1992-03 March 1992 Newsletter

March 1992 Newsletter


Wines evaluated last month: 327 Rejected: 278 Approved: 49 Selected: 2

Discovery! Discovery! Discov¬ery! Or is it Discover. That's right, the Wine of the Month Club now accepts the Discover card, the "card that pays you back". Just give me a call and I will be happy to change you over. Also, take heart on page 4 and the enclosed sale literature!

This month's imported white wine comes from Germany. After tasting the last few vintages and tracking the wine's progress, I felt it was time to act! We brought this wine direct from Germany and it is so pleasant and refreshing, as soon -as the ship landed in New Jersey I told them ship a case for my own cellar. This Riesling is 1989 Roe¬mische Weinstrasse.

The domestic this month is a relative newcomer to the Califor¬nia grape scene. In the big picture, Mourvedre is not abundantly grown in California, but is the mainstay of red wine in the South of France. Here is an excellent ex¬ample of what Mourvedre can do in California. Equivalent wines in California sell for $10.00 to $15.00/bottle.

Enjoy! P.K. Jr.


Mourvedre, '88. Francal Pg. 2
Riesling, '89. Roemische Weinstrasse Pg. 3
Member Inquiry 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 D, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (818) 445-8281 … FAX (818) 445-8361 WOMC is a California Corporation.

MOURVEDRE, 1988. FRANCAL More-ved-rah

If you have been with us for about a year, you will remember Cask One Sauvignon Blanc (#291A). Well, the same people who make Cask One make Fran-cal. There is, in fact, no Francal Winery or Cask One Winery (or Plume Ridge Winery, for that mat¬ter, recalling last month's Char¬donnay, #291A...different produc¬er, though). To make a long story short, what we have here is anoth-er excellent "negociant" wine!

A successful negociant (French for "one who negociates") opera¬tion must be headed up by well-connected, market-savvy individu¬als who combine good palates with good business sense. The principals of Lorenzi and Shipman Co., producers of Francal, thor-oughly fulfill these qualifications.

Bruce Shipman has been serv¬ing West Coast connoisseurs as an importer/distributor of "old and rare" vintages for over a decade. Kurt Lorenzi, with a Masters De¬gree in Oenology from U.C. Da¬vis, is the winemaker for Francal (as well as Cask One). He has im-pressive credits in wine marketing, as well as production. From 1978 to 1981, for instance, he worked as winemaker, West Coast Re-gional Sales Manager and vineyard manager for Estrella River win¬ery's 1000 acres in Paso Robles. Wines he has crafted have received about 70 awards in major competi- tions since 1981. Speaking awards, the winery from whom Lorenzi and Shipman bought these Mourvedre grapes (Cline Vine¬yards) and Francal both got Silver Medals at the same competition last year, but Cline's lists at $18.00.

Mourvedre is one of what are endearingly referred to as "Rhone Ranger" grapes. A handful (al¬though the number is growing) of California winemakers are devot-ing their efforts to producing su¬perb wines from grape varieties which have their origins in France's Rhone Valley. This par¬ticular variety adds depth to Rhone-type blends and gives a. dark-colored, complexly flavored, sturdy red that has good aging po¬tential when offered solo.

This example has a dark purple/red color and a spicy/fruity berry¬like aroma. Mouth-filling and smooth, it offers layers of mellow textures and fruity/spicy flavors. A dry red with less tannin than most Cabernets, it leaves a lingering, fruity aftertaste. Serve at room temperature with steaks and chops or with hearty country fare like stewed lamb, goat, or oxtail.

Cellaring Notes: Drinks fine now and can age through 1995.

Reviewed by Larry Tepper

#392A Regular Price: $10.00/ea. Special Member Price: $7.00/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.69/ea. 43.1% disc. $68.28/cs.

RIESLING, 1989. ROEMISCHE WEINSTRASSE Row-meh-shuh Vine-shtrassa

Roemische Weinstrasse is the region which surrounds the oldest city in Germany, Trier. In the year 70 A.D., in the battle of Rigodo¬lum, the Roman legion successful¬ly conquered the Germanic tribe, Treverer. The name "Roemische Weinstrasse" means "Roman wine route" and even today vivid evi¬dence of the era is visible through¬out this Mosel River district sub¬division. Religious artifacts, as well as tombs, statues and mosaics still survive amongst the aquaducts and ruins of ancient Roman settle¬ments. One can even find wine presses here that are about two thousand years old!

A few years ago, the governor and parliament of the area decided to designate one product to repre¬sent their proud heritage. This wine is it. The governor actually selects the wine from the best ones available in the region. Then Leo¬nard Kreusch, Inc., an American import company that specializes in German wines and has a facility there, bottles it. As it so happens, the birthplace of the owner, Paul P. Kreusch, is in the heart of the Roemische Weinstrasse, the city of Schweich, so his company was the natural choice. What they ship, to typify the quality and tradition of the area, is called a Kabinett-Riesling. The word Riesling here refers to the same Johannisberg Riesling grape we are familiar with in California wines. It is the high¬est quality wine grape of Germany and takes its name from the fa¬mous Rhine River Valley castle/ winery, Schloss Johannisberg. The word Kabinett refers to the ripeness/sweetness level of the grapes at harvest time. To qualify for this designation, a German wine must be produced from grapes ripe enough to yield a nice, fruity/dry taste without any addi¬tion of sugar (a common winemak¬ing practice in these colder climate regions).

This charming Moselle has a very pale, clear greenish/gold col¬or. The nose is very fruity with a sort of Oriental fruit/plum/spice character to it. The wine feels quite smooth, round, and fairly rich in texture in the mouth, soft and very mellow. The slight sweetness is offset completely by balanced le¬mony acidity. The fruity plum-like taste lingers on and on in the fin¬ish. Serve chilled with Thai naked shrimp or stir-fried Cantonese fish and shrimp courses. Chicken sau¬teed in white wine with onion, bell pepper, broccoli and mushrooms or a roast loin of pork.

Cellaring Notes: Approaching its peak. Enjoy now through 1994.

Reviewed by Larry Tepper

#392B Regular Price: $8.00/ea. Member Reorder Price: $6.39/ea. 20.12% disc. $76.68/cs.


Is wine really good for you? A few months ago, 60 Minutes ran an exciting T.V. segment on medi¬cal researchers in this area. 60M's narrator, Morley Safer, pointed out that although people in France con¬sume 30 percent more fat than we do, and exercise less, and even smoke more, a middle-aged Amer¬ican man has a three times greater chance of dying of a heart attack than a Frenchman of the same age!

The following quotes, taken from the show, were made by re¬searchers Dr. Kurt Ellison, a cardi¬ologist and professor at the School of Public Health at Boston Univer¬sity and Dr. Serge Renaud, the head of Lyon Centre.

60M: Dr. Ellison's reason for coming to Lyon is to study the findings at INSERM, the French equivalent of the National Insti¬tutes of Health...There has been for years the belief by doctors in many countries that alcohol, in particular red wine, reduces the risk of heart disease. Now it's been all but confirmed.

The wine apparently affects the platelets, the smallest of the blood cells. It is platelets that cause blood to clot. They prevent bleed¬ing. But they also cling to rough, fatty deposits on the artery walls, clogging and finally blocking the artery and causing a heart attack. The wine has a flushing affect. It removes platelets from the artery wall...

Dr. Renaud: It's well-documented that really... a moderate intake of alcohol, prevents coronary heart disease by as much as 50 per¬cent... I mean there is no other drug that is being so efficient as moderate intake of alcohol...

60M: When you say a moderate in¬take of alcohol with meals, what do you mean?

Dr. Renaud: I mean a few glasses of wine per day. If you're just sticking to that, you will never get drunk, you will never get any...apparently any adverse effect of this intake of alcohol...

60M: The intake of wine per capita in France is higher than anywhere else in the world. The United States' intake is among the lowest. Wine in France is part of every lunch and dinner, and there is a dizzying variety to choose from...

Dr. Ellison:...if you...had half A bottle every day with your meal, over several hours, it may well be that you are protecting the heart by decreasing the stickiness of your platelets.

60M: The evidence of the benefits of alcohol in moderation keeps growing. As part of a continuing study, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health looked at 44,000 Americans between 40 and 75 years old and found that those who drank light to moderate amounts of alcohol had a 25 to 40 percent less chance of developing heart disease. Moderate is definec, as two drinks a day.

A votre sante!



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.

Mar. 1988 R. Cabernet Sauvignon, '85. Black Opal. Complexed. Use. W. Chardonnay, '84. Stone Creek. Complete oxidation.

Mar. 1989 R. Cabernet Sauvignon, '83. Cache. Complexing. Watch. Keep or use. W. Sauvignon Blanc, '83. Premiat. Lost its fruit. Oxidizing. Use.

Mar. 1990 R. Cabernet Sauvignon, '84. Jad Mtn. Complexing very nicely. Keep. W. Piesporter Mchls., '88. Schmt. Shn. Holding. Use.

Mar. 1991 R. Rioja, '86. Montecillo. Still big. Hold. W. Sauvignon Blanc, '89. Cask One. Fruit holding. Use.


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Adventures in Eating

By Leslie Smith

Every cook has a specialty; something they can make better than anyone else. My best friend is famous for her scones, my mother for her Caesar Salad dress¬ing (which is currently being pack¬aged to sell in markets under the name "Louise's Garden"). Even my husband, who still doesn't know where the potholders are in the kitchen, makes an outrageous grilled cheese sandwich (which was a frequent request of mine when I was pregnant)!

Often, the cook's specialty (like an Armenian's "rice pilaf" or an Irishman's "corned beef and cab¬bage") has something to do with his or her nationality. My special culinary dish baffles many of my friends. They often say, "How did you learn to make these?" My cu¬linary specialty, you see, is Chi¬nese! And I am Armenian, so I'm also living proof that you don't have to be from Canton to make:

"The Best Wontons in the World"

(100 appetizers for 6-8 people)
1 lb. ground beef (approximately)
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts, chopped
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic chile sauce*
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt to taste
2 12 oz. pkgs. wonton wrappers*
Vegetable oil
Bottled sweet and sour sauce
Bottled hot and sweet mustard

Saute ground beef with onion until brown and cooked. Add gar¬lic, ginger, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic chile sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Cook over me¬dium heat for flavors to blend, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, if necessary. Fill wontons with approximately 1 teaspoon of beef mixture and fold according to package directions. Fill a medium saucepan with vegetable oil, about 2 inches deep. Heat oil to deep-fry stage (350 F. on a cooking ther-mometer). Fry 5 or 6 wontons at a time for a couple minutes, or un¬til lightly brown. Serve with dip¬ping sauces.

* Garlic chile sauce s in most supermar¬kets in the oriental section.

* Wonton wrappers are in the refrigerated section.

For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Discovering superb wines since 1972 P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 (818) 445-8281 FAX (818) 445-8361

Order Form

392A Mourvedre, '88. Francal Reg. Price $10.00 43.1% disc. $68.28/case $5.69/each
392B Riesling, '89. Roemische Wnstrss. Reg. Price $8.00 20.12% disc. $76.68/case $6.39/each
292A Chardonnay, '89. Plume Ridge Reg. Price $8.09 21.01% disc. $76.68/case $6.39/each
292B Cabernet Sauvignon, '89. Villa Mnts. Reg. Price $6.89 27.58% disc. $59.88/case $4.99/each
192A Pinot Noir, '87. Peacock Hill Reg. Price $7.50 30.00% disc. $63.00/case $5.25/each
192B Marsanne, '90. Reserve St. Martin Reg. Price $7.50 21.30% disc. $70.80/case $5.90/each
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer Taylor-Tells variance in temp. zones. $ 19.95/each $ 2.50 shpng.

SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $3.00; 6 bottles $6.25; 12 bottles $8.50 □ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total. □ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express _______________________________________________________ Card # Expiration Date PLEASE FILL OUT COMPLETELY _______________________________________________________________________________ Name (Print) Signature _______________________________________________ Recipients must be 21 or older. Address _______________________________________________ City State Zip If shipping address is different please (_____)__________________________(_____)________ write below. Phone (eve.) (day) MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (818) 445-8281 … FAX (818) 445-8361 (800) 949-WINE (See reverse side to order wine gifts.)

Wine Gift Order Form


● 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*