1997-03 March Classic Newsletter

March 1997 Newsletter

Wines evaluated last month: 223 Rejected: 210 Approved: 13 Selected: 2

Sign 'em Up, Split a Case
Here's an offer so good, I can't believe we're offering it. Plainly stated, if you sign up a friend to the Wine of the Month Club (including giving us all the vital information including address, credit card numbers, etc.) you and your friend will split an entire case of wine. That's right, six bottles each!

No, we're not going out of our minds, but we are going a little crazy. We've outgrown our warehouse and office space and absolutely cannot hire any more people to handle new orders until we move into our new location which is 3X larger than our current facility. So, if you do some of the work for us, we'll reward you handsomely.

Let's face it, how often have you served a Wine of the Month Club selection to a friend who thought it was a great value and wanted to get some for himself? You probably gave them the information and they promptly laundered the shirt it was in, right? Well, now we've given you an incentive to make sure they sign on as a member because you BOTH win. But, don't stop at just one member. Get two members and you split two cases, three members and split three cases...get the picture?

Just remember, you must get all the information so all we do is sign them up. See the enclosed form for details, then start carving out that cellar!

Domestic Selection

It's not often that we find a flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon, as good as this Mark Ridge, that will fit into our program. That's because Cabernet is still king in California and the prices seem to be going upward in a continuing spiral that refuses to taper off. Oh sure, there are still wines out there at this price, but they don't taste like Cabernet, and none taste as good as this one. The story of Mark Ridge is as much about the person involved as it is about the wine.

Mark Lerner spent 15 years in the wine business in Napa Valley before venturing out on his own with the goal of making very good, yet affordable wines and offering them to a select group of consumers who are more interested in taste than hype. He set his sights on the lesser-known areas for producing fine wines like Monterey, Paso Robles and Lodi. With careful analysis and a keen sense of what flavors he was looking for, Mark set out on his quest. Four years later, he released his first wines which were an instant hit. In the interim, he had to come up with a name. While walking one of the vineyards on a cool, bright day, he happened to look up and see the sun cresting over a ridge. "Hmm, a ridge," he thought. And so, with less care than he takes in crafting his wines, Mark Lerner decided upon Mark Ridge. It may not be the most romantic wine story we've heard, but it sure is the most honest.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape variety that, above all others, has adapted from the Old World to the New World with unerring ease. Most of the great red wines of Bordeaux and many of the finest red wines of California are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. It demands aging in small oak barrels, and the best wines also require several years of bottle age to reach their potential. It is an easy variety to grow, as it buds and ripens late and is resistant to frost and disease, hence its adaptability to other countries. When properly handled, the wine attains a full, rich flavor of cassis and ripe cherry. The addition of oak rounds out the flavors into one of the wine world's greatest pleasures

Cabernet Sauvignon, 1994 Mark Ridge
Kab-er-NAY Soo-ving-YOHN
Expansive, ripe cherry and spice flavors with hints of chocolate, cedar and a touch of vanilla: Surprisingly rich with a few minutes of air. Open half an hour before serving with beef or lamb dishes.
This is one of those well-crafted offerings which taste great now, will improve and should always please no matter when you open it. Serve cool.

Imported Selection

In 1977, Emilio and Monica Solminihac bought the old Purissima winery and vineyards just outside Rancagua (Ran cow wah), Chile, in the Rapel Valley, (80 miles south of Santiago). They re-christened the winery Santa Monica and expanded the vineyards to 225 acres. Santa Monica is one of few wineries in Chile that is exclusively owned by Chilean interests as well as the forerunner of the now expanding category of small estates.

Emilio Solminihac is the first Chilean to have graduated from the Bordeaux Enological Institute. For more than two decades he was considered the sole independent enological laboratory of the Rapel Valley (none other existed) and the best troubleshooter in the fields and wineries of Chile's older family-run wineries.

In 1988 Jim Bundschu, 5th generation proprietor of Gundlach Bundschu Winery of Sonoma Valley, and his wife Nancy were on vacation in Chile and met Emilio and Monica Solminihac. They got on so well that in 1989 Emilio selected Jim and his importing arm, Vineburg Wine Company, as the exclusive North American agent for Santa Monica wines. Together they represent a dwindling breed of independent family producers offering estate grown table wines.

Semillon is the principal grape for Sauternes and the other sweet wines of Bordeaux, as well as Monbazillac. The classic Sauternes blend is 80 percent Semillon to 20 percent Sauvignon. In the Graves region of Bordeaux, France, it is the base of best dry white wines in that region. Many consider Graves whites to be the finest white wines made in the world. Semillon also crops up in other dry white appellations of southwest France. In many instances, both in France and the New World, it is blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon has a tendency toward low acidity, making it oftentimes dull and flabby. However, in cooler climates, where the acids can mature slowly and naturally, it can produce a powerful, aromatic offering like this luscious selection from Santa Monica.

Semillon, 1996. Santa Monica
Lovely pear and apple scents delight the nose and excite. the palate. Luscious, full flavors of green apple and bosc pear with a beguiling finish. A classic match with challenging dishes like the shrimp remoulade on page. 6.
Perfect now. Should hold for another year or two. Serve chilled.

Member Inquiry

"Paul, We are constantly reading about 'food wines' and how some wines go better with food than others. Could you shed some light on that?"
S.B., Fallbrook
Wine, unlike other beverages, actually complements food and food complements wine. The reasons for this is how the two interact with each other. Your most sensitive taste sensor is the tongue. It is made up of thousands of tiny taste buds which are shaped like a mushroom, a stem with a cap which overhangs on top. As you eat, your taste buds trap food between the stem and the cap, blotting out the bud's ability to taste. Your taste buds get overloaded and thus, the food seems to lose its flavor.

Wine's naturally high acidity cleanses those taste buds better than anything else. Wines referred to as "food wines" tend to have a higher acidity making them too tart to drink on their own. The first sip might be okay, but succeeding tastes allows the acid to cling to the sides of your tongue making it curl. That same acidity cleanses the palate and prepares it to accept the next bite of food. If there is no food to accept, however, it can build and become unpleasant.

Acidity curls the tongue and induces you to salivate. The saliva is a natural digestive helping to move the food through the body. Wine is the catalyst in not just enjoying the taste of food but helping to digest it as well. Acidity can work in the opposite direction, too. If you continue to taste a high acid wine without food, your taste buds will become overloaded with acid and your tongue will feel dry and unpleasant. That's why wines with lower acids and / or a touch of sugar are sometimes referred to as "cocktail wines" as they can be consumed without food and not overload the taste buds with acid. Unfortunately, as noted above, this condition forces you to drink wine without the benefit of food, introducing alcohol into the bloodstream twice as fast as if you had had something to eat.

Adventures in Food

This is a classy first dish for a dinner party that is very flavorful and will easily hold up to our authoritative Semillon. You can make the sauce in the food processor instead of whisking in the oil, but then you'll have to transfer to a bowl when adding the chopped ingredients.
1 /4 cup Creole mustard
2 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
5 tsp. salt
1 /2 cup tarragon vinegar
1 1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped scallions, including 3" of the green tops
1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the flat leaf Italian variety
3 lbs. med. sized uncooked shrimp (about 20-24 to a lb.)
1 lg. iceberg lettuce, trimmed, quartered lengthwise & cut into 1/4" wide shred

To prepare the remoulade sauce, combine the mustard, paprika, red pepper and 4 teaspoons of the salt in a deep bowl and stir with a wire whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Whisk in the vinegar. Then, whisking constantly, pour in the oil in a slow, thin stream and continue to beat until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add the scallions, celery and parsley and mix well. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the sauce rest at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving. Meanwhile, shell the shrimp. Devein them by making shallow incision down their backs with a small sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of the knife. Wash the shrimp briefly in a sieve or colander set under cold running water. Bring 2 quarts of water and the remaining teaspoon of salt to a simmer over moderate heat, drop in the shrimp and cook, uncovered for 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and firm. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, mound the shredded lettuce attractively on 6 to 8 chilled individual serving plates and arrange the shrimp on top. Spoon the remoulade sauce over the shrimp and serve.

Earlier Selections

Guaranteed Available DESCRIPTION QTY. MEMBER REORDER PRICES TOTAL #397A Cab. Sauv., '94. Mark Ridge "Ripe cherries, vanilla and spice." Reg. Price $8.29 20.5% disc. $79.08/case $6.59/each
#397B Semillon, '96. Santa Monica "Green apple, pear and kiwi." Reg. Price $6.69 21% disc. $63.48/case $5.29/each
#297A Chen. B1., '95. Fountain Grove "Pear and apple scents." Reg. Price $6.99 24.32% disc. $63.48/case $5.29/each
#297B Mont. D'Abruzzo, '95. Farnese "Up-front fruit, great finish." Reg. Price $7.99 20% disc. $76.68/case $6.39/each
#197A Cab. Sauv, '84. Creston Man. "Soft, firm and ripe cassis." Reg. Price $15.99 56% disc. $83.88/case $6.99/each
#197B Landes, '95. Dom. de Labelle "Fresh and clean quince flavors." Reg. Price $6.99 20% disc. $67.08/case $5.59/each
#1296A Port, NV. LaQuinta "Lush black cherry and plums." Reg. Price $11.99 45.87% disc. $77.88/case $6.49/each
#1296B Brut, NV. Cava Dubor "Tangy, crisp apple flavors." Reg. Price $9.99 36.00% disc. $76.68/case $6.39/each
Please call for shipping prices outside CA in states where Sub-Total permissible. Recipients must be 21 years or older. 8.25% CA Sales Tax Shipping for CA: 1-2: $4.50; 3-4: $4.65; 5-6: $7.65; 7-8: $10.50; 9-10: $11.25; 11-12: $11.50 S&H Check enclosed for $ _____________. TOTAL Charge my:  VISA  MasterCard  AmEx  Discover Exp. Date ___/___ /___ Card # ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) Signature ______________________________________________________________(_______)____________________ Shipping Address Phone (Day) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ City State Zip Email Address
Mail to: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 Phone (800) 949-WINE  Phone (818) 445-8281  FAX (818) 445-8361 Visit our home page: http://www.WineoftheMonthClub.com

Gift Order Form

It's the Perfect Gift for a... Thank You, Housewarming, Wedding, Anniversary, Congratulations, Holiday, Father's & Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas & New Year's. Business Thank You, Bon Voyage... or just to say "I Love You!" GIFT # DESCRIPTION QTY. COST TOTAL 10G 2 Bottles The 2 current club selections $18.00*
20G 6 Bottles Assortment of recent selections $48.50*
30G 12 Bottles (1 Case) Assortment of recent selections $93.50*
4GP 4 Months Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 4 months or every quarter for 1 year (specify gift #4Q). (8 bottles total). $63.00*
5GP 6 Months Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 6 months or every other month for 1 year (specify gift #5B). (12 bottles total). $93.00*
6GP 1 Year Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) every month for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $183.00*
LOG 2 Bottles The 2 current Limited Series selections. $43.00*
LGP 1 Year Subscription: 2 Bottles every month (Limited Series) for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $243.00*
*Gift wrapping included. Recipients must be 21 or older. Sub-Total CA Shipping Charges: Avg. Out-of-State Shipping Costs: 8.25% CA Sales Tax Gift #10G & LOG $4.50 Gift #10G & LOG $6.25 Gift #20G $8.15 Gift #20G $14.65 S&H Gift #30G $12.35 Gift #30G $21.65 Gift #4GP $18.00 Gift #4GP $26.00 TOTAL Gift #5GP $27.00 Gift #5GP $37.50 Gift #6GP & LGP $54.00 Gift #6GP & LGP $76.00 Call for out of state shipping info. Check enclosed for $ _____________. Charge my:  VISA  MasterCard  AmEx  Discover Card # Exp. Date ___/___/___ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) Signature ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip (_______ )__________________(________)_______________________________________________________ Phone (Day) Phone (Evening) Please ship Gift# _________ to: _________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip Special note on gift card or verse #: ______________________Attach another sheet of paper to list other recipients
All Wine of The Month Club gifts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition... gift boxed... and with a gift card.
Mail to: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (800) 949-WINE, Phone (818) 445-8281 or FAX (818) 445-8361 Visit our home page: http://www.WineoftheMonthClub.com

Wine of the Month Club and Wine of the Month are registered trademarks of the Wine of the Month Club. Wine of the Month Club is America's preferred wine club. Each wine featured in our wine clubs is selected from hundreds tasted each month. Monthly wine clubs are a great way to find unique and exciting wines. California wine club, napa wine club, international wine club, red wine club, and discount wine club are wine month clubs that allow one to find great value in the wine industry. Join a wine club today . Our wine club offer is created to give the consumer a chance to get the first shipment to try our Wine of the Month Club.