In addition to loving food, I am a wine drinker. I’m not a sommelier, but I have a learned a little bit about it. I’ve taken a class or two and talked with quite a few people who make wine while visiting various wineries. Most of all, I like to explore different wines by different wineries.
Because of this when I go to the wine store, or out to eat, I look for something I haven’t tried before. I’m not a snob against the large wineries, but just that there are so many others to try, so I usually stay away from the big guys.
I happened upon the California Wine Club a number of weeks ago. Like many such clubs, you can sign up for memberships where they regularly send you bottles. There are several things that make this club different.
First, the club is a small business. They are family owned and actually spend the time seeking out small, family owned businesses. Because of this, you get bottles from smaller wineries who don’t regularly produce the huge amount that is required to be carried in stores nationwide. Many of these wines are handcrafted and the owners are much closer to the vines than to the boardroom. To date, they have selected wines from 70+ wineries.
The California Wine Club has several different series (Premier, International, Signature, Pacific Northwest) that provides different wines and the user can choose different frequencies to receive shipments. I like this because it adds the flexibility for a membership that makes sense for me versus me having to fit my wine preferences and quantities to someone else. The site also offers that ability to give a membership gift.
In a recent month, the California Wine Club sent me the following:
Both bottles are from Cambridge Cellars.
With each shipment there are recipes to pair your wine with and some cool information about the chosen vineyard.
Because this is alcohol, UPS will only deliver if someone over 21 is there to sign for it.
The first bottle was Cambridge Cellar’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. The description from the winemaker is “Savory aromas of peppercorn and dried herbs appear on the nose. Once on the palate, flavors of macerated blackberry bramble and plum roll into a dusty soft finish.”
I paired it with a St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage and this cab held up well. It has become all the rage in the beer world to have double hops, triple hops, so many hops as you can imagine. For wine, it has been the rage to have big, bold cabs that knock your socks off. I was very happy to say this cab does not seem to strive for that. It was very smooth, with a slight taste of the plum and blackberries in the finish.
A glass several days after, all alone this time, was equally as smooth. I happily put this into that kind of wine that is good with meals or all by itself.
The second bottle was their 2013 Chardonnay. The description from the winemaker is “Bright notes of Golden Delicious apple, pineapple and a touch of apricot grace this wine with tangy fruit and vibrant acidity.”
This chardonnay was buttery with lots of fruit flavor without being overly sweet. I paired it with some grilled salmon and it complemented the meal wonderfully.
If you like to try some good and interesting wines, you may want to consider a wine club. My experience with the California Wine Club was nothing less than great. Take a look for yourself or for a gift for the wine drinker in your life. Click here for more information.