August 3rd, 2012
A new quarter brings a new featured country in our International Series! We’ve “travelled” to Chile to bring you three stellar wines from Matetic Vineyards, located in the San Antonio Valley. The valley is located about seventy miles west of the capital of Santiago. This favorable location provides incredible Meditteranean-type climactic influence that results in temperature variations of more than 50 degrees and is ideal for the maturation of grapes. Historically, San Antonio Valley’s cool climate vineyards have produced flavorful, spicy red varietals that increasingly turn heads in international competitions.
The Vina Matetic Winery was founded in 1999 and came into existence when the Matetic Family decided to diversify its businesses and invest in a winery operation. When they did this, they decided to make their new winery a biodynamic entity. Biodynamic farming insures that the principles and practices of biodynamics are based on a spiritual/practical philosophy, called athroposophy, which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature. This type of viticultre views the farm as a cohesive, interconnected living system.
“We chose this path because we love nature and the outdoors,” Matetic recently stated. “This sytem involves harnessing the forces of nature to act with positive enerty. For example, if a bug is bad for crops, find another bug to eat it. When you treat the plants that are naturally good this is evidenced in the vineyard, because when our neighbors are affected by frost we are not.”
The wines we featured this quarter speak for themselves, but have also garnered great accolades!
Matetic “EQ” 2007 Pinot Noir – 90 Points, Robert Parker. 89 Points, Wine Spectator
Matetic “EQ” 2008 Syrah – Chilean Syrah Trophy, International Wine Challenge 2010
Matetic “EQ” 2008 Sauvignon Blanc – 89 Points, Wine Spectator.
May 4th, 2012
For those of you that like to procrastinate on gifts, we hate to break it to you, but time is UP. Mother’s Day is next weekend – May 13th – as in, 9 DAYS AWAY, and it’s time to get that gift ordered so Mom receives it right on time.
Lucky for you, we have a number of customized gifts this year – made with Mom in mind, and only available for a limited time. If your mom likes spa products, handmade chocolate truffles, and award-winning California wines, then you’ve come to the right place to give Mom that special, one-of-a-kind gift that guarantees a smile on her face. Take a look at our Mother’s Day gift packages, and ORDER NOW to ensure that gift arrives on time!
March 12th, 2012
A special 93 Point Primitivo (Zinfandel)
“The Highest Rating ever by Connoisseurs’ Guide, is available in very limited quantities.”
On rare occasions, while searching for exceptional wines to feature in our upper-level wine clubs, we discover a no-brainer, must-have-wine that deserves extra special attention.
January 25th, 2012
Many times after you’ve finished dinner, you realize that there’s still a little wine left in the bottle. Rather than pour it out or carelessly leave it on the kitchen counter, follow these suggestions to best preserve that special wine to enjoy the following night.
While there are a number of products and methods used to preserve wine (from filling the partially filled bottle of wine with inert gas, to using a hand vacuum pump), here’s a simple and effective way to save your leftover wine: pour the wine into a smaller container, which will help protect it from oxygen. A spare 375 mL bottle works great, especially if it has a twist off top. Keep it in the refrigerator to further prolong its life. Wines with higher acidity or more aggressive tannins tend to keep longer on average, but most wines will start to turn after day two or three.
December 27th, 2011
Van Ruiten Family Vineyards has been setting the standard for exceptionally grown wine grapes for over fifty years! Located midway between the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Bay Delta, this celebrated family winery is nestled in Lodi off of Highway 12. Since the winery’s inception, the Van Ruitens have been producing award-winning wines and have become especially well-known for their Old Vine Zinfandel. While this varietal can be delicious on its own, Zinfandel is also a wonderful wine to pair with food. Here’s a sneak peek at one of the recipes presented from Van Ruiten Family Vineyards….a great idea for these cooler winter months, and the perfect choice for pairing with a bottle of Zinfandel! Enjoy!
Coby Van Ruiten’s Zinfandel Beef Stew
3-4 lbs. boneless beef stew meat cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch cubes
24 pearl onions (braised)
2/3 cup sliced carrots
12 halved small red potatoes
3 cups quartered sautéed mushrooms and juices
5 to 6 cups Zinfandel (or 1 bottle of wine plus beef stock or broth)
2 or 3 large unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs. flour and 2 Tbs. softened butter, blended to a paste, for the beurre-manie sauce
Browning the meat: Dry the meat thoroughly. Add a ¼ inch of oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven and set over high heat. When hot, brown as many pieces of the meat as will fit in one layer without crowding. Turn frequently to brown on all sides (about 3-5 minutes); remove and set aside until all meat is browned.
Pour a cup of the wine/broth into the Dutch oven, swishing and scraping up any coagulated juices. Add the meat, garlic, and four more cups of the wine/broth into the casserole; fold in the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. You should have enough liquid to almost cover the beef; add more if needed.
Stew the beef for 2 hours at 325 degrees. After 2 hours, add the vegetables and continue to cook until tender. Cook at a slow simmer, either on top of the stove or in the oven, stirring occasionally. To finish and thicken the stew, stir in butter-flour (buerre-manie sauce) paste to desired consistency.
Serve and enjoy with a bottle of Van Ruiten Zinfandel!
December 8th, 2011
It’s that time of year again. The twinkly lights are out, the décor is up, the festive music is on, and the malls are packed – everyone is out and about and searching for that perfect gift for everyone on their gift list. It’s the Holiday Season, and time to do something special for the loved ones in your life. If you’re tired of resorting to the cliché gift ideas (or if you have no idea where to begin), then why not step outside the box and surprise your friends and family with something different?
This year, Gold Medal Wine Club helps solve the dilemma with an assortment of new gift packages and wine clubs designed especially for everyone from the wine novice to aficionado. Wine makes a great gift because it’s not something that will be put away and forgotten about – it will immediately be opened, shared, and enjoyed with friends and family. What’s more is with a wine club gift, your recipients will have something to look forward to not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
Wine Clubs also make a great gift for your boss in the office – or if you are the boss, think about giving wine to your best accounts, employees, and business partners. The Holiday Season is a time to look back on the success you’ve had over the past year, and thank those important people who helped you get there. What better way to show your appreciation and commemorate the year than with a special bottle of award-winning wine?
With a multitude of wine clubs out there, it can be hard to decide which one is the best fit – maybe your Dad is into those really prestigious wines with small production and top-of-the-line ratings, whereas your Son or Daughter might benefit from a wine club more catered to featuring “everyday wines” that still introduce their palates to nicer wines, but without the intimidation factor. With five different wine clubs to choose from, ranging in price point, wine varieties, and quality level, Gold Medal Wine Club is a one-stop-shop for everyone on your holiday gift list.
The most popular gift choice from Gold Medal Wine Club is the Gold Series wine club, featuring hard-to-find, medal-winning wines from small, family-owned California wineries. Each month, your recipient will receive two outstanding bottles, beautifully presented in gift-wrapped tissue and bows and a full color newsletter publication called “The Wine Press.” This exclusive publication presents information about the wines, the fascinating backgrounds of the winery owners, a behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyards, and special food pairing recipes direct from the winemakers themselves. Starting at just $35 per month, the Gold Series is a great value and truly an impressive gift.
Gold Medal Wine Club also offers upper-level and international wine clubs to help you find the right fit for everyone on your gift list. The Platinum Series features 90+ rated, ultra premium wines from California; the International Series highlights a different country with each shipment and offers a special add-on option of gourmet imported food items; the Pinot Noir Series is the perfect choice for the Pinot lovers in your life; and the Diamond Series selects only those most prestigious bottlings with legendary 93+ rated marks and serious “wow” factor. Sure to be enjoyed by any wine enthusiast on your list, the wine club offerings from Gold Medal Wine Club are just plain hard to beat.
For a limited time, find FREE Bonus Gifts (stainless steel corkscrews, neoprene totes, and Vinturi Aerators – just to name a few) included with various wine club gift options (www.GoldMedalWineClub.com/gift_guide). It’s an easy way to make that holiday gift extra special.
In business since 1992, Gold Medal Wine Club has the reputation as one of the leading independent wine clubs in the world – and for good reason. With unbeatable standards for quality and customer satisfaction, and consistency in offering simply incredible wines to their members at unbelievable discounts, this wine club gift is the choice for this year’s Holiday Season.
Place your orders by logging on to www.GoldMedalWineClub.com or calling 1-800-266-8888 to be sure your gifts will arrive in time for the Holiday.
October 26th, 2011
Our annual Earlybird Special is in full swing, and this year we have SO many new specials and gift ideas for everyone on your holiday gift list. Whether you’re shopping for wine clubs, gift baskets, case packs or gift sets, we have you covered – and at seriously discounted prices. For a limited time, you can save up 46% off winery direct prices - that’s a value you won’t find anywhere else!
Savings at Gold Medal Wine Club have NEVER been this big, so take advantage of these incredible offers while you still can! Give 3 months of the Gold Series wine club for under $100 or peruse the Combo Case Packs for award-winning red wines and 93+ rated legendary bottles. Find a luxuriously wrapped Gift Basket filled with wine and gourmet treats from Napa Valley, or add on a FREE Gift Set to 12-month gifts of the Platinum Series wine club. These are just a few of this year’s amazing Earlybird Specials – check out the website for everything we have in store for you.
Shop early and save! Happy Holidays.
October 7th, 2011
Located on California’s Central Coast in the quaint town of San Luis Obispo lies the popular agricultural-based state university, Cal Poly. Although viticulture has been a mainstay at the university for the past thirty years, it is only recently that the program took its potential to the next level and began producing their own wine. Today, Wine & Viticulture students embrace Cal Poly’s “Learn By Doing” mantra and grow, make, and sell wines directly from the Cal Poly campus.
All winemaking is overseen by industry veteran Christian Rougenant (of nearby Bailyana Winery), who guides the students in crafting premium, award-winning wines. We were fortunate to secure a few cases of Cal Poly’s latest achievements in our Gold Series - definitely worth checking out if you haven’t done so already!
Cal Poly 2008 Pinot Noir
Cal Poly 2007 Pinot Noir
Cal Poly 2008 Chardonnay
For a limited time, enjoy FREE SHIPPING on any mixed or full case orders of Cal Poly wines! Cheers!
September 23rd, 2011
It’s that time of year again…our celebrated annual Champagne Special! This year we had the exclusive opportunity to import a world-class sparkler straight from one of France’s most established Champagne Houses – the Champange Charpentier Terre d’ Emotion Brut. This wine is perfect for holiday celebrations or toasting to any upcoming special occasion! With a unique fruity complexity of pear, peaches and mandarin, and a caressingly silk body bursting with freshness, you are sure to fall in love with this year’s special selection.
For a limited time (now until October 15th), order this exclusive import at especially low prices – up to 40% OFF regular retail! Order online here, or call us at 1-800-266-8888. With a limited number of cases available, we recommend ordering early! Cheers!
September 14th, 2011
Zinfandels are often referred to as a piece of California history – offering luscious, fruity wines that are authentic to California, and distinctive to the number of regions it thrives in. But, when we look at a regular bottle of Zinfandel and compare it to one termed “Old Vine,” what’s the difference and what flavors can we expect?
Zinfandel vines are unique in that they tend to be very sturdy and have the ability to age for decades – some California vineyards are actually over 100 years old! These older vines grow a deeper root structure that in time changes the size of the grapes and affects the flavor and sugar content. When you sample a regular bottle of Zinfandel, you should notice a brambly, earthy flavor with prominant blackberry or blueberry notes. Tasting this side by side with an “old vine” Zinfandel, you should taste deeper fruit flavors that help balance out the naturally earthy tones. These Old Vine Zins are known for being rich, intense, and the most multi-dimensional example of a Zinfandel wine.
The tricky thing with distinguishing an Old Vine Zinfanel from a regular Zinfandel is that there is no legal definition or industry standard that defines how many years old the grapes need to be to be termed “Old Vine.” While some winemakers like to use 35 years as the minimum, others look to 50 years as the standard.
What we do know is Zinfandel is truly California history in a bottle, and Old Vine Zins are often the most complex and age-worthy examples. Try taste testing a few side by side, and see if you can tell the difference!
Here are some recommendations. Enjoy!
Scott Harvey 2006 “Old Vine Reserve” Zinfandel
Thatcher 2006 Zinfandel