Review: Gold Medal Wine Club Gold Series

Unboxed
What Comes in the Box (Gift Version)

Have you ever heard the words “all that is gold does not glitter”? They came from the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien who, despite being an excellent fantasy writer, would have benefited from taking a look at Gold Medal Wine Club’s Gold Series wine of the month club. The reality is that this club is pure gold. For the purpose of this review I sampled the simple 2 bottle club, which usually comes with one red and one white wine. People who are particular about their wine may request all red or all white, but I’ve always been a fan of sampling as much as I can.

Before I talk about my experience I’d like to mention some of Gold Medal Wine Club’s other offerings. While the Gold Series is the most popular membership, Platinum and Diamond levels also exist for those who demand higher rated, more exclusive wines. Two more clubs, the International Series and Pinot Noir Series, also exist. Gold Medal Wine Club guarantees that they never feature bulk wines, private labels, or close outs–and that virtually all of the wines featured have earned top medals from major wine competitions or high ratings from popular publications. You can check all of them out here.

Back to the club: Once you get past the ubiquitous brown shipping box your order arrives in, you’re greeted with some really nice packaging that helps makes the Gold Series shine as a gift. Even though I ordered this for myself, I still felt like being pampered by the beautifully designed gift box, high quality newsletter, and nicely-wrapped wine bottles. It doesn’t look like any expense was spared in making an awesome presentation.

Wine
Cutest Wine Labels Ever (And they tasted good too!)

As for the wine itself, I was really excited to see that I had received Anthony Bell’s Big Guy 2010 red and white wines. Besides having one of the cutest wine labels in existence, Anthony Bell is a well-known name and Big Guy is one of his many cool projects. The newsletter that comes included with the club, The Wine Press, was very helpful, and included some food pairing suggestions. Trusting the experts, my significant other and I went off to the market and grabbed some sushi rolls since they were recommended for the Big Guy 2010 White Wine.

The experience was perfect. The white wine was a wonderfully refreshing addition to the sushi rolls, and my own underdeveloped palette was able to pick up notes of pear and lemongrass: something I can rarely do with store bought varieties. My partner is a little more receptive and also picked up on pineapple and grapefruit flavors. While we wined and dined we also got to enjoy flipping through the newsletter and learning more about the wine we were drinking. The Wine Press came with information about the vineyard, the winemaker, and the story of the dog, Ty, whose happy face is pictured on every label and for who the wine is named after.

While it’s easy to make a romantic night out of the shipment, this gift isn’t only for the coupled. It’s jam packed with plenty of information, and the wines stand on their own as superb. Simply opening the package makes for a fun night, although it doesn’t hurt to share it with someone special: be they a friend, family member, pet, or romantic partner. The worst part of the club is that I have to wait until the next month to receive another shipment, but I’m absolutely looking forward to it. Honestly, this club should simply be called GOLD GOLD GOLD. I loved the unboxing experience, the wine I sampled, and the newsletter; and, even better, I still have the red wine to look forward to enjoying. You or your recipient will love the Gold Medal Wine Club Gold Series. As for myself, I give it a gold medal.

Sorry Tolkien, this club makes me a believer that everything gold does glitter.

Review: International Wine of the Month Club from Monthly Clubs

MC-wine-review3Monthly Club’s International Wine of the Month Club: Review

Ask an expert. Wine tasting and bad weather are a famously bad blend.

If you’ve cancelled your trip to the vineyard (again), don’t put the cork in your wine plans just yet. Instead, let Monthly Clubs cater an indoor tasting party with their International Wine of the Month Club!

For those who can’t last long long without the comfort of fine-wines, this membership is the solution to the long winter months. And all those other months too. In fact, you might want to just start building a wine-cellar.

The International Wine of the Month Club will send 2 different bottles of wines from the world’s best vineyards to your front door. Pick and choose the club to fit your  taste: 2 reds, 2 whites, or 1 of each.  Then impress friends with your abundant knowledge of elite wine making, regional specialties,  and proper food pairings.  Oh don’t worry. The International Wine Club’s monthly newsletter Cellar Notes will get you up to speed.

January’s Masters Series Wine Club Selection:

The White: Anayón de Corona de MC-wine-review1Aragon Chardonnay 2010 (from Spain)

They say Chardonnay is a good place for wine tasting amateurs to start. Let’s hope they’re right! Since I’m a beginner, I’ll start by just stating the obvious: it’s yellow! Fitting, since I’ve always associated Spain with the color. Might have something to do with saffron.

The Corona de Aragon tasted just as yellow as it looked. Tropical banana, pineapple and passion fruit notes balanced the oaky taste behind this full-bodied wine. The insert said it didn’t need a food pairing, but I’ll admit, I wish I’d had one. If only Cellar Notes’ seafood recommendations could cooMC-wine-review2k themselves.

The Red: Château Sainte-Eulalie Minervois La Livinière La Cantilène 2009 (from France)

This red wine is a completely different story…with a surprise happy ending. Since I’m not a red wine fan I was less inclined to like it. But this bottle of Minervois truly had me at hello. Although, I had to wait about 30 minutes after that initial greeting to try it (this wine is better the longer you let it breath).

The Cantilène is like tasting a dark forbidden fruit. I could practically envision the vineyards full of plump blackberries ripening on the vine. If you’re preparing a menu for your indoor wine tasting, my advice is simple. French wine, french food. Everybody’s happy.

In my opinion, the Masters Series Wine of the Month Club is the greatest thing since sliced bread…which might also pair well with that sultry red wine. What can I say,MC-wine-review4wine makes me hungry.

If you want to learn more or are ready to start a membership, check out Monthly Club’s  International Wine of the Month Club today.

The Perfect Gift: Wine of the Month Club

Looking for the perfect gift this Christmas and holiday season? Look no further… the Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs is sure to please!

2 bottles of wine are shipped every month. You can choose 2 bottles of red wines, 2 bottles of white wines or 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white. Also included is a fun and informative newsletter (with info such as the History of the Wine, How the Wine is Made, Tasting Notes and Accompaniments).

Why do we love this Wine of the Month Club over all the other Wine Clubs out there? Simple… it oozes with quality. The moment the box arrives, you know you are getting a quality product. From the tasteful packaging to the professional newsletter to the high quality wines, this Wine Club will make a lasting impression.

And if you purchase a membership before Jan 1, 2010, you can get a Holiday Discount…

Visit the Wine of the Month Club website and enter the following coupon codes to save:
GMCH15 – good for $15 off any prepaid order of 6 months or longer
GMCH25 – good for $25 off any prepaid 12 month order

So what kind of wine did we receive this month?

Quality Wine of the Month ClubOur selections included 2 red wines. The first was a 2007 Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero from Spain. The wine reveals pure, ripe fruit, savory spice and a polished, textured feel. It goes well with a variety of foods, such as as a simple herb roasted chicken, sizzling fajitas, lasagna, grilled eggplant, and zucchini. The newsletter also includes a recipe for Veal with Lemon and Tomatoes that sounds absolutely delicious!

The second wine was a 2005 Chateau Plaisance Bordeaux Superieur from France. The wine is blend of Merlot (70%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), and Petit Verdot (10%). Try it with veal chops, filet mignon, roasted chicken or soft style cheeses such as Edam or Port Salut.

So if you are looking for that perfect gift for someone special this year, check out this Wine of the Month Club. You can purchase as little as one or two months, or splurge and give them a whole year. And you can choose from 3 different price / quality levels.

Don’t forget the Holiday Discount… we mentioned above.
Give a Wine of the Month Club membership this holiday

Visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website.

Read our other reviews of Wine of the Month Clubs from Gourmet Monthly Clubs:

Cellars Wine of the Month Club: Review

Cellars Wine of the Month Club Cellars Wine of the Month Club is an excellent choice if you are considering a Wine of the Month Club gift for someone special – or for yourself.

Cellars Wine Club offers a wide selection of different wine of the month clubs to meet the tastes of the inexperienced to the discriminating wine connoisseur and everyone in between. With 10 clubs to choose from, including a selection of reds, white, or a combination, you are sure to find the club that suits your individual needs.

The presentation of this club is impressive. Very professional. You’ll receive 2 bottles of wine, along with detailed descriptions of your selections and suggested food pairings. We also received a nice wine magazine for additional reading pleasure.

Here’s what our Platinum Wine Club package looked like:

Cellars Wine of the Month Club

2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley
2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley from Whitman Cellars in WashingtonThe first selection was a 2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley from Whitman Cellars in Washington.

This wine combines Carbernet Sauvignon , Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This robust Bordeaux-style blend is multi-layered with tobacco, coffee, leather, cherry, blackberry, and white pepper… Enjoy this wine with red meat or tomato-based dishes for the next four years.

Whitman Cellars are crafters of traditional Bordeaux and Rhone style wines of balance and expression of terrior… Whitman Cellars is truly a boutique winery with a production level at just 5,000 cases per year.

2006 E Prove Corse Calvi
2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in FranceThe second selection of wine was a 2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in France.

E Prove mixes Grenache and Syrah grapes – grown widely through the south of France – With Nielluccio, and ancient local variety. It is a lovely black cherry color. Drink now through 2013.

The Domaine Maestracci is run by winemaker Michel Raoust, who is actauly from the Rhone Valley. He married into the family and is making wine is a region known as the “Tuscany of Corsica.”

The excerpts above were taken from the accompanying wine notes. You can see a sample page:
2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in France

To learn more about Cellars Wine Club or to sign up for a Wine of the Month Club, visit their website.

Wine of the Month Club Review: “The Premier Series” from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The Premier Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly ClubsA Wine of the Month Club is such a fun gift to give and to get! When 2 bottles of wine are delivered to your door, along with a wealth of information about the choices (from Tasting Notes and Accompaniments to Recipe suggestions), it brings a smile to the face of any wine-lover!

This review is for Gourmet Monthly Club’s Premier Wine Series. We requested 2 bottles of red, as that is our preferred color of wine. But you can also choose 2 bottles of whites or 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white. It’s completely up to you!

Last month we received a bottle of Beaujolais from France and bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot from South Africa. What a nice variety of wines to enjoy on a special occasion!

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2007 – France

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2007 – France You know this bottle is direct from France the minute you hold it. The label has a different “feel” to it and the cork is covered with a red wax seal.

From the Gourmet Monthly Clubs Newsletter:
Tasting Notes: Pretty violet and cherry fruit flavors literally pour from the glass. And in the mouth, the 2007 Lapierre Morgon is round, vinous, and positively charming. It finishes with panache and the most important attribute of any wine: it makes you want to come back for more. Enjoy the 2007 Lapierre Morgon cool (60º-65º F) after just a few minutes of aeration. It should drink well now and for next three or four years.

Accompaniments:
Grilled salmon as well as lightly flavored meats such as veal, ham, and pork make fine accompaniments to the 2007 Lapierre Morgon, especially now while this wine is young and in the full bloom of its youth. Light game, such as Cornish hens, quail, and squab will fare well, too, especially as this Morgon matures in bottle. Traditional, savory Burgundian dishes, such as Coq au Vin, provide other excellent choices with this comely Morgon. And if these classics do not provide enough tasty choices, there is no better red wine pairing with cheese than Grand Cru Beaujolais, especially a Morgon of this stature.

Bouwland Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005 – South Africa

Bouwland Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005 – South Africa I can’t recall the last time we’ve enjoyed a bottle of wine from South Africa. It just doesn’t catch my eye when we browse the shelves of our local liquor store.

From the Gourmet Monthly Clubs Newsletter:
Tasting Notes:
A full-bodied, deeply colored wine, the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot embodies the best that Stellenbosch and the Cape of South Africa have to offer. In fact, the aromatic fireworks alone on this wine are worth the price of admission. The 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon offers up the unmistakable scents of roasted coffee, chocolate, espresso, scorched earth, and eucalyptus to tantalize the nose, but be sure to let this youthful wine breathe. It is packed with smooth black and red berry flavors and backed by ample, sweet tannins that will allow it to improve in bottle for at least another four or five years. It is, however, positively enthralling now with a little tender love and care.

Accompaniments:
Beef, lamb, and game provide outstanding accompaniments to the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. Tenderloin of veal or beef served with mushrooms and a truffle glaze, smoked breast of duck or turkey served with warm foie gras, and Pecan-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Green Beans are but a few winning combinations with this wine. However, antelope, ostrich, and venison offer other fine choices to pair with the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, at least for the slightly more adventuresome. For the more timid, burgers and ribs will do, too.

More Information

At the time of this writing, the Premier Wine Series costs $42.95 per month. There is a two-month minimum commitment. Featured wine selections in this club retail between $15 and $25 per bottle.

Gourmet Monthly Clubs also offers a Collectors Series which offers very high quality wine selections. Bottles in this club retail between $30 and $60 per bottle. Or you can compare and contrast wine quality by joining the Master Series and receiving one bottle from each of the other two clubs.

Visit Gourmet Monthly Clubs for more information or to join.

Wine of the Month Club Review: The Collectors Series from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Today’s review is for one of the most popular Gift of the Month Clubs around… a Wine of the Month Club! We received 2 bottles from Gourmet Monthly Club’s Collector Series, their top-level membership. One bottle is red, and the other is a bottle of champagne!
The Collectors Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The red is “Dehesa La Granja Vadillo de la Guarena – Zamora Seleccion 2000” from Spain. Sounds fancy! And the champagne is “B. Deville-Chevallier Brut – Grand Cru Champagne N.V” from France. Both were very well-packaged and arrived in perfect order.
The Collectors Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

As always, Gourmet Monthly Clubs includes a high quality, informative newsletter. this edition tells about the monthly wine selections, includes Tasting Notes, Accompaniments, and Recipes. Everything you need to know about your wine selections is in there!
Wine of the Month Club Newsletter Wine of the Month Club Newsletter

Wine of the Month Club Newsletter Wine of the Month Club Newsletter

We haven’t opened the wine yet, as we want to save it for a special occasion! But I’ll post again once we’ve had a chance to sip the vino and champagne, and tell you all of our impressions!

The Collector Series costs $78.95 per month. There is a two-month minimum commitment. Featured wine selections in this club retail between $30 and $60 per bottle. This Wine Club reaks of quality and would make a great gift this holiday for someone who appreciates fine wine.

Gourmet Monthly Clubs also offers a Premier Series for about half the price of the Collectors Series ($42.95 per month). Bottles in this club retail between $15 and $25 per bottle. Or you can compare and contrast wine quality by joining the Master Series and receiving one bottle from each of the other two clubs. The Master Series costs $58.95 per month.

Visit Gourmet Monthly Clubs for more information or to join.