackberries, cherries, licorice, clove, thyme, and cedar wood, and with traces of spearmint, vanilla and perhaps a tinge of musk. The wine needs some time to open, so swirl it around vigorously before your first sip. Score: 4/5.

 

         Herzog, Syrah, Special Reserve, Edna Valley, California, 2004 ($34): This medium to full bodied nearly opaque garnet to black colored California Syrah combines elegance and brawn. This almost creamy yet still assertively tannic wine presents nicely layered aromas and flavors of black currants, raspberries, ripe plums, black pepper, cloves, something very much like tobacco (but in a good way), and even some chocolate. Not one to cellar for the long haul, enjoy it now and over the next couple of years. Score: 4/5.

 

        Binyamina, Yogev, Cabernet-Merlot, Israel, 2005 ($14): The word “yogev” in Hebrew means “farmer” or “man of the soil” and is in recognition of the esteem and appreciation the winery has for the toil and dedication of their viticulturalists and farmers (named on the back of the label). This simple but appealing medium-bodied blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot is a case in point, offering pleasing aromas and tasty flavors of blackberries, currants, plums, cassis and some subtle herbal and cedar wood notes; nothing fancy here, but honest, clean and quaffable. Drink now. Score: 4/5.

 

         Carmel, Gewürztraminer, Late Harvest, Single Vineyard, Kerem Sha’al, Upper Galilee, Israel, 2005 ($19): This sweet, elegant dessert wine has some lovely depth, with pronounced aromas and flavors of apricots, peaches, nectarines, litchis, cinnamon, honey, pineapple and rose petals all set against nicely balancing acidity, preventing the whole from seeming too sweet or sticky. Brilliant now, it should keep and mature if properly cellared through 2012. Score: 5/5.

 

        Capcanes, Flor de Primavera/Peraj Ha’Abib, Montsant, Spain, 2003 ($45): A stunning wine! This delicious oak-aged, deep, dark ruby-colored blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Carignan and 5% Tempranillo grapes is wonderfully balanced between tannins, acidity, wood and fruit, with almost tangible aromas and elegant yet robust flavors of black currants, plums, sweet blackberries, raspberries, cherries and mocha, with intriguing overlays of cedar wood, coffee, white pepper, licorice and minerals, and with something very much like mint emerging on the lengthy finish. Outstanding now, this will continue to develop and drink well through 2013, if cellared properly. Score: 5/5.

 

         Hagafen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2003 ($40): Another stunning wine. Like virtually everything from this Napa winery, their latest Cab (technically a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cab Franc grapes) is simply gorgeous. This opaque inky colored wine is sumptuous and supple, perfectly balanced between fruit, acidity and tannins, and deliciously complex, offering layers of aromas and flavors that include currants, black cherries, cedar wood, black licorice, black pepper, dark chocolate, eucalyptus, cassis, blueberries and mint, with a marvelous earthy finish with spice, berries and something slightly menthol in the long, rewarding finish. Drinking brilliantly now, if properly cellared, this will age gracefully over the next decade – presuming you have that sort of patience and self-control. Score: 5/5.

 

        Recanati, Special Reserve, Israel, 2003 ($30): Give this one time to breath, and it will command your respect. This deep, full bodied, brilliantly balanced blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot grapes offer luxurious aromas and flavors of currants, cassis, black cherry, plums, vanilla, with subtle but conspicuous layers of mint, black pepper, café mocha, and with that distinctive and intriguing Recanati stamp of bell peppers, olives and Mediterranean herbs. Delicious now, but will reward proper cellaring through 2015. Score: 5/5.

 

         Barons Edmond et Benjamin de Rothschild, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France, 2003 ($30): Made at the Rothschild’s famed Chateau Clarke, this medium bodied, oak aged blend of 40% Merlot and 60% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes is well crafted with a nicely balanced if somewhat mild structure of tannins and acidity, showcasing aromas and flavors of red currants, black cherries, and blackberries, with appealing notes of black pepper and chocolate. Drink now. Score: 4/5.

 

Rating system


5/5 = Excellent


4/5 = Very good indeed


3/5 = Good


2/5 = Kind of drinkable


1/5 = Best reserved for hand-to-hand combat

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/new-kosher-wines-for-passover/2008/04/09/

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