October 1984 Newsletter
If you did not receive last month's selections, and were sup¬posed to, please let me know. Six packages from the hundreds we shipped last month came back. The label packet had fallen off. The open end of the plastic bag was not secure, and the contents fell out. The packages never reached their destination, and were returned to us with no method to identify who they belonged to.
Kindly use the postage paid envelope enclosed with this months packet to tell me if you were one of these six and I will immediately resend your parcel. We have recti¬fied the problem, and do not expect a recurrence.
The white wine this month is from Santa Barbara county. This region has been emerging as an important wine growing area for California. The wine is a beautiful Gewurztraminer. It is a dry style, with lots of all the correct varietal traits to make it an out-standing example. In fact, contrary
to most Gewurztraminers I run across, it is more a meal oriented one than an apperitif.
For the red wine, I selected a French Beaujolais Villages. It has seen just enough bottle time to emerge and deliver its full potential. Naturally, it is the youngest available. (Beaujolais is one of the few red wines that should be drunk young. It loses its charm as it ages.) For all you 'Big-Bold-Burly Red Wine" fans: give this one a chance. It is not big, bold, and burly, of course... but it is bright, bountiful, and brunchy!.. of exquisite quality.
The world of wine is broad... Savor every segment of it for what it is.
TIME IS CREEPING UP
THE HOLIDAYS WILL BE HERE
IN NO TIME
MAKE YOUR GIFT PLANS EARLY...
ENCLOSED IS YOUR CLUB
THEY MAKE EXCELLENT GIFTS
PLEASE REVIEW IT
AND SEND IN YOUR NEEDS EARLY
Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for fine wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde, CA 90274.
GEWURZTRAMINER.1982. AUSTIN CELLARS
Anthony Austin was the first professional winemaker in Northern Santa Barbara county. He was the winemaker at Firestone Vineyards since its inception in 1975. (And you know what a success story that is. At least 3 of his wines have been club selections under that label.)
The time always comes in ones life, when you want to " do it for yourself! " That time came for Tony in 1981. He formed a partnership, with a simple philosophy and goal of using the superior fruit, from this viticultural area that he knows so well, to produce the finest of premium wines. I tasted all his first releases at a trade event a few months back. Quickly, I realized that Tony had developed the valuable knowledge on the subtle nuances of this regions grapes and microclimates.
Austin Cellars first wine releases were made from purchased grapes of selected vineyards. The fermentation and ageing was done in leased facilities. Like every new wine venture, an early priority becomes the construction of your own winery. This became a reality just 10 months ago. It is situated on a 100 acres in the hills near Los Alamos.
The winery has a tasting room in the charming town of Solvang nearby. (1516 Copenhagen Drive) If you are in the area, it will be worth your while pausing a moment, and tasting Tony's other wines. You will be impressed. So were many county fair, wine society, and wine publication judges.
It is said that the Gewurztra¬miner grape is the most exotic of the great wine grapes. Bern C. Ramey says that the wines are "frontal attacks" on the senses.
Undoubtedly so... most Gewurztra¬miners, whether from California, Alsace, Germany or Austria, are most always intensely fruity, spicy, aromatic, and vary in their degree of dryness from bone dry to distinctly sweet. The winemakers style dictates the latter. It is a variety that is easy to identify by its spicyness, with some overtones of muscat elements. (In fact it is considered a possible descendent of the muscat from Persia, after many strain transformations!) Hugh Johnson says it has a reputation for tasting better when the sun is up! "Jolly good…," I say." Most Gewurztraminers are ideal for that afternoon glass, well chilled, on the veranda. But, this one is great after sundown too! It really is a great dinner wine, with the right accompaniment… and have I found a novel one. See below."
Our wine is light golden yellow in color. It has a spicy aroma, with a fragrant bouquet. It is intense in the varietal character of the grape. (Very textbook! Make a mental note of this for future identification exercises.) The taste is remarkable. You expect it to be sweet, and it is dry. It is pretty much full bodied. It shows some oak, and has a pleasant clean acid finish. The spiciness is all over your mouth, yet so restrained that it is not overpowering. Serve chilled with (would you believe!) a mexican chicken molle course! (chocolate - banana sauce) or with light curried lamb. Sip it too, if you enjoy a dry sipping wine.
Cellaring Notes: Will improve for 24 months.
#1084A Regular Price: $8.00/750ml.
Member Reorder Price: 21.82%discount
BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES.1983. DOMAINE DE RIBEROLLES JAFFELIN
"Beaujolais" is the cafe wine of Paris (and naturally of the Beaujolais region too.) and… "Beaujolais Villages" is the better grade of wine from this famous region of France. The quality is designated by law and by regula¬tions of the appelation.The top grade is the "Grand Crus" classifi¬cation. They are designated individually by the nine village names. (Brouilly, Chenas, Cotes de Brouilly, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-A-Vent, & St. Amour.) I have previously featured a couple of these, in good years, as club selections.
Beaujolias is in southern Burgundy. It's wines have a reputa¬tion of being quaffing wines. This is justifiable for most of the plain Beaujolais wine sold. However, the better "Villages" grades and the better "Crus" designations are worth stopping for. The Beaujolais group of wines are unique unto themselves in the world of red wines. They do not have ageing potential, and they are fruitier than the others. The "graduate student" in wine tends to snub them.
Well made Beaujolais is charming, refreshing, and worth investigation. Poorly made ones can just be alcoholic grape juice… and old ones are just miserable.
Our selection is from the Domaine de Riberolles, a small estate situated near Saint Julien¬en-Montmelas, close to Villefranche-sur-Saone. The vine¬yards lie in the foothills leading to the Beaujolais mountains. The domaine is about 61 acres, and is composed of older vines. The yield per acre is limited by design to be low, thus consistently producing oustanding quality grapes.
The firm of Jaffelin, well known negociant-eleveur from Burgandy, (see our March '83
newsletter) have exclusive rights to the wine from the domain. I have been impressed with this Beaujolais-Villages every time I have tasted it, and this 1983 vintage was exceptionally good.
French Beaujolais is made from the Gamay Beaujolais grape. It is not a revered grape for traditional winemaking. However… when handled in a different manner, it produces a distinct style of wine. The process is called carbonic maceration. Basically, it is a process of fermentation at lower than usual temperature, using a blanket of carbon dioxide gas to prevent oxidation. This preserves the fruitiness and youth of the juice. The final product is usually bottled without any barrel ageing. Beaujolais, Beaujolais Superior, or Beaujolais Villages are best when consumed before the next harvest has been released. The "Grand Crus" grades seem to benefit from some bottle ageing, and can still be very good for up to five years passed the harvest.
Our wine is bright purplish red. It has a fresh aroma, bursting with fruit. The varietal character of the Gamay grape is intense. The aroma follows with a slight alcoholic finish to the nose if you sniff hard after swirling! Clean. The taste is dominantly fruity, with a medium to light body. Well balanced. The essence of beaujo¬lais flavor is exemplified in this wine. There is a refreshing depth to the fruit. Serve with light lunches, ham entrees, or just as a sipping wine at apperitif time. It can use a slight chill to the bottle before serving.
Cellaring Notes: Drink now through mid '85. Do not age it.
#1084B Regular Price: $6.50/750ml.
Member Reorder Price: 20.00% discount
Wine and wine cooking books at discount prices available through The Wine of the Month Club. A membership benefit arranged with a major book wholesaler. (This is page 12 of 12 pages). You may order titles by using the order form on page 7. Order by number and title. Add $1.50 for first book, and $0.75 for each additional book for shipping and handling.
# 640 THE CHAMPAGNE COOKBOOK, Add Some Sparkle to Your Cooking and Your Life, by Malcolm R. Hebert. Cooking with Champagne is a glamorous yet easy way to liven up your cuisine. The recipes range from soup, salads, hors d'oeuvres, fish, fowl, red meat, vegetables and of course desserts—all using Champagne. New entertaining ideas with Champagne cocktails and drinks. Recipes provided by California, New York and European Champagne makers and their families. Paperback, illustrated, index, 128pp, 8½"x 10½".
Member Price $5.60
# 672 WINE IN EVERYDAY COOKING, Cooking with Wine for Family and Friends, by Patricia Ballard. The newest and freshest in our famous wine cookbook series. Chapters range from soup and hors d'oeuvres through pasta, fish and desserts. 128pp, illustrated, color cover, 8½"x 11". October, 1981 Edition.
Member Price $4.75
# 673 THE CALIFORNIA WINE DRINK BOOK, Cocktails, Coolers, Punches and Hot Drinks made with Wine, by William I. Kaufman. Over 200 different drink recipes, using various wines along with mixing tips and wine entertaining suggestions. Suitable for professional bartenders or home use. Pocket size, leatherette cover, 128pp., October, 1982 Edition.
Member Price $3.95
# 692 WINE WITH FOOD by Derek Cooper. This leading British media journalist and internationally awarded food and wine writer presents a clear, concise guide providing practical information on wine, wine and food, health and distinctive tastes and aromas. Lavishly illustrated in color with 144 photographs, maps, tables and charts. Hardbound, 9"x 11", 128pp. Good value.
Member Price $8.00
# 693 THE GRAND MASTERS OF FRENCH CUISINE, Five Centuries of Great Cooking, by Celine Vence and Robert Courtine. From Taillevent in 1373 to Alexandre Dumas in 1873—over 230 classic epicurean recipes, adapted for use in modem kitchens, are pre¬sented in this magnificent volume. Soups, fish, meat, fowl, game, vegetables and desserts all sublime and luscious. Breathtakingly illustrated with full-color photographs. Full historical references. Hardbound, 288pp, 9"x 11". Limited quantity.
Member Price $20.00
# 720 THE FLAVOR OF NORTH BEACH by Brian St. Pierre and Mary Etta Moose. A selective guide to the restaurants, delicatessens, coffee houses and bakeries of this interna-tionally famous San Francisco dining district. Includes tips on wine with definitions of both California and Italian wine types, glossary of food talk and 36 famous recipes. Handy pocket size, paperback, 145pp.
Member Price $4.75
# 727 WINE LOVERS' COOKBOOK, by lovers of California Wine. Edited by Brian St. Pierre. Over 500 exciting new recipes from the 1982 Wine Institute Food and Wine Competition. Includes the award winning original recipes. This is the ninth in the tradition of the world-famous series of wine cookery books initiated by Wine Advisory Board. Full color durable cover, 8½" x 11", 144pp. (april 1982)
Member Price $5.??
# 752 THE SEBASTIANI FAMILY COOKBOOK, by Sylvia Sebastiani. Recipes from centu¬ries ago as well as new creations from Mrs. Sebastiani's kitchen fill this Italian-style cookbook. Also includes suggestions for ideal wine accompaniments, cooking meats, vegetables, soups and desserts. 164pp.
Member Price $8.95
"news_heading">CELEBRATE ABOUT WINE
Food With Wine With Malaga
The name Malaga has always intrigued me. My thoughts visualized warm Mediter-ranean breezes and balmy summer after¬noons with a chilled glass of wine on a veranda overlooking the blue waters off the southern coast of Spain. The vivid scene dictated a fresh, young, fruity, style of wine. I had to change my perceived image when I later discovered Malaga was a sweet wine. Nevertheless, I continued to be fascinated by the word.
By coincidence, I ended up owning a phar¬macy in "Malaga Cove Plaza" (Palos Verdes CA), and then a wine shop there too. I even developed a private label California cham¬pagne named "Chateau Malaga". It was quite good for the price. I think it is still sold at the shop. It was during the time that I operated the wine shop, that I ordered some genuine Malaga wine, from the same wine growing region in Spain, and tried it. That is when I was surprised and disappointed that it was a sweet wine. My image of having a glass of wine on a veranda on the south coast of Spain had to be modified. I had to come up with a cold glass of Valdapenas instead! (Which incidentally, is very good in Spain, especially when it is young and fresh.)
There was only one brand of Malaga wine available at the time, in the Los Angeles area. I was impressed with the reasonableness of price, and demonstration of quality and character of this wine. The wine fascinated me. I studied all I could find on the wine, and this year, in March, decided to visit the region where it is made.
The most striking thing, right off the bat, in Malaga, was that the food of the region was not accompanied with the wine. The southern coast of Spain is known for its seafood. But you do not have Malaga wine with it. It is too sweet as a meal wine. The seafood is absolutely great... from the traditional fare to such things as salt water snails, marinated filets of anchovies, to deep fried squid. One must order a Catalonia, or Rueda, or maybe even a white Rioja to accompany these delectible fresh local catches.
In Malaga, and in other parts of Spain, as well as the world where you find Malaga wine, it is served as a sipping wine, during the day. Maybe sometimes it is served with or for dessert. It was most interesting to see a store in downtown Malaga that had a modest sign on the door indicating that it was founded in 1840, offering "wines of Malaga". Inside were stacks of casks behind a counter, with three attendants serving portions of wine you selected from a list. Each serving was about 20 cents, and it came to you in a juice glass right from the cask People were just standing around sipping these sweet wines. There are some different levels of sweetness in the ones offered, and two varietals are also designated . . . Pedro Ximenez grape and Moscatel, and blends of them. Trade names are used main¬ly, so one must be familiar with the wine to know what to expect.
Basically, it is thick, and sweet, with about 18% alcohol. Fruity and caramelly, without much of the oxidation flavor that sherry has, it is very delicious, particularly in the ones that are not extremely sweet.
I visited one of the oldest bodegas, Barcelo S.A., Hijos de Antonio, established in 1876, whose wines are the ones most available in California. They are under the "Barcelo" trademark I was impressed with their Gran Vino Sanson. Worth trying!
Now. . . what to serve it with? First, let me say... it was not served with anything in Spain. It was offered neat! Just for sipping.
I think we here in the United States will not really take to it as a straight served beverage. But I have a great invention. Don't laugh... serve it over vanilla ice cream as a topping. In fact, I think that for those of you who are homemade ice cream devotees, try making a malaga-raisin version instead of rum-raisin. You will be rewarded. It is very compatible. Accompany a dish of it with molasses cookies, and you have a creation. Remember. . . you read it in the Review Food with Wine column!
Paul Kalemkiarian 19
WOMC CELLAR NOTES
A report on how previous Wine of The Month Club selections are faring with ageing.
Oct.1980 R. Cabernet Sauvignon,'78.Fetzer.Near peak.Softened.Try it.
W. Kapellenberg,'77.F.Schmidt. Old and tired.Consume now.
Oct.1981 R. Szekszardi Voros,'78. Lost all its fruit. Austere. Use up.
W. Johannisberg Riesling.'80/St.Chapelle.At peak. Start using.
Oct.1982 R. Babic.'79Vinoplod. Lost its fruit and charm.Should be used
W. Chardonnay.'81.Snma.Gundlach-Bundschu.Nice age, can go more
Oct.1983 R. Zinfandel.'80.Amdr.D.Bruce. Hardly changed.Keep.
W. Wormser Lbfrnstft-Krknstk.'81.Langenbach.One more year.
Adventures in Eating
It's just a fact of life. It's rhubarb time again!
One of my favorite, low cost adventures, is to scout lobbies and cafes of new hotels. Whenever Paul and I are driving about and spot a new hotel, little is said… the car pulls into the proper lane and the adventure begins.
I love the description, for instance, that Herb Caen of the San Franacisco Chronicle gives the Los Angeles Bonaventure, "One giant cappucino machine." Now that Westin Hotels are running it, the lobby is most inviting. A little cut-up but still a downtown oasis.
Of course, my all time favorite is the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Square in San Francisco. Where else can you feel you're in some refreshing outdoor European plaza with romantic inter¬ludes of a harp or quintet playing for you. To add to this, you get the vision of elevators gliding up and down like balloons while you sit and spoon a refreshing frozen Pina Colada.
We chanced to be in Anaheim, recently, and couldn't resist the new Anaheim Hilton. The carpets are a deep rich blue-green, accented with champagne and orchid colors in a beautiful pattern. A contemporary indoor water fountain adds to a truly magnificent interior.
The cafe Oasis was not to be missed and we ordered, what else, rhubarb custard pie. They have their own pastry chefs, and it was delicious.
I searched my library and happily found a recipe that fits the bill. Now, give it a try, please!
This calls for a 9" pastry shell, but I recommend a Pate Brisee (recipe to follow) It is more cookie like. A traditional crust might get too soggy.
RUBARB CUSTARD PIE
1 1/2 lbs. rhubarb (4 c.)
peeled if you like & cut
into 1/4" slices
3/4 cup sugar
2 T flour
1 T lemon juice
2 1/8 t salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 T butter melted
1/4 t nutmeg
2 T sugar
Filling: In bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Toss to mix and turn into pie shell. Bake in hot oven (400F.) 20 minutes. Topping: Beat eggs slightly in bowl; stir in cream, butter, and nutmeg to blend. Pour over hot rhubarb in pie shell. Bake 10 min. sprinkle with sugar. Bake 10 min. more, or until pie's top is slightly browned. Cool before cutting. Pate Brissee: 1 cup flour, 5 T unsalted butter, 1/3 t. salt, 1/3 t. sugar, 1 medium egg, 1 T. cream. Mix gently by hand or in a food processor. Chill 20 min. Roll to fit 9" pie dish.
If you need another binder to file your newsletters, drop me a note and I will send you one at no charge. A binder is available to you free, for every year of member¬ship in the Wine of the Month Club.
Gift Order Form
Please send me the following:
# Description Qty. Member
Reorder Price Total
Regular price: $8.00 $75.00/case
Discount Cabernet Sauvignon,'79.Jekel
Regular price: $10.00 $93.60/case
Discount Sauvignon Blanc,'82.Whitehall Ln
Regular price: $8.00 $75.00/case
Discount Beaujolais Villages,'83.Jaffln
Regular price: $6.50 $62.40/case
Discount Cumbrero, 1982.Bdgs Montecillo
Regular price: $4.75 $45.60/case
Discount Malbec, 1979.Bodegas Santa Ana
Regular price: $5.75 $55.20/case
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Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 Subtotal
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