1980-12 December Classic Newsletter


since 1972

December 1980



How long, how long, in definite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadder after none, or bitter, Fruit.

How can I say it any better than the tent maker did? A very joyous holiday season to you and yours, and a prosper­ous 1981.

As I always have for the last 8 years, I bring you a classical dry sherry made by a. great California winemaker for your holiday enjoyment and a delightful French bubbly for New Years Eve.


Our sparkling wine for this holiday season comes from the largest wine makers of the Loire Valley in France. They are located in the small village of St. Florent Hilaire which is very near the town of Saumur, well known for the French Military Academy (West Point of France). The wine laws in France forbid the use of the word champagne generically for spar­kling wine as we do in California. Spar­kling wine not made in the famous cham­pagne region (around Rheims and Eperney) may only be labeled Vin Mousseaux.

Wines from the Loire Valley are pri­marily made from the Chenin Blanc grape. The traditional method of fermenting the yeast in the bottle, for creating the sparkling aspect of the wine is observed as it is done in the champagne region. (Methode Champenoise) The wine tends to be less dry and more fruity than tradit­ional Champagne.

This Remy-Pannier sparkling wine was a pleasant surprise. I knew I had a win­ner when I took my first sniff and sip. It is light straw yellow in color. It has a fragrant, fruity aroma, with the Chenin Blanc grape identifiable. The flavor is light and zestful. Plenty of fruit. Well balanced acid/sugar, and a lingering flavor. Good bubbles are apparent. Enjoy with fruit or light flake pastry. Bring in that New Year with it:

Cellaring Notes: Drink this young. Not for ageing.

$6.99/fifth Member reorder price $5.75/fifth


Prior to establishing their winery in 1955, Llords & Elwood had for decades been the leading retailer in the west of the world's finest wines & spirits. In 1961 the Elwood's retired from retailing to de­vote all of their time to the winery ven­ture located in Santa Clara. Llords & Elwood was the first winery in California to successfully make and market sherries which easily rival the quality of their spanish counterparts. All Llords & Elwood wines consistently win awards and other allo cades for excellence. Great Day D-R-R-Y Sherry was one of only two sherries to win a gold medal at the 1980 Los Angeles County Fair wine judging. Due to the winery's very small production capacity, the avail­ability of their wines is limited to six western states.

Great Day D-R-R-Y Sherry is made from Palomino grapes. It is fermented with Flor yeast. The wine is then patiently aged for years in a solera (tiers of barrels) kept out-of-doors. Sherries require warmth to mature, and the outdoor solera is the preferred long, slow, but natural way which the sun provides.

This sherry is remarkable in how it has achieved the full spectrum of aroma and flavor of the finest flor sherries from Jerez, Spain - the original home of sherry. It is totally dry. As winemaker Richard Elwood puts it: "It has the arid dryness, the polished smoothness, and the flavor complexities of a Fino from Spain". We agree. it is marvelous either cool or cold as an aperitif, with light soups and best of all for that Christmas Eve tradition. Cellaring Notes: No significant ageing occurs in the bottle with sherries.

$4.25/fifth Member reorder price $3.65/fifth


By Rosemarie

December being the Holiday month and with the Cellarmaster featuring two wines meant for partying, I could not let the op­portunity pass to share and old recipe given to me by my friend Dee Ryan (who re­ceived it from her mother). It is called SODA CRACKER PIE. It is yummy and easy to make.

4 egg whites (be sure these are at room temperature for best results)
1 & 1/3 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup crushed soda crackers
1 cup nuts, pecans or walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat egg whites with 1/3 cup sugar un­til soft peaks hold up. Be careful not to overbeat too stiff, as meringue will not puff up. Combine remaining ingredients. Fold into the egg whites. Pour into 2-8" pie plates with straight sides, or 1-9" springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for thirty minutes. Top will be stiff and crack when you cut into. Serve with sweet­ened whipped cream.


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 CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club (Dept. N) Post Office Box 217 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 Or Call: (213) 378-8998