Another Seasonal Thought

Conventional thinking tends to relegate Champagne and other fine sparkling wines to special occasions, late night parties, and New Year’s Eve.  To that I say “humbug.”  Champagne is a wine for all seasons, and since every day ought to be a celebration, why not pour yourself a glass of Champagne on a cold, rainy day as well as a warm, sunny day?  Why limit the pleasure of good bubbly to a few occasions or just one time of the year?  Furthermore, good sparkling wine, and Champagne in particular, cheers the heart as well as the palate.

Personally, I like Champagne at all times of the year, and I especially enjoy it as an aperitif and a prelude to a fun evening.  It cleanses the palate and enlivens the soul.  I believe it was Winston Churchill who once remarked, “In the time left to us between the disaster and the catastrophe, there is time for a glass of Champagne.” To that, I add Amen!


A Votre Santé!


And The Winners are …

So today is the big day ladies and gentlemen – we’ve had a sweepstakes giveaway going on for the past month and today we unveil the grand prize winner!  So without further ado, the grand prize winner of our Aromaster Wine Tasting Kit is … (intense drum-roll) … Barbara Newell! Barbara’s new kit includes 80 of the most common wine scents designed by wine professionals, an educational board game, and wine aroma wheels to help identify wine scents!  Enjoy your new kit Barbara and Congratulations!

In addition to our grand prize, we’ve also randomly selected 50 of our other entries to receive a handy Wine-Aerating Pour Spout!

Here are the lucky winners:

Greg O.

Jessica N.

Tobi R.

Blake L.

Jack W.

Joanne L.

Nicole F.

Garrett B.

Terry H.

Mark D.

Mark A.

F. Pantoja

Kathryn V.

Kelley S.

Carla F.

Valerie S.

Tim H.

David E.

Ed W.

Lee S.

Debra F.

Derrick B.

Karen R.

Bob Y.

Jerry B.

Sue S.

Sue F.

Kurt F.

Michael S.

J. Ross

Cheri P.

Bruce T.

Rebecca H.

Bob W.

Andy H.

Claude K.

James H.

Chris C.

Amanda B.

Debbie L.

Maria W.

Susan M.

Al M.

Grace T.

Ally A.

Debby N.

Dan M.

Laurie A.

Tim K.

Jennifer L.


We just want to thank everyone for supporting our Facebook launch and for participating in our giveaway! Stay connected with our page to find out all kinds of good stuff like what’s going on with our club, and the wine world in general.




Don’s December Collector’s Series Top Picks

December poses more than a few challenges. Yep, it’s hard to choose between two good friends.  I have always been fond of top notch Chablis(authentic French Chablis that is) and Domaine du Chardonnay’s Chablis, which happens to be one of this month’s features, always has a special place in my cellar and on my table.  Nonetheless, Bouchard Père et Fils’ 2008 Beaune du Château Premier Cru has to get my nod for top pick in December.  It is an authentic red Burgundy.  It is hauntingly aromatic, delicate, and refined; yet, it has years of life ahead of it.  Because it is more difficult to produce a special red wine in Burgundy than a white wine, Bouchard wins.  Kudos to the folks at Bouchard!

My other top pick is Kilkanoon’s 2003 Block Road Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not only does it have it all going on, it is ready to drink.  There’s nothing like first rate Cabernet with some bottle age on it.  Enjoy this rich, flavorful Cabernet now and over the next few years.


A Votre Santé!


Don’s December Premier Series Top Picks

Château St. Eulalie’s 2009 Plaisir Minervois is aptly named.  In French, plaisir means to please or pleasure, and this tasty wine from the south of France pleases in a big way. I’ve always enjoyed this property’s wines.  The 2007 St. Eulalie Plaisir was excellent, memorable even, but the 2009 Plaisir (this month’s feature) is even better.  Juicy, polished and delightful with all kinds of foods, it delivers on all fronts to earn a top pick for December’s Premier Series.

Equally impressive is Massone’s 2010 Vignetto Masera Gavi – another old favorite.  Bright and fresh like the living waters of a high mountain stream, Massone’s Gavi earns special feature status this month too.  It always makes me wonder if the water from the mythical “Fountain of youth” could taste any fresher or be any more vibrant than Massone’s Masera Gavi


A Votre Santé!


Tis the Season . . .

Annually, more than 40% of retail wine sales occur in the months of November and December.  When one factors in holiday gift giving, parties, and general merry making, this robust figure begins to make sense … or does it?  I sometimes wonder what people, and especially ardent wine drinkers, consume the rest of the year.  Unfortunately, the answer is all too clear.

Most wine drinkers are on a budget and are understandably afraid to take a chance on an unfamiliar label.  Consequently, they resort to purchasing inexpensive commercial brands of wine on sale.  On rare special occasions they’ll splurge and buy an expensive bottle of wine with some degree of name recognition.  Sadly, that expensive bottle of wine will likely be too young for present consumption, yet it will be consumed within a week of purchase.  In essence, most people drink a label and a price tag and end up paying too much or too little for wine that fails to impress.  Moreover, they deprive themselves of the many fine, affordable wines on the market that lay next to a label that everyone knows and can pronounce.  In truth, fine wine can occasionally be had for as little as $10.00/bottle, and there is no shortage of outstanding offerings that sell for $15.00-$50.00 per bottle. These undiscovered treasures come from all over the world, and yes, indeed, their names will likely not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue.  That’s a good sign.  So this New Year, my sincere wish is that every wine drinker branch out to discover that hidden treasure.


A Votre Santé!