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Faith Kaplan


by Rhonda Spivak, Feb 22, 2012

At Purim, Jews are encouraged to drink "Ad She lo Yada" – until one cannot distinguish between Haman (the bad guy) and Mordechai (the good guy). In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, and to help you select the right wine for the requisite state of mind, I asked my personal wine expert Faith Kaplan about some common terms one uses when choosing a Purim wine. In fact, several different wines may be required to appropriately pair with your Purim Seudah and hamantashen.

Acetic- A vinegary-like taste that occurs when a wine is over-exposed to air, or has been left open and sitting at shul since last year.

Balance-Harmony between the flavour, smell, and texture of a wine, and a challenge to maintain after drinking a few too many.

Aftertaste -The "finish" of a wine. Fine wines have a lingering finish on the palate. As Faith says, "You need a good start and you need a good finish!"

Aroma -The smell of a wine which indicates whether the wine has spoiled. The aroma can be fine or like an arm pit. If it smells like burnt sesame seeds, the wine has gone off. Astringent The "pucker" quality which is due to a wine's high tannin content. This quality can have the effect of drying out the mouth. Faith herself claims she has never experienced a dry mouth.

Nose -Make sure your wine doesn't have an Off-Nose. (See aroma) "One can never be too nosey when assessing a wine’s aroma.”

(Is it antisemitic to judge a wine only by its nose?)

Breed- A wine that comes from a good family; its yichus.

Firm -Taut balance of elements, from a wine that feels like it’s been working out at the Rady JCC every day.

Corky- When the cork dries out and let’s air in, the wine may smell of cork rather than grapes. “Return it to the store or send it back. Or serve it with the tomatoes you’ve sliced with your Miracle Blade knife. You know who will never come back!"

Chewy -Wines with an unusual thickness or gummy texture such that one feels the need to chew it before swallowing; inspiration for Wine Gums.

Coarse -A rough around the edges wine. "If a wine is coarse, give the bottler a what-for."

Complex- A multi-faceted wine, often enjoyed by psychiatrists and their patients.

Cooked-A heavy, pruney flavour, rather like prune juice. "Good to add to a compote, but do not serve to company you are trying to impress."

Distinctive -A wine with an elegant, distinguished character that sets the wine apart on its own, rather like Faith.

Woody -A wine that smells and tastes like the woods. B.B. Campers and Massadniks should love it!

"A woody wine sometimes may be just the ticket, depending on the food pairing, and how much one consumes,"

Faithy -A whine that can be heard around the neighborhood: "Haarrrttt, when are we going back to Hawaii?”

Thanks for all your helpful tips, Faith! May you celebrate Purim heartily!

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.