Congratulations to this week’s WineToons Cartoon winner, Renee Mealy Johnson! She’ll receive a special promotion for 10% off her order from the wine store and we may select her WineToon as the monthly winner for printing on a T-Shirt!
Archive for June, 2010
If you enjoy everything about the world of wine, you might consider joining us on the popular social networks, Facebook and Twitter! All summer long, we’ll be posting articles, news, updates, sales, specials, and contests through these social media outlets…. We’re even going to host virtual tastings on Facebook. You can also let us know what you think about the wines you’re receiving, or let us know about an awesome wine & food pairing you’ve found — we’d love to hear from you!
It’ll be a great place to discuss all things wine!
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wineclubs
We’ll see you there!
This month’s Gold Series selection comes to you from Three Saints Vineyard, located in Santa Ynez (Santa Barbara county). This firm, fresh and striking Cabernet is best paired with a hearty meat, such as Filet Mignon. Here’s an excellent recipe to pair with the Three Saints. Bon Appétit!
Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauce
1 Tbs. Butter
1/2 cup minced White Onion
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh Thyme
3/4 cup low-sodium Beef Broth
1 cup Three Saints 2006 Cabernet
1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
4 Filet Mignon steaks (1 1/2 inch thick)
3/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in Three Saints Cabernet. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. (This step may be made ahead of time and reheated.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ). Heat oil in a cast iron or other oven safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the whole pan into the overn.
Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 min for medium rare (internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). (You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish to just below your desired degre of doneness if medium is not your preference). Remove from the oven, and place on a baking sheet. Stir together the Panko crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture.
Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place the steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly (3-4 min). Remove from the oven, and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with warmed Red wine sauce.
Like this recipe? View our Recipe page for more perfect pairings!
While inventory lasts, you may purchase select wines from the Gold Series at up to 50% off the winery direct prices. And, if you decide to really go for it and order three cases or more, we’ll waive the shipping costs off of the entire order!!! You don’t even need to be a member to take advantage of this great sale.
Visit our Summer Sale Page to view the wines that are currently on sale. And you might want to hurry, inventory is moving quickly! Once its gone, well, its gone! Happy Summer!!
Congratulations to this week’s WineToon winner, Christopher Olivo! Because of his witty caption, he will receive a special promo code for 10% off on a one time purchase from our wine store. Plus, at the end of this month, his WineToon may be the lucky one chosen for T-shirt printing (which we’ll send to him in the mail, of course!)
Want to join the WineToon fun? Join us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/wineclubs, and your WineToon caption might be next week’s winner!
Its time to put your wine knowledge to the test, or maybe just learn a few things! Take a look at our wine trivia questions below and help increase your wine knowledge!
1. What is riddling? *Hint – think Champagne!
2. Which grape variety is used in Beaujolais wines? *Hint – think France.
3. What is the most commonly planted grape in the world? *Hint – it is probably NOT the first wine you thought of!
1. Riddling is one step of the Champagne-making process in which the bottles are placed in racks, holding them at a 45-degree angle with the cork pointed down. Every few days, the bottles are turned gradually, pushing the sediment toward the neck of the bottle. The angle increases for 6-8 weeks until the bottle is pointed straight down. At this point, the sediment can be removed and the bottle re-corked, finishing the wine making process.
2. Beaujolais wines are made from 100 percent Gamay grapes. The wine’s style is typically light and fruity, and meant to be consumed young. Beaujolias can even be served chilled. Typically a very affordable wine, Beaujolais wines are among the best-selling wines from Burgundy in the United States.
3. Surprisingly, the most popular grape planted isn’t the Cabernet Sauvignon or even Chardonnay. Airen (eye-rhen), a white grape originating in Spain, covers almost a million acres worldwide and is currently the most planted grape in the world.
What do we love? We love wine, of course! But we also love viticulture. We love the stories that develop over a bottle of wine. We love visiting wineries. We love food and wine. We love the living, breathing qualities of wine. We love that feeling we get after a frazzling day of work and finally having the chance to plop down on the couch with a glass of wine. But what we really love, what truly makes our hearts sing, is sharing these experiences with others! Its why we do what we do – because sharing wine with others can be one of the most rewarding experiences out there, especially when what we’re sharing is a truly fabulous bottle. We’re in the business of bringing high quality wines to your door; this much is obvious from our website. But what’s not so obvious is the amount we’re willing to bend our memberships to make them something that suits your needs. Which brings us to our last love, giving you what you really want.
I’ll use the Gold Series to set an example of the kind of tweaking we can do to your membership. The Gold Series is the most popular of our five wine club memberships. It is the least expensive of the selections, but the wines are high quality and very versatile. The website explains that the standard membership consists of two highly sought after small production, California wines, sent out on a monthly basis. Generally, it is one red and one white, but sometimes two different reds. The website also offers a Red only or White only option. But, what’s not advertised are alterations to this: if it is your preference, we can make sure that we always send you one red and one white, even in the months when “two reds” is the standard mix. Or, maybe you like red wine, but only Cabernet and Merlot, and in terms of white, you want to avoid Chardonnay and Viognier? (This is all hypothetical, of course. I can’t imagine why anyone would limit himself or herself in this way, but I do understand people have their preferences, and sometimes you just know what you like!) Well, to sum it up, we can accommodate these requests as well. Perhaps location is your thing. We can send you a shipment only when we feature wines from a particular area like Napa Valley. We’ll work with you to find out your particular preferences. In months that we feature something you’d rather not receive, we can send you something from a previous month’s selection, or we can skip that month entirely, or maybe there’s something else you want to do. Fine by us!
And what if two bottles each month just isn’t enough for you? (Now, we’re speaking my language…) The website offers a four bottle membership, which is essentially two of each of the featured wines from the month. But, believe me, by no means does it have to stop there. If you’d like to have four bottles each month but want three reds and one white, we can do that. Or three whites and one red? Yes! Like to try six wines each shipment? Yep, we can do that too. There is virtually no limit to the number of bottles we send you in a month.
And here’s another thing. Moving from the topic of wine selection to frequency of shipments, the website offers monthly, every-other, or quarterly shipments. But we actually can send shipments any time and as often as you like. If you want to have shipments only in months ending in “y”, we can do that. Or, only with the months with a major holiday, we can do that, too. As often as you would like a shipment, we’ll send one your way.
Want to save a few bucks on shipping costs? How about joining a club membership on a quarterly basis, but receiving all the wines from that quarter at once? Keeping to the example of the Gold Series, you could receive the wines we featured in January, February and March all together in March (totaling 6 different wines in March), then continue on a quarterly basis from there. It will save you money on shipping, but the only downside is that you’ll have to wait two months in between shipments…
Like the look of two of our Series, but can’t decide which one to choose and joining both is going to be too much wine? How about alternating? You could join the Gold Series every other month of the year, and in the alternate months, receive one of our premium clubs, like the Platinum or Diamond Series. You could even receive the Platinum Series on a monthly basis, but in your and your partner’s birthday months, treat yourselves to our highest rated wines club membership, the Diamond Series. Don’t let us stop you…Go wild! Get creative!
What I’m trying to make obvious for you is that this is YOUR membership. Don’t let the website fool you – we are YES people and we want you to have a great experience with the wine club. If that means you want only 92+ rated wines from Monterey and Napa Valley and you want them only in the months of the year when you visit your Aunt Sadie at her home in Boulder, Colorado, well, that’s just peachy with us. We’ll send ‘em your way. Just tell Aunt Sadie to share!
Call our Customer Service phone number to customize your membership or to talk about your options for a gift: (800) 266 – 8888.
This month’s Art of Fine Wine comes to us from artist Lowell Herrero, an artist who has witnessed a full scope of life’s twists and turns spanning from the Great Depression through the present. Many of his paintings capture the true essence of agricultural landscape, though he also uses his love of travel for further inspiration. His passion of living is clearly seen in his art.
In this painting, Summer Picnic, we see Herrero’s pas sion for landscape and its enjoyment come to life as two figures relax in full comfort with one another within the tranquil setting of their vineyard.
Herrero currently lives with his wife Janet in their home in Calistoga, a home which further points to his love of the exotic; it was built to represent an Italian villa.
Like what you see here? Visit his website for more information about this artist, and how you may order his prints.
The weather is turning, yet again, and with Memorial Day’s unofficial summer kickoff last weekend, we’re eagerly looking forward to the joys of summertime bliss–barbecues, long days with good friends, and wine festivals galore! If you live in California or are planning a trip out west this summer, you might want to check out what wine festivals will be in or around your area. Here is a list of the various wine festivals, both big and small, throughout California. Happy Tasting!
Southern California – The Balboa Bay Club & Resort 7th Annual Food & Wine Festival, Newport Beach, June 3-6, prices vary based on event. LA Wine Fest, Hollywood, June 5-6, $65.o0 or $100 per couple. Coto de Caza World Class Wine Festival, Orange County, June 12, 2010. Members $125, Non-Members $150.00. San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, San Diego, November 17-21
Santa Barbara County – 17th Annual Casa Pacifica Angels Wine & Food Festival, June 6, $90.00 presale, 100.00 at the door. Ojai Wine Festival, Ojai, June 13, $30.00 pre-sale, $40.00 at the door. Santa Barbara Wine Festival, June 26, $60.00-$80.00 based on membership. California Wine Festival, Santa Barbara, July 15, 16 and 17. Ticket prices vary based on purchase and event.
Central Coast — Wine, Waves, & Beyond, Paso Robles, Thursday, June 3- Sunday, June 6. Paso Pinot & Paella Festival, June 6. $65.00. Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival, Atascadero, June 26, $40.00. Winemaker’s Cookoff, Paso Robles, August 7, $75.00
Monterey County — Monterey Wine Festival June 10-12, Price varies based on event. Scott’s Valley Art & Wine Festival
Northern California — 2010 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, September 3 – 5, Ticket sales vary depending on event. Bodega Bay Seafood, Art & Wine Festival, Bodega Bay, August 28-29. $12.00 pre-sale, $15.00 at the door. Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival, Silicon Valley, June 5 & 6. Pinot Days, San Francisco, June 27, 31st Annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival, Los Altos, July 10-11. 4th Annual San Rafael Food & Wine Festival, San Rafael, August 14, $25.00 (Food & Wine) ($15.00 for food only tasting). Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival, August 14, $60.00. Russian River Valley WineGrowers Grape to Glass Weekend , Russian River, August 20-22, ticket prices vary based on event.