1988-02 February 1988 Newsletter

February 1988 Newsletter


Wines evaluated last month: 138 Rejected: 110 Approved: 28 Selected: 2

An interesting combination this month! As usual, one is a domestic wine, and the other is an import, but the domestic wine is made from a grape we do not normally grow in this country. It is a very famous grape in Italy, and many "heavy duty" wines are made from it. Only one American winery grows the grape and successfully offers a very unique version of wine from this grape. See page 2.

The import is from Italy, and is a charming white wine which we do not have a counterpart for in the United States. This varietal has attracted the at¬tention of the American wine consuming public, and significant quantities are im¬ported annually. I bring you one of the better ones. If you have not had a Pinot Grigio before, you will be surprised. If you know them, you will recognize the quality of this one. They vary so much. MESSAGE FROM MONICA (our office manager)... When you write or call, it would help us if you used the informa¬tion on your shipping label to identify yourself. There are some letters above the name that identify your account. If you are having us ship to an alternate address or party, please mention that also. Since we are not computerized yet, we do not have the luxury of instant and multidi-mensional search functions!


Nebbiolo,'86.Martin Bros Pg. 2
Pinot Grigio,'86.Bollini Pg. 3
Wine Terminology III - Descriptives Pg. 4
Tasting Notes & Cellar Notes Pg. 5
Adventures in Eating Pg. 6
Wine & Gift order forms Pgs. 7/8

Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for superb wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde, CA 90274. (213) 534-1980


Unless somebody planted some vines while I was not looking, our California selection this month is one of a kind. This ever so prestigious grape of Italy, is planted and nurtured only by the brothers Martin in the U.S.A. Best of all, the resulting wine is excellent... and somewhat different from the numerous and various Italian wines made from the same grape in It¬aly.

First, a little about the Martin Broth-ers. They are newcomers to the wine scene. Dominic is an enologist with a U.C. Davis education. Part of his col¬lege study was in Florence, Italy, where he was introduced to the won¬ders of the Nebbiolo grape. Tom is an ex Mattel executive and handles the marketing of their wines. The winery is owned and operated by the fami¬ly... the two brothers and their spous¬es, and two sisters. Some background in wine did exist... their dad was ad¬vertising manager of Padre vineyards (in Southern California... not listed any more) in the late 1930's. They started their winery in 1981, and I was very impressed with their first re¬lease... Chenin Blanc, 1981, which became our Club Selection in June 1982.

Now for the grape... it is a most versatile and famous grape in Italy. Indigenous to the Piedmont region, it is made into wines called Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Ghemme, Carema, and others. The styles vary, based on the areas and villages of origin, and the traditions of the producer. The great Barolo and Barabaresco wines from Piedmont re gion are world class, robust, red wines with longevity and complexing ability. Dominic has chosen to differ in his approach to using the Nebbiolo grape. He is structuring it to be ready-to-drink early on; soon after release, with a Beaujolais Nouveau style char-acter, but not really made that way! (carbonic maceration and no wood ageing). The wine has seen limited oak ageing, yet it has retained a youthful fruitiness.

This 1986 version is brilliant red in color, with a hint of purple. It has a powerful aroma, first fruity, some¬what cranberry, then moves into some evidence of alcohol, disguised by the fruit, finishing with a jamminess. Pe¬culiarly enough, it has overtones of "nouveau wine" even though it is not made that way Must be the varietal nature. The taste follows the nose per¬fectly. It is fruity, but with some backbone of tannin. It is crisp with acid, followed by an explosion of varietal flavor that spreads quickly throughout ones mouth. The fruiti¬ness lingers in the finish. Serve at room temperature with lunch sandwiches, or with beef dinners.

Cellaring Notes: Will complex for 3 to 5 years.

#288A Regular Price: $8.00/each Member Reorder Price: $6.40/ea. 20.00% disc. $76.80/cs.


At the northernmost tip of Italy, and towards the eastern side, lies a small wine growing region called Trentino - Alto Adige. It's northern portion, at the foot of the Alps, has Germanic connections, with names for the wines often following that in¬fluence. This is the Alto Adige por¬tion, and often known as South Ty¬rol. The Trentino portion is to the south, and is ethnically very Italian. Cultural hostilities have riddled the two portions from time to time, but wine seems to unite them.

In the southern portion is an area called Valdadige, close to the Adige river, where our Import selection this month hails from. The area is impor¬tant enough to have earned an appella¬tion status. In fact, the entire Trentino - Alto Adige region ranks first among Italy's regions in the proportion of ap¬pellation wines to table wines; about 50%. One of the popular wines from this region, and from other regions in the northeast, is Pinot Grigio. ( the name is even alluring!).

The grape has French origins, known as Pinot gris (or grey pinot) in that country. It is not produced in France as an individual varietal as popularly as it is northern Italy. The Italian winemakers seem to like this grape; and their audience, both in Italy and overseas, have supported their ef¬forts by voting at the cash register! In¬terestingly, there is a broad range of styles for Pinot Grigio from Italy. It can vary from a very thin, light, noth- ing wine, to even a perfumed, rich, yet clean and fresh version. The styles of Pinot Grigio vary from district to district based on the level of maturity of the grape, and the dictates of the individual winemaker or growing co-op. A varietal character is harder to identify with this wine. It is easy to mistake it for other varieties.

Our selection is a negociant wine. Neil Empson is a leading figure in the Italian wine export world. He is based in Milan, collating the best wines he can find from the various regions. I agree with his palate, more often than not. I never miss his booth at the track tastings.

The wine has a pale golden yellow color. The nose is explosive fruity, with a fresh aroma of the grape. In¬tense, refreshing. The taste is young, fruity and fresh. It has a medium to full body, with depth of flavor com¬mensurate with the body. A varietal character of "greenness". Well balanced, on the crispy side, yet soft as well. (How can that be? Try it… that's what I see!) Wonderful green apple nuances. The long finish really lingers, with another hint of the greenness at the end. Serve chilled with halibut or swordfish. Good with chicken dishes.

Cellaring Notes: Drink young, will be at its best in 1988.

#288B Regular Price: $7.00/ea Member Reorder Price: $5.60/ea 20.00% disc $67.20/cs


One of the messages that came through repetitiously from our 1987 Membership Survey was the request for a glossary of wine terminology. So here is the continuation of series that appears regularly unless bumped by a pressing topic. When the series is complete, it will be reprinted, and appear as a perma¬nent section in the membership newslet¬ter binder.

Deposit: The sediment in a wine which increases with age, especially in a red wine. Not a negative feature usually, because ageing the wine precipitates tan¬nin complexes due to slow and beneficial chemical reactions of polymerization. Also can refer to the harmless build up of bitartrate crystals.

Depth: Intensity of flavor, aroma, bou¬quet, or color of a wine.

Dessert Wine: Any sweet wine used to accompany dessert, or for dessert; such as Late Harvest wines, many from grapes infected with Botrytis cinerea, and those made from raisined grapes. Also refers to sweet fortified wines, which have more that 14% but not more than 24% alco¬hol. (fortified by addition of grape brandy or neutral grape spirits).

Dirty: Off-flavors or odors in a wine because of faulty winemaking or poor equipment maintenance.

Dry: A wine that is without sweet taste, accomplished by fermentation to less than 0.2% residual sugar. For less than 0.2% to 0%, the term "bone dry" is often used.

Dull: When used to describe taste... lack of interest and vibrancy. When used to describe appearance... a hazy character, usually due to suspended matter in the wine.

Dumb: generally used about a young wine whose attributes are not altogether released. When a wine is served too cold, the same effect is seen.

Earthy: A flavor suggestive of earth or soil. Undesirable.

Elegant: Used to imply that a wine is harmonious, has finesse, has complexity. Purely subjective criteria.

Ester: An aromatic, volatile byproduct of fermentation and ageing, produced by the interaction of alcohol and fruit acids, that adds nuances to the taste and bouquet of wine.

Extra dry: Usually pertaining to spark¬ling wines... a degree of sweetness, con-trary to its implication, generally slight¬ly sweet, with 1.5% o 2.5% sugar.

Faded: A wine that has started to de¬scend the ageing curve, with some oxida-tion showing.

Fat: A taste feel, that is rich and full bodied.

Finesse: A complimentary subjective judgement about a wine that is non spe¬cific. Usually implies elegance, balance and good winemaking.

Finish: The aftertaste of wine that lin¬gers. May be long, short, or none; rough to smooth; puckery (tannic), hot (alcoholic), or flat (low acid).

Flat: The taste is low in the acid com¬ponent of wine which is part of the bal-ance.

Flowery: The aromas and taste of a wine that is reminiscent of flowers. More commonly used for white or rose' wines.

to be continued...


A report on how previous Wine of the Month Club Selections are faring with age. Obtained from actual tastings of wines under cellar conditions and/or vintner, importer or wholesaler surveys.

Feb. 1984 R. Vina Monty,'75. Bdgs.Mont. Superbly complex. Use in '88,'89 W. Chardonnay,'82.Snta Ynez. Slight fading, use up.

Feb. 1985 R. Pinot Noir,'81. Tulocay.. Softer and some complexity. Can keep. W. Sauvignon de St. Bris '83.H.G. Nicely soft. Should use.

Feb. 1986 R. Ch. Laffitte Laujac, '82. Still very big and tight. Keep. W. Sauvignon Blanc,'82. Rthfd.Rnch.Still good fruit.Can complex.Keep.

Feb. 1987 R. Zinfandel,Vnyrd Sel.'78.L.Martini.As big as before.Can keep. W. White Merlot,'85.Zonin. Slight fading. Less fruit. Use.

REMINDER If you have changed your address or your credit card #.… please let us know. It is hard to track the changes after the fact. Please write or call anytime.

Adventures in Eating

By Rosemarie

We are on a new food regimen for 1988!

Paul had purchased a book titled "The 120 year Diet", by Dr. Roy L. Walford M.D.. Overnight he became a disciple of Dr. Walford's and has fi¬nally converted me, too. Dr. Walford declares, that one can have a better quality of life and longevity, through nutritional eating habits.

Dr. Walford is a pathologist at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center. His exper¬tise and research is in aging and the diseases that accompany the aging process, and how through proper nu¬trition, those diseases can be prevent¬ed or even delayed.

He maintains that if you eat the proper mixture of foods, providing the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body requires, your body will work at peak efficiency, using what it needs to pro¬duce energy, good health and a long life.

In his book, Dr. Walford prints a 21 day diet, and also gives you the reci¬pes for those meals. I must say they are very creative, interesting, and tasty.

Paul fixed one of the recipes, last week, which I had modified. I thought it was really wonderful.


1 cup garbanzo beans pureed (ok to use canned and puree with some of its juice)
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1 Tblspn soy sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium carrot grated
by Rosemarie 1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/3 cup natural ketchup (from health food store)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
4 large green bell peppers
Salt and pepper to taste


1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/3 cup natural ketchup
2/3 cup beer
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper (to taste)

Cut tops of bell peppers and reserve the tops. Clean out the inside seeds and membranes. Cook brown rice in 2 cups of water for 45 minutes until all water is absorbed. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Stuff into the hollowed peppers until they bulge. Top with the reserved pepper tops. Steam in a steamer for 30 minutes and set aside while sauce is prepared.

Sauce: Stir fry onion in a nonstick, frying pan until translucent (1 -3 min¬utes)(no oil used). Add ketchup, beer, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper; simmer for about 3 minutes. Pour over the stuffed peppers and serve.

The Wente Petite Sirah was just great with this dish!


For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Discovering superb wines since 1972. P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (213) 534-1980

Order Form

288A Nebbiolo,'86.Martin Bros Reg. Price $8.00 20.00%disc $76.80/case $ 6.40/each
288B Pinot Grigio,'86.Bollini Reg. Price $7.00 20.00%disc $67.20/case $ 5.60/each
188A Johannisberg Riesling,'84.Cht.Jul. Reg. Price $6.24 56.73%disc $32.40/case $ 2.70/each
188B Chateau Bellegrave,'82 Reg. Price $15.88 31.9%disc $129.60/case $ 10.80/each
1287A Port of the Vintage,'83.Quady Reg. Price $8.00 20.0%disc $76.80/case $ 6.40/each
1287B Brut Zero,'82 Castellblanch Reg. Price $7.00 22.86%disc $64.80/case $ 5.40/each

SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $2.50; 6 bottles $5.00; 12 bottles $7.50 □ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total. □ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express _______________________________________________________ Card # Expiration Date PLEASE FILL OUT COMPLETELY _______________________________________________________________________________ Name (Print) Signature _______________________________________________ We are unable to ship out of California Address due to Alcoholic Beverage laws. _______________________________________________ Recipients must be 21 or older. City State Zip If shipping address is different please (_____)__________________________(_____)________ write below. Phone (eve.) (day) MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (See reverse side to order wine gifts.)

Wine Gift Order Form

GIFTS OF WINE ARE PERFECT FOR: ● Thank you gifts ● Housewarming Gifts ● Hospitality gifts ● Wedding gifts ● Anniversary gifts ● Congratulations gifts ● I Love You gifts ● Christmas gifts ● Business gifts ● Mother's Day gifts ● Father's Day gifts ● Forget-me-not gifts ● Bon Voyage gifts ● And Anytime gifts!

All Wine Of The Month Club gifts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition... gift wrapped... and with a gift card.


2 Bottles: the 2 current club selections $17*
< 6 Bottles: assortment of recent selections $47*
12 Bottles (1 case): assortment of recent selections $92*
4 Months subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 4 months $62*
or every quarter for 1 year-specify gift #4Q) (8 bottles total). 6 Months subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 6 months $92*
or every other month for 1 year-specify gift #5B) (12 bottles total). 1 Year subscription: 2 bottles every month for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $182*