1981-05 May Classic Newsletter
"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB"
Every so often, I run into people who say they only like white wine. They comment that red wine is too heavy, too dry, and usually not as good as white wine. I accept their preference for white wine. After all, they should enjoy what they drink, and if they have had bad experiences with some red wines, they feel safer with white wines. If that person is interested in trying a red wine, and finding a red wine they might start to like, my suggestion is usually to start with a good Beaujolais. French or California — no matter. Beaujolais are akin to white wines because they are fresh, young and fruity. They do not have the woodiness many red wines are made to have. The transition then becomes easier. As the palate accepts red wine, then the step by step testing of bolder and deeper red wines, particularly with meals, becomes a natural progression. Vincenzo Cilurzo's Beaujolais this month is an ideal red wine to graduate a white wine enthusiast into the red wine world. You miss so much when you eliminate red wines from your diet. Most of our meals are complemented so well with red wines.
One of my responsibilities is to bring you the best, for the price, available at any one time in the market place — and this months white wine is a real find. All the attributes of a traditional Mosel in the Spatlese grade, and flawless in its character, for $7.89 is a discovery I will have a time topping. This wine is so classical in its character, that you should stop a second and sip it carefully for "memory bank registration" in your computer that is tied to the 4 senses you use in enjoying wine — Then proceed with enjoying it for what it is and chuck the academics!
DHRON HOFBERGER, SPATLESE
JOESEF KETTERN 1979
One of the tributaries of the Mosel river in Germany is named the Dhron, and a village by the same name is situated just behind Neumagen on this majestic river. Most quality German wines are labeled by the permitted geographical wine growing region name, the source name (village or parish), and the official vineyard site name. Our wine comes from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, village of Dhron, vineyard site Hofberg. Like many of the small villages along the Mosel, the wines produced from a particular grape, resemble each other. Differences in quality depends on factors like, soil (composed of slate in most Mosel areas), location of vineyard in relation to sun exposure, weather variations, and most important — the vintners skill. When a vineyard does not have its own estate, wine merchants will select from the various small vintners in the area, those wines they feel will do justice to their label. Josef Kettern Jr. found a winner in this wine.
The riesling grape is the traditional grape of Germany. It has qualities unsurpassed by all other contenders for this top position in German wines. In the Mosel, this grape excels in its finesse to produce light fragrant wines, with elegance of fruity flavor. It has been imitated, but never equaled. A good Mosel is a favorite German wine the world over. The designation "Spatlese" is the second level of "extractive strength" in the wines that bear the "Qualitatswein mit Pradikat" classification. (Wine of graded quality). (5 grades: Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese) (free on request "A Short Guide to German Wines" which explains German wine labeling and classifications. Drop me a note) The struggle of the vine for water in the slate hillsides of the river valley, and the limited number of sunny days for grape maturation, are the factors that contribute to the development of this extraordinary Riesling wine. The hardships the grape endures is said to build character and complexity in these wines.
Our wine is a classical Spatlese Mosel. It has low alcohol content (7.5%). II; is golden yellow in color. The aroma is overwhelming. It is fragrant, and unmistakably all Riesling. The taste is another surprise. It is a mouthful of flavor, with the tangy accent that is so typical of good Mosels. It is medium sweet, complementing the acid perfectly. Serve well chilled as an aperitif wine, or with fresh fruit and mild cheese, good with some souffles or with ham.
Cellaring notes: Will age for 3 to 5 years and develop Riesling complexities of age, (if you seek age in a Spatlese).
Regular price $7.89/fifth
Member reorder price $6.50/fifth
Member reorder price $78.00/case
GAMAY BEAUJOILAIS 1980
CILURZO VINEYARDS and WINERY
If you watch ABC TV, a good part of the lighting expertise is that of Vincenzo Cilurzo. When you drink this wine, you will recognize another expertise he has — that of wine maker. So pour a glass and watch the Merv Griffin show, some night, and you can toast him with this outstanding Gamay Beaujolais he has made. Vincenzo was a home winemaker for many years. He took a few enology courses at U.C. Davis, his wife Audrey, took a few others, and they both decided to start their winery business at their ranch in 1978. It is located in Temecula, the newest premium wine growing region of California, and the only one in Southern California. Their winery is a family operation; everybody pitches in, including their two children Chenin and Vinnie. So far, they only have produced red wines. Vincenzo likes to quote: "White wine is fine — Red wine is divine." However, they have plans to produce white wines in the future. They welcome visitors at the winery. Located on Calle Contento (what a great name for a winery address), in Temecula. They are in the phonebook, a call ahead is appreciated.
The Gamay Beaujolais grape is a clone (related to) of the Pinot Noir grape, yet the wines they produce are so different. Part of the difference is due to the way the wines are handled in fermentation and ageing. Wine from the Gamay Beaujolais grape is traditionally made for drinking young. It is fruity, youthful, snappy, and refreshing with a varietal aroma and flavor that is easy to recognize. As the wine ages, it loses its charm, and becomes lifeless. Beaujolais makes an excellent red wine for summer enjoyment with light meals. (In contrast the Pinot Noir grape produces wines for ageing and cellaring. Depth and complexities are its attributes. We will reserve that discussion when we feature our next pinot noir selection).
Vincenzio has achieved the true varietal character seen in the better French wines from the Beaujolais district. The wine is bright ruby red in color. It has a young, fruity, distinctly correct varietal nose, full of depth and great charm. The taste is loaded with fruit, as it should be, and the bouquet follows into the mouth. It has a light body, with a definitely dry character. All flavor components are balanced perfectly, so you can't but help say "I want more ..." It is best served slightly chilled. I can visualize it with a pate terrin, or assorted cold cuts and cheese lunch, with French bread and gherkins. (or if you must with a "hoaggie" or "torpedo" sandwich) at a lazy summer picnic. It's a chug-a-lug wine.
Cellaring notes: Drink now — and do not age. Will be best through December 1981.
Regular price $3.95/fifth
Member Reorder price $3.25/fifth
Member Reorder price $39.00/case
WINE AND FOOD
ADVENTURES IN EATING
So many of my friends are remembered by having generously shared their favorite recipes with me. I can think of no better way to reminisce than by stirring up a dish in my kitchen and let my mind wander as I contemplate the instance of the recipe I am about to attack.
It never fails to tweek my curiosity when I glance through various ethnic cookbooks, and rediscover how many different ways there are to prepare any given single item of food. Different spices, blended with regional flavors enhance and give varieties of nuances to these foods for our enjoyment.
When I noticed that one of the wines for this month's selection was a German Spatlese, the years quickly rolled back and I remembered my friend Florence. The common cabbage comes to life with her way of preparing this vegetable in a German style that is tangy.
She was a young widow and lived with her daughter. We all loved her, and she enjoyed entertaining her daughter's friends for afternoon tea and sometimes dinner. Being of German ancestry, she often made her delicious Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage recipe. I find this readily available food a welcome change of pace as a vegetable to accompany fowl, red meat, fish, or a good, hearty sausage. With summer upon us, why not try your favorite sausage, a salad, and this good cabbage recipe?
SWEET AND SOUR RED CABBAGE
1 - 2 to 2½ lb. red cabbage
2 tart apples, grated
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 whole cloves
½ cup grape juice
Saute onion and apples in bacon fat. Add grape juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and cloves. Stir and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and cover. Simmer slowly for about 1 hour or until tender.
"Since we must eat to live, we might as well do it with both Grace and Gusto."
Wine of the Month Club (Dept. N)
The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club is a unique and enjoyable way to taste and learn about many of the fine wines currently available.
When you become a member you will receive each month
one red wine selection for the month
one white wine selection for the month. (or sometimes a rosé)
an information newsletter describing the wines and their origins
One wine will be a domestic, and the other an import, and both bottles will be full fifths. This sequence will alternate the following month. The total cost for both bottles will never exceed $12.00 plus sales tax and shipping costs of $1.75.
Membership also carries the privilege of purchasing wines from previous selections (as available) at members reorder prices which show discounts from 10% to 25%
For free membership information:
Write to: The
Wine of the Month Club (Dept. N)
Post Office Box 217
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
Or Call: (213) 378-8998