"WINE OF THE MONTH" NEWSLETTER
The CELLARMASTER WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB
Potatoes are not the only agricultural product of Idaho! No offense you Idahoans - I love potatoes and I love wine too! California winemakers are finding that they do not have the birthright to premium American wines any more. Serious winemaking is being practiced in Washington, Oregon, and now Idaho. (not to overlook the efforts on Eastern seaboard, in Ohio, in Michigan and other states) I first tasted Ste. Chapelle wines about 5 years ago, and was not impressed. They have turned the corner, and the Gold and Silver medals in the last 3 years are a testimony to their winemaking. They grow their own grapes in Idaho, or buy their grapes where they find the best crop for their award winning wines. Some of their wines have a Washington State appellation.
I had nearly given up on featuring a red wine from Hungary. The famous and highly advertised Egri Bikevar (Blood of the Bull) were never ready and always too young, and the other reds available were just in the ordinary category. This time around, with the 1978 vintages available, I found one that stood above the wines offered, on taking price and value into consideration it was a good buy. So here is a Red Hungarian to enjoy. (No pun intended to our Magyar friends or to our Green Hungarian wine makers!) In fact another surprise was their table wine. (See: "From my Tasting Notes" enclosure)
Wines evaluated last month: 78, Rejected: 71, Approved: 5, Selected: 2.
JOHANNISBERG RIESLING, 1980
Ste. CHAPELLE VINEYARDS.
The Ste. Chapelle Winery is located in Sunny Slope, Idaho, on the Snake River 35 miles west southwest of Boise. Founded in 1976 by winemaker Bill Broich, it is presently owned by the Symms family of Sunny Slope, the third generation of a successful fruit ranching family, and Bill Broich and his wife Penny. Ste. Chapelle was named for the famous chapel of the same name in Paris. The winery itself was designed by architect Nat Adams from photos of the chapel. Bill and Penny Broich were so impressed by the edifice and its name when they visited it on a trip to the French wine country in 1974 that they decided at that time to call their winery St. Chapelle. The wines of Ste. Chapelle have enjoyed an uncommon amount of success in national and international competition. Probably their most impressive record, however, has been compiled in the judging at the annual festival of the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest. The 1981 festival conferred a Silver Medal on our wine this month.
The noble Johannisberg Riesling is a grape that has adapted itself well to the Pacific Northwest and to California. Its German origin and its revered wines from the Mosel and Rhine challenges our American winemakers to achieve the heights of the classic wines from these regions. The basic nature of wine made from Johannisberg Riesling shows a flowery bouquet, a characteristic fruity aroma and taste, a variety of sweetness levels balanced by the fruit acid, low alcohol content accompanied by an aging potential. It can be made as a dry wine, or one with a hint of sweetness, or medium sweet. or fully sweet as in the late harvest styles for dessert wine. The natural acid content of the grape contributes various degrees of tartness that enhances the wine and adds to its charm. The low alcohol content takes away the "headiness" and smoothes the flavor sensation in these wines.
Our wine is a classical example of the above. The color is light greenish yellow. It has a fresh, crisp, fruity typically varietal nose. (textbook example of young Johannisberg Riesling) The taste is soft, fruity, with a hint of petillence. It has a medium body. The sugar/acid balance is superb. The flavor of the riesling grape is well apparent. It has the raciness of a good Mosel (remember the Dhron Hofberger Spatlese 1979, Club Selection May 1981) Serve with salads that have a honey mustard dressing, Waldorf or carrot salad, with ham and pineapple sauce, or as an aperitif wine, well chilled.
Cellaring Notes: Will age and develop riesling complexities for 3 to 5 years.
Regular price $6.89/fifth
Member reorder price: $69.60 $5.80/fifth
SZEKSZÁRDI VÖRÖS, 1978
(pronounced Sahka-zar-dee Vurh-roosh)
Hungary, famous for its TOKAJI (Tokay) dessert wines (of equal fame as the French sauternes and the German trockenbeerenauslese style wines),makes some very charming red and white table wines. We featured a white Badacsonyi Szurkebarat as a club selection in October 1975. This months red wine is another example of the value in some import wines. Hungary is the 9th largest consumer of wine per capita in the world. (we in the U.S.A. are 26th.) Szekszard is one of the wine growing districts in Hungary, and is situated in the Southern part of the great plain of the Danube. This region is better known for its red wines, with a history that dates back to Roman times. Most bottled wines come from State cellars, and the geographical source of the wine is usually in the name on the label. The wording ending in "i" indicates the district or town. The grape variety may follow the source name, or the words "Voros" for red and "Feher" for white wine. All exports are handled by the State Export Monopoly "Monimpex" and labeled accordingly.
The red wines from Szekszardi are made primarily from the native grape called Kadarka. Its flavor shows some of the Burgundy Pinot Noir along with a Rhone Syrah characteristics. The wines produced from it have early maturing properties.
The color is medium garnet red. It has a fragrant, pinot noir type nose of medium intensity, with a characteristic spicy aroma. In the mouth, it is medium in body with a fruity flavor that is distinctly dry. The flavor lingers with emphasis to it. It has a spicy trend to its taste that has a peculiar satisfying feeling. Serve at room temperature with stew, sauteed meat, wild game and poultry dishes, or with Cheshire cheese.
Cellaring notes: Drink young.
Regular price $6.89/fifth
Member reorder price: $69.60 $5.80/fifth
WINE AND FOOD
ADVENTURES IN EATING
What do picnics and holiday entertaining have in common? Or, we are now in the state of shifting from summer to moods of fall and holiday partying. To answer the question. my thoughts are on food and on delicious, different do ahead kinds of appetizers. (Actually. I'm always thinking of food. It is never a boring state of mind.)
Partytime is work, but you also want to plan so you can enjoy your guests and spend your time with them. I really prefer taking the effort to prepare a creative delicious dinner than spend a great deal of time over appetizers. I notice, too, that people are not "stuffing" themselves with those tasty morsels as they used to do. Yet, we do want the prelude of things to come to set the right mood of anticipation for our dinner party.
My friend. Joan, is a whiz at different, do ahead, uncomplicated, delicious, appetizers. She was kind enough to share this one with me so I gladly pass it on to you for your entertaining pleasure. Joan had made this mousse for us when she entertained us with a truly gourmet picnic this summer and we all loved its light yet full bodied exotic flavor.
This treat also travels well and can be used by you to make your future picnics special too. It can even go with you to another party as your contribution to the good time.
Hang on, the holidays are on us and this will be a winner for you on your busy schedule. Place it on a bed of curly lettuce surrounded by finely chopped parsley and half cut cherry tomatoes and sliced black olives.
2 Tb gelatin
1½ c. beef broth (diluted canned is best)
1 garlic clove, chopped up
¼ tsp. curry powder
salt, dash cayenne pepper, black pepper
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, parsley
Sprinkle gelatin on broth in a pan and let sit for a few minutes to soften the gelatin. Bring almost to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Cool. Put broth, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper into a blender or food processor. Blend until mixed, 1 minute. Add cream cheese ⅓ at a time. Pour into a 3 cup mold or loaf pan or into B individual ramekins [as a first course. Refrigerate approximately 3 hours. Unmold onto lettuce and garnish as suggested above.
Serve with crackers of your choice. I like it with a caraway cracker.
"… He may live without love, what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can lire without dining." Meredith
The CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club
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 or call:
THE CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club, (Dept. N)
Post Office Box 217, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 (213) 378-8998