We have so many options for wine clubs these days! Our favorite wineries, wine stores, even newspapers offer clubs. So why Wine Of the Month Club it? Lemme tell ya what I learned during a recent visit, tour and podcast taping with owner Paul Kalemkiarian. (Direct YouTube link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzdbgQI9Gk8)
First of all Paul is Paul the second, his father started the company. And this Paul is doing it all: tasting, rating, negotiating and selecting every wine for their three different monthly clubs. Where that would be it for me, Paul sends a monthly magazine – two-dozen pages – about all of the wines he selected, gifts, recipes and tasting notes. This is the part that got my attention on the cover of the December 2013 issue: Wines evaluated last month: 287; Rejected: 243; Approved: 44; Selected:12. Sounds like Paul has a highly developed palate!
Before we did our video Paul wanted to know more (we had admitted to trolling each other’s websites!) about me. Of course, this was because we would soon appear on film together, but the way he spoke with me showed a real interest. Where I might have expected to meet a salesman, I met a warm, open, compassionate, hard-working business owner. It was an eye-opener for those of us that should never judge a wine by its label. Paul is the real deal, and only provides the real deal.
So let’s see what he sent me home with to taste:
2012 Grange Des Dames
Grapes: Clairette and Grenache
Appellation: Ventoux, Rhone
Pale gold in color with aromas of freshly cut sweet pineapple, juicy pear, red Delicious apple, hay and a cool breeze passing over a lush flowerbed; in the mouth I was rewarded with a decent amount of acid – sometimes this characteristic is too bold for me – as well as pineapple juice, a hint of lemon and green honeydew melon. Very pleasant.
2010 Domaine de Poulvarel
Grapes: Syrah and Grenache
Appellation: Costieres de Nimes, France
A full glass elicited a more purple color; aromas of rich dark blueberry, toasted oak, wet stones, pomegranate seeds, and flavors that included blue to black berries, plums, dry, with a very balanced fruit and tannic structure, medium length.
2011 Hermoso Hermosa
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Valle del Moule, Chile
Greeted by a dark garnet color, followed by pungent aromas of stewing dark fruit, plums, menthol and a lit cigar. On the mouth it was slightly astringent, bright red fruit, smoke, dry and light tannins. Good for the club price.
2010 Prahova Valley
Grapes: Feteasca Neagra
Romania? This was one of the wines that I tasted during the taping with Paul. Never had the Romanian grape, roughly translated as “Black Maiden”, before. And it was good. Now that I had time to linger over it I found the color to be garnet with a ribbon of browner red on the edge, aromas of fresh raspberry, strawberry, mushroom, simmering spaghetti sauce and a hint of red licorice. Once tasted I got the same bright fruit, including cherry, spice, good tannins and a nice round mouthfeel. Another good club bargain.
From the Website
Wine of the Month Club™ is the oldest mail order wine club in America. Specializing in value-oriented wines, the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone who has an appreciation of fine wine and is interested in a monthly wine club service. Quality wine delivered to your door, guaranteed!
Our search for our wine club selections never ends. Each month I taste over 400 Italian wines, German wines, California wines, Argentinean wine, Chilean wines, and wines from all the other regions of the world—and I only select 2 to represent the best wine values in the world.
Join the Wine of the Month Club™, America’s favorite wine club. See where it all began…
Wine Discovery of the Week: Something from Romania? At a Wine of the Month Club tasting I got to try ’10 Prahova Valley made from Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden) grapes. Aromas alone included fresh raspberry, strawberry, mushroom, simmering spaghetti sauce and a hint of red licorice.