Trivia

This Matter of California Wine Labels

Wine labels are an interesting phenomenon. There are two forces governing them. First, there’s the marketing arm of the winery which, hopefully, is in tune with what the consumer wants and gives it to them. Secondly, there is the government, better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). These two are frequently… read more »

This Matter of Table Wines

“I have been with the Wine of the Month Club for three years…in the past year I have noticed more ‘table wines’…I belong to the club to try new wines and wineries. Not table wines that I have little control of their contents and would be unable to compare vintages”. F.C., Santee This is an… read more »

This Matter of Vintage Charts

We’ve often had people come up to us and point to the vintage chart hand-outs that we offer to the general public: They ask in wide-eyed bewilderment, “What is this?” Basically, vintage charts score the success of the vintage, as far as the quality of the wine goes. The charts are universally tabular in form,… read more »

This Matter of “Reserve” Wine

Imagine that you are a winemaker or that you own a winery, and you are tasting some of the wines that are maturing in the bar­rels. You are an experienced taster, and are able to read into wine. You can detect characteristics that tell you this wine will improve and be­come a superb wine. From… read more »

This Matter of Phylloxera (Part II)

About one year ago, (WOMC Newsletter, June 1991), we wrote about the deadly root-burrowing louse, phylloxera vastatrix. We in­cluded the article as a history les­son. During the latter half of the 19th century, the parasite, which is of American origin, devastated millions of acres of vineyards around the globe. It was brought under control by… read more »

Member Inquiry: Grape Origins

Paul, Are any of the domestic wines that we are accustomed to made from native grapes, or do they all have their origins else­where?” M.M., Temple City, CA Any grape, really, can be made into wine, but few indigenous grapes have achieved any degree of success as raw wine materials. Native grapes, botanically of the… read more »

This Matter of Balance

How do you tell the difference between a good wine, (i.e., a well made wine), and a poor one? When a popular T.V. detective asked this question while research­ing a homicide case involving win­ery principals, the merchant whom he had asked, looked down at him from over his bifocals and haughti­ly replied, “The price, sir!”… read more »

The Matter of the French Paradox

Is wine really good for you? A few months ago, 60 Minutes ran an exciting T.V. segment on medi­cal researchers in this area. 60M’s narrator, Morley Safer, pointed out that although people in France con­sume 30 percent more fat than we do, and exercise less, and even smoke more, a middle-aged Amer­ican man has a… read more »

Member Inquiry: Investing in Wine

“Paul, I read now and then about wines that sell at auctions for wild prices, like $25 ,000 . a) What kind of wines are worth that much? b) Can I start a collection for investment purpos­es using WOMC wines, and sell them later for a big return?” A.R., El Cajon Thanks for asking about… read more »

Member Inquiry: Personal Requests

This letter came in recently. “A friend asked my husband and my­self to a wine tasting at their home. We went to find a salesman from a German wine company showing his wines. They were medium to good but very expensive! We find the Wine of the Month Club has better value. It was not… read more »