ARCHIVE FOR August, 2013

What’s a Wine Worth?

You hear about these cult wines that sell for hundreds of dollars a bottle.  Then, there’s the $10 Chardonnay that everyone loves.

What do you pay for in a bottle of wine? Why are some more expensive than others?

Here are a few reasons why a wine might cost more than others, and each one means more expense for the winery –

–estate vineyards 

–handcrafting in the cellar (native yeast, punchdown by hand, extended maceration, stirring the lees)

–new oak barrels and/or many different kinds

–many months stored in fine oak barrels

–heavier bottles, costly labels

The result of all this care is – the winemaker hopes!—a wine that has  a distinct character with layers or aroma and flavor, a pleasing texture and is usually age-worthy.

 

Often, these wines come from small artisan wineries like those in our Signature Series.

 

 

 

Try, Taste, Discover!

The other day we tried a Chardonnay that we felt had a hint of sweetness to it.  We’re usually not a fan of a sweet-ish wine…

 Then we tried it with some spicy Chinese food.  Wow!

The wine was incredible …

 Just goes to show…the more we try and taste and experiment with wine and food, the more pleasures we discover. 

 

Salud!

BEST Wine Country Drive?

Hello wine lovers…we were thinking the other day about the BEST wine country drive..the most scenic and satisfying stretch of road in any California wine region…

What’s your fav?   

We’ve seen so many beautiful routes over the past 23 years with The California Wine Club…One of the prettiest we think is FOXEN CANYON WINE TRAIL on the way to Fess Parker Winery and Zaca Mesa Winery in Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley…over a dozen wineries out there … the rolling hills and fencelines, with an occasional vineyard, the mountains in the background, and that winding route back down to Los Olivos, with hawks circling…just gorgeous.

So, which wine country drive is your must-see?

WE’RE # 1!

That’s right, Americans! WE are consuming more wine than anyone else, according to a report by Impact DataBank …324 million cases in 2012, up 7.5% from five years ago.

Congratulations. Uncork and toast!

FUNNY WINE TERMS

 

We ran across this one on Wikipedia. What a hoot!

Call over the chickens!

 

Barnyard : Certain off flavors of wine, often caused by the bacteria brettanomyces; generally more negative than farmyard

 

What is the absolute funniest or weirdest wine term you’ve ever met? (We’re making a list.)

WINE GONE WILD!

 

At The California Wine Club, we love having fun with wine…and one really simple way to get a little wild with your wine is this:

 

Take a wine you love, and try pairing it with everything from cereal to salads to popcorn to chocolate.  And just see what happens.

 

And let us know how your “wine gone wild” day goes!

Did you discover any great pairings?

 

 

WE STUMPED YOU (maybe!)

Okay, bloggies, here are the answers to our quiz of yesterday…

 1.  Which Pinot Noir county has the most “buzz” right now?

a. Carneros

b.  Monterey

c.  Sonoma Coast

 

Answer: c. Sonoma Coast . It is in the news, with new appellations coming up and more vineyards and lots of praise.

 

2.  What is wine’s secret ingredient?

Answer:  Beer. That’s right.  “It takes a lot of beer to make great wine,” is an ancient adage of the California winemaker.

 

3.   During the California Gold Rush, miners drank wine, not beer.  Give one reason why.

Answer:  here are a two:  Wine can be stored for long periods of time, so it was easier for suppliers to make and sell it; wine grapes thrived in Gold Rush country

 

4.  Who is considered the “father of California winemaking?”

Answer: André Tchelistcheff

 

5.  What is considered to be the classic “bridge wine”

for white wine drinkers going to red wines?

Answer: Pinot Noir

 

6.  What causes that mouthwatering, juicy sense on your palate when you take a sip of some white wines?

(It’s also key to food friendly wines.)

Answer: acidity

 

 

7.  What should you do before drinking a very old wine?

Answer: decant the wine to let it breathe (we have a story to share about that one sometime!)

 

 

 

We Will STUMP You!

 

Okay, you’re too smart out there, or, our wine questions are softballs. So, we’re upping our game…

 

The first one who gets ALL right answers to these 7 questions 25 in Club Bucks that they can use on any purchase from The California Wine Club.

 

 

We will admit there IS a trick question.

 

1.  Which Pinot Noir county has the most “buzz” right now?

a. Carneros

b.  Monterey

c.  Sonoma Coast

 

 

2.  What is wine’s secret ingredient?

 

3.   During the California Gold Rush, miners drank wine, not beer.  Give one reason why.

 

4.  Who is considered the “father of California winemaking?”

 

5.  What is considered to be the classic “bridge wine”

for white wine drinkers going to red wines?

 

6.  What causes that mouthwatering, juicy sense on your palate when you take a sip of some white wines?

 

7.  What should you do before drinking a very old wine?

 

WINE POOL PARTY TIPS

Hey party lovers, it’s hot, wine’s cool, we are right there with you by the pool. It’s party time, let’s go!

A few timely tips
–Plastic wine glasses? Now’s the time. Have you ever tried to clean up broken glass in a pool?

–Keep it chill – Plan on 30 minutes in the fridge to bring your wine to a good tasting temp.

–Whites on ice? Why not? They do it in Napa. One ice cube per glass of Chardonnay.

–How much do you need? If you pour a 5-oz glass, on standard bottle size = 5 servings. A case (12 bottles) will give you 60 glasses of wine.

Party on!

OUR FAVORITE SUMMER WINES

At The California Wine Club, we feature a huge variety of wines, from Pinot Noir to Sangiovese, Merlot to Chenin Blanc.

What are our summer favs?

PINOT GRIGIO – because it’s light and refreshing and yet another great alternative to Queen Chardonnay… (our go to? Pietra Santa)

SAUVIGNON BLANC – because we never met a white wine so in love with food. You’re our girl, SB!  (Hello Pedroncelli and St. Supery)

CHARDONNAY:  Hey, ABC crowd (that’s the “Anything But Chardonnay”-ers) — move over, Chardonnay is still The One. She comes in many guises we know, so you’ve got to find one that suits, which means, do you love the richness of  oak, or do you prefer the crispness of stainless steel on your palate?  We’re still deciding, but definite picks are:

Angeline, Oreana, Selby, Madrona