1979-07 July Classic Newsletter
July 1979 Selection of California Wine
SEBASTIANI ROSA GEWURZTRAMINER 1977
In 1904 Samuele Sebastiani purchased an old horse barn that had been turned into a winery at the northeast corner of Sonoma. He also purchased the vineyards just across the street which were originally planted in 1825 by the Franciscan padres from the Mission San Francisco de Solano. These same vineyards were later owned by the famous General Mariano Vallejo. The wines Sebastiani produced were sold in bulk and under other labels until after Samueles death in 1944 when his son, August, took over the operation. August has been joined by his sons, Don and Sam, in running the winery today.
The Gewurztraminer from which this wine was produced is widely planted in Alsace and to some extent in Germany and the Tyrol. It is a shy bearer and its pinkish grapes are almost always pressed into white wine. This Rosa Gewurztraminer is an exception.
This wine by Sebastiani is a soft, dry, well balanced wine. Serve chilled as a perfect companion for a summer picnic lunch.
#119 $4.40/fifth $47.52/case
July 1979 Selection of Imported Wine
CHENAS—LES CHAIS DU BEL AVENIR 1978
Chenas is a township in the very heart of the Beaujolais region of France. It is one of the nine "Crus" growths of Beaujolais. (The others are Brouilly, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Cote de Brouilly, Julienos, Morgan, Moulin-A-Vent, and Saint Amour) It is bounded in the north by district of Julienas, and in the south by the district of Fleurie. Lesser Beaujolais' are labelled Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais superior and Beaujolais in that order. The nine classified Beaujolais all have slightly differing characteristics, within the overall Beaujolais framework of bouquet and taste.
The grape grown in this area is the gamay, which has been grown here for centuries. It produces a light, fresh, and generally very fruity wine, which is at its best consumed young.
This Chenas is typical. It is soft, well balanced and quite fruity. It is at its best served at cellar temperature rather than room temperature. Chill only slightly and serve with light entrees. An excellent summer red.
#120 $5.60/fifth $60.48/case
Suddenly, wine glasses have become almost a precious as jewels.
The roaring furnaces that create 2500 degrees of heat ... enough to convert Silica (sand) and other metals into a molten mass ... consume critically short fuel at a great rate. So costs go up, even on the hand blown glasses that have been relatively inexpensive up to now.
Also in extremely short supply are the craftsmen who form each glass by blowing through a long tube to balloon the molten metal, then shape it before it cools and hardens. It's hard, hot tedious work, not very attractive to young men just entering the work force. So pay scales go up, and training and recruiting programs go into effect. These, too, are costly.
Now, more than ever, it becomes economically.. as well as esthetically important, to know a good wine glass when you see it, and to choose the types that will best suit your needs and your purse.
As soon as a person discovers the pleasures of wine, he/she looks at a wine glass from a new viewpoint. Immediately it becomes a functional part of wine enjoyment, not just a table decoration. The change is all to the good.
For some, this means searching out one glass that meets the requirements and then using it for all wines. Others take joy in studying the history and traditions of wine. For them„ no one glass will do. They want the various shapes and sizes of glasses associated with certain wines over the years.
In either case, the qualifications of a good wine glass are the same. It should be large enough to hold the average size serving of wine with plenty of room to spare. For the usual four-ounce serving of table wine, the minimum desirable size is eight ounces, and many glasses range to 12 or 14 ounces. For appetizer and dessert wines, the size of the serving is about three ounces, the capacity of the glass should be about six.
Clear glass, rather than colored or decorated glass, allows the color and clarity of the wine to be fully appreciated. The shape of the bowl may vary considerably, but the rim of the glass should be smaller than the midsection so the bouquet of the wine will he concentrated in the upper part of the glass. Smelling the aroma and bouquet is at least half of the enjoyment of wine.
A stem, short or long, contributes to the attractiveness of the glass and has a practical function, too. When you hold a glass by the stem, the warmth of your hand doesn't warm a chilled wine.
The shape of the dinner wine glass usually follows one of the two classic styles originated in Europe - the round bowl associated with the wines of Burgundy, or elongated bowl, tulip-shaped, which takes its name from Bordeaux where it has been in use for many years. Either style may meet all the qualifications for a good all-purpose wine glass, the single glass in which to serve all wines.
Traditionalists with lots of cupboard space and a budget to support a selection of glasses, would certainly chose the glass with the round bowl to serve Burgundy or Pinot Noir, just as they would choose the tulip shaped glass for Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.
California now sets the style in wine glasses as surely as it does in wines. The glasses popular in this wine-producing state are large, and getting larger. More than ten years ago the wine growers of California designated a short-stemmed Bordeaux-shaped glass of 8-9 ounce capacity as the ideal all-purpose glass. At that time, it looked large to most casual wine drinkers. No more. Ten to 12-ounce glasses are now the most popular, and there are many that hold as much as 20-22 ounces. They set a flamboyant table. Even though the size of the glass is larger, the size of the serving of wine stays approximately the same. There's more room to swirl the wine, to admire its color and fragrance.
Some of the other traditional glasses are especially interesting. The Sherry copita (literally "little cup") is used in Spain
for Sherry and a similar glass serves Port (now officially Porto) in Portugal. The glass is gaining in favor here, fortunately replacing the conical wine glass of thimble size that came into general use after Repeal.
From Germany we've borrowed the Rhine wine glass with a tall slender stem and a small round bowl. A century ago the bowls were always colored or heavily etched to camouflage the cloudy, off-color white wines. As winemaking techniques improved, the colored bowls gave way to clear glass, although one still sometimes sees green or amber stems on Rhine glasses.
There are several different glasses in general use for the sparkling wines. The Champagne image in this country used to be portrayed by a shallow saucer-shaped glass on a hollow stem. Fortunately it is seen less often these days. The wide shallow bowl allowed the bubbles of the wine to escape quickly and the hollow stem was almost impossible to clean.
A tulip-shaped glass has replaced the saucer. It's a beautiful glass for any wine. Some of them are fashioned with an elongated bowl which seems to extend down into the stem. The bubbles rise readily from that point as well as from the curved sides of the glass, making an attractive display.
The flute glass in general use in Europe for sparkling wines is becoming popular here too. It is always tall and slender, so the bubbles form at the base and rise all the way up the glass. It does justice to the finest sparkling wines.
Least attractive of all, is the one designated Champagne/Sherbet in many sets of glasses, even expensive ones. They are clumsy to drink from, do nothing to enhance the sparkling wine or its enjoyment, and should certainly be reserved for serving sherbet, or more imaginatively, a fruit and wine compote.
"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB"
– for a fun way of discovering new wines each month
We select one domestic and one imported wine and feature it in our wine shop.
We send you a bottle of each selection monthly.
We send you a newsletter describing the wine and its background.
We restrict our selections to the popular price range, not to exceed $10.00 for the two bottles of wine each month.
We deliver to the Palos Verdes Area at no charge. We ship statewide at nominal charges of whatever our cost is for such shipping.
If you are new to wines, it is a good way to learn about them.
If you are a seasoned connoisseur, we invite you to test our evaluations and make your recommendations for future selections.
Please send me the domestic and imported selection each month.
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"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB" CELLARMASTER SELECTIONS
Mail to: Palos Verder Wines & Spirits
77 MALAGA COVE PLAZA PALOS VERDES ESTATES, CALIFORNIA 90274
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Use the form below for ordering any wines or items you wish from this newsletter, or any other wines available.
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"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB"
Each month the "Cellarmaster Newsletter" goes out to the many participants in our "Wine of the Month" Club accompanied by two bottles of wine. The first page of this newsletter is always devoted to some brief and, hopefully, informative comments about these wines. The selection always includes a white and red wine; one domestic, and one imported. They alternate each month thereby exposing the participant to a broad spectrum of different wine types and styles. We select our wines for a variety of reasons: they may be new on the market, unusual good values, or all of these reasons combined. We are proud of our record, and can boast of having introduced some truly remarkable and memorable wines to our members over the years. We; always attempt to make selections that will be available on a continuing basis. We make participation in this club very easy by limiting the cost of our monthly selections to $10.00 for both bottles, tax included. In most months our selections are well under the established limit. It's a great and fun way to learn more about wine.
This newsletter also goes out to our regular charge customers, as well as to an ever increasing mailing list. We are therefore taking this opportunity to invite all of you to become participants in our popular and rapidly expanding "Cellarmaster Wine of the Month" Club. There are no contracts or obligations and you are free to cancel at any time. Join by completing the simple attached form, and look forward each month to a most enjoyable surprise!
An application form is on the reverse side. Join Us!