Best Kosher for Passover Wines: The Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague enlists Reb Blog!

I had the wonderful pleasure of joining Lettie Teague, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal's On Wine, for a pre- Passover tasting. Here's an except from the piece and a link to the article: 

The 2010 Domaine Netofa ($20) from Galilee, a Rhône-style blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, had lots of lush dark-berry fruit and spicy aromatic notes. Rabbi Brenner took note of the rabbinical seal on the back label. The wine had been approved by the Jerusalem High Council, he announced. "I recommend this wine for all sects of Jews," pronounced Rabbi Brenner.
Of the two Binyamina wines, we actually preferred the mevushal bottling of the 2009 Reserve Syrah, a grape that seems to do particularly well in Israel. At $19, though, it wasn't equal to the great bargain that was the 2009 Yogev Cabernet-Petit Verdot blend, a well-balanced, pleasant red with soft tannins whose $12 price tag made it not only the best buy of the tasting but "perfect for communal Seders," according to Rabbi Brenner. Rabbi Brenner reserved his highest praise for the 2010 Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve from Galilee, which, at $52, was also the most expensive red. It was also the most polished—elegant and lush with penetrating dark-fruit aromas. Rabbi Brenner's advice? "This is the wine you should serve when the Rebbe visits your house."

For the entire article, click here. 


Skittles on the Seder Plate

My friend Jenna, who is a grad student in religious studies at UNC, posted a photo of a Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea communion from the Kairos Church in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. (see above) I loved the sentiment, and this got me thinking about what we might do in the Jewish community to mark the latest tragic display of injustice and disregard for human life as we remember our time of enslavement in Egypt. (According to Midrash, one of the horrors of Egypt was that the Egyptians cared more about property and construction projects than human life.)

Skittles on the seder plate? Not exactly kosher. First off, last time I checked Skittles culinary backstory, they were made with a beef-derived, non-Kosher, gelatin. (there are apparently some made in the UK that are kosher) Second, they certainly are not Kosher for Passover because of the corn syrup and other products. Also Arizona Iced Tea is loaded with corn syrup - not kosher for passover.

But if there is still no movement on this case by next week, then there is nothing wrong with printing out pictures of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea and placing them on your seder table.


Hashtag Sigh

Not sure how or why I wrote this song, but I started with the line "Tried to friend you on Facebook" and the rest kind of poured out. Thanks to my friend and neighbor Ben Weiss, who liked the "hashtag sigh" line and encouraged me to write a few more verses and to my friend Richard Stern who liked it when I said "cellular phone."  You guys inspire me - I hope you like the results.


Men and Mikvah

The blog of Boston's community Mikveh is cleverly titled "The Mikveh Lady Has Left The Building."

A little piece I wrote, titled "Three Dips Before the Wedding: Men and Mikveh" is currently running here. 


Is Every Sperm Sacred? Jewish Perspectives on Contraception

Thanks to the editors over at the Huffington Post, my latest piece on contraception is up in the blogosphere. You can check it out here.