January Premium Wine Club

Mellow style logoRuffion-modus-wine-bottleRuffino
Modus Toscana IGT
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, and complex, fruity and intense on the nose. The initial aromas are of mature black fruits, such as cherries, plums, and small blackberries typical of Sangiovese. There are also floral notes that are complimented by hints of spiced cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is full-bodied and harmonious with modern Super Tuscan finesse and style. This wine is rich with soft tannins and flavors of mature blackberry fruit that lead to a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 37% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano Estate
Soil:
Hilly land with clay, limestone, and a small percentage of silt
Micro-climate:
Variable with good diurnal temperature swings, especially during summer
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
12,000 per acre
Age of vineyards:
Recently planted
First Year of Production:
1997
Food Pairings: Wonderful on its own, or serve with bold dishes such as duck with olives and pancetta, beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce, or aged cheeses such as T
aleggio, Pecorino and/or Gouda.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Only the best grapes are selected in the vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness when picked. They are again sorted prior to pressing. Due to a warm and dry growing season, the harvest began earlier than usual, as the high summer temperatures led to beautiful fruit maturation.
Fermentation: Each varietal was vinified independently, fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 10 days. The wine was then allowed to macerate on the skins for another 2 weeks.
Aging: After completing malolactic fermentation, the 3 varietals were blended and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of first and second use.


Ruffio-riserva-ducale-wine-bottleMellow style logoRuffino
Riserva Ducale
Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, the nose has an elegant bouquet characterized by violet, cherries, wild berries and plums. There are hints of tobacco, clove and eucalyptus. On the palate, the Riserva Ducale is balance and constant with delicate tannins. The vibrant acidity characterizes this wine, which is typical of Sangiovese’s grapes. The finish is persistent and a good structure completes the entire taste sensation.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
The Riserva Ducale grapes came from owned vineyards and selected growers vineyards located in the traditional Chianti Classico production area, stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence. Ruffino traditionally works with a small stable of hand-selected growers, chosen as carefully as the Ruffino vineyards.
Soil: Typical of the Chianti Classico area; a mix of clay and limestone with an abundant presence of “Galestro” rock.
Altitude:
Variable from 951 to 1,476 feet above sea level
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
about 12,350 vines/acre
Bottle Aging:
A minimum of 3 months
First Year of Production:
1927
Food Pairings: Enjoy this timeless Tuscan gem with Italian favorites such as prosciutto and other antipasti, mushroom risotto, pasta Bolognese, and chicken cacciatore. Or, pair it with simple grilled meats and roasted vegetables for a classic Tuscan meal.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The vintage was characterized by a very hot season with a good maturation of the grapes, which led to a slightly early harvest.
Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and maceration were aided by pumping over, which took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats for approximately 16 days.
Aging: The Riserva Ducale aged for 24 months, 12 in big oak casks and the rest in concrete vats.


Mellow style logoRuffino Riserva Ducale OroRuffino
Riserva Ducale Oro
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Riserva Ducale Oro is also Ruby Red in color with hues of garnet. It is powerfully aromatic with cherry, plum, and violet with notes of eucalyptus, chocolate and spicy black pepper. The complexity is an authentic expression of Sangioveses and Classic Chiantis. The wine is full-bodied and powerfully fruity with elegant tannins, perfectly supported by a good acidity. The finish is characterized by pleasantly sweet tobacco, plums, and balsamic herbs. This Riserva Ducale Oro will age gracefully for decades.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
83% Sangiovese, 12% Merlot, 5% Colorino
Grape Sourcing:
Selected from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame estates, located in the heart of Castellina in Chianti.
Soil: Hilly land with poor, rocky, ‘galestro’ soils of mixed clay and sand
Microclimate:
Characterized by hot, dry summers with high diurnal temperature swings, which allow for optimal grape maturation.
Altitude:
820-1,300 feet above sea level
Sun Exposure:
Predominantly south, southwest, and southeast
Growing System:
Cordon-trained
Vine density:
10,000 per acre
Age of Vineyards: 
Vine yield: 12 tons per acre
First Year of Production:
1947
Food Pairings: Traditional Italian dishes pair exquisitely with this wine. Try with a pasta Bolognese, wild boar ragu, or eggplant Parmesan. It also pairs beautifully with American dishes such as grilled rib-eye and roasted vegetables.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced with grapes meticulously selected during harvest. The picking started the third week of September and ended the first week of October. The vintage 2015 shows a vivid fruity notes, with spicy hints of great elegance.
Fermentation: Aided by racking and délestage, fermentation took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 21 days. Post-fermentation maceration on the skins continued for an additional 10 days. The wine was transferred to concrete vats for malolactic fermentation.
Aging: A total of 36 months: the first 12 months in concrete vats, followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels (about 925-2,000 gallons), and finally 12 months in barriques that are four or more years old.

ABOUT RUFFINO WINERY:
In 1877, cousins, Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve, near Florence. Natives to Tuscany, they knew this region already had century-old traditions of growing exceptional wine grapes, but cousins felt that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Word eventually grew about the quality wine the Ruffino cousin’s were producing and the winery began to flourish. Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines. They became nationally and internationally known when their Chianti won Gold Medals and other prizes in 1881, 1884 and 1885 Wine Exhibitions. In 1890, the Duke of Aosta became intrigued by the winery’s reputation, and after trying it for himself, he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian Royal family. In 1927, the winery released their first vintage of Riserva Ducale – named after the Duke of Aosta to acknowledge his esteemed patronage.

Today, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany’s most important wine appellations. They continue to take a traditional approach when making their wines to allow their wines to reveal themselves without manipulation. Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, as they have become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Learn more here. 


Mellow style logoFrescobaldi-Nipozzano-RiservaFrescobaldi
Castello Nipozzano
Nipozzano Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Nipozzano 2017 conveys the intense, harmonious character of the vintage with personality, translating the heat of the season into the glass. The ruby-red color is bright and intense. The usual notes of red fruits and citrus are expressed in a seductive combination of elegance and intensity. Tertiary notes due to aging, such as spices and vanilla, enhance the aromas and balance the tasting experience. The palate is rich, dense and balanced, with a great expression of maturity, polyphenolic elegance and final persistence.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Sangiovese and complementary varieties
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling: 92 Points
  • Gambero Rosso: 3 Glasses
  • Luca Maroni: 90 Points

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The winter was mild and dry. In the spring, the early sprouting of the vines brought the growing season forward. During spring, the arrival of sporadic rains restored the vineyards’ water table, guaranteeing a good blooming, still ahead of time with respect to the previous season. The harvest began at the end of August/first few days of September, after a hot, dry summer that led to the harvesting of well-ripened grapes, qualitatively rich in body and color. As soon as the grapes were harvested, they were taken to the cellar.
Fermentation: Once de-stemmed, the natural fermentation process began in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine remained in the vats to complete maceration. After racking, malolactic fermentation took place in steel as well.
Aging: At the end of the year, the wine was transferred into barriques, where it was aged for further months. A further period in the bottle brought Nipozzano to its full expression as a wine with exceptional balance.

ABOUT FRESCOBALDI WINERY:
Beginning in the early 1300s, the Frescobaldi family has been producing wine in Tuscany for over seven hundred years. That family history is filled with illustrious ancestors, from literary figures, explorers, and musicians, to financiers, bishops, and statesmen. Over the years, the Frescobaldi family had established commercial contracts and relationships, and had the opportunity to share their wine with numerous historical names and courts such as the Court of England, the Papal Court in Rome, Donatello, Michelozzo, Michelozzi, and Filippo Brunelleschi.

The winery has been passed down in the family from generation to generation, building many different sub-family estates over the years. Today, the President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, aims to strengthen the uniqueness of the wines of each family estate. The Frescobaldi family believes each family estate, and their vineyards, should express the diversity and individuality of their Tuscan terroir while always respecting their nature and authenticity. Learn more about the family history here.


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October Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubMAYLA-ROSE_PETILLANTAlella Vinícola
Mayla
Rosé Petillant
Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This attractively colored rosé has a sweet nose of red fruits. On the palate, the mouthfeel is light and fresh with flavors of red fruits.

Analysis: 11.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: 6 months on lees
Yield: 35 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 22 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 5,000 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 3 years
Food Pairing: Ideal as an aperitif or with fresh pasta, rice dishes, or grilled snails
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 87 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.14 points

WINEMAKING:
“The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks on its own fine lees from November to February in order to give the wine more volume, and to prepare it to improve its evolution throughout time . The second fermentation has taken place in bottle for two months more to attain the sparkling point that we wish.” – Alella Vinícola


ona-blanc-brut-natureAlella Vinícola
Ona
Blanc de Noir Brut Nature
D.O. Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Although the Ona Blanc de Noir is a black grape variety, the color is golden with soft reflections. On the nose, there are intense, yet delicate aromas of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and clean cut grass. On the palate, the bubbles are crisp and well integrated into the wine. The wine is refreshing and highlights all of the flavors of white and red fruit with a honeyed, long finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: Minimum of 12 months in bottle
Yield: 25 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 15 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 2,500 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 8 years
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 89 points
  • Robert Parker: 88 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.15 points
  • Great Premi Vinari 2015 Reserva Sparkling Wines

Alella Vinícola logoABOUT ALELLA VINÍCOLA:
Family owned and operated, Alella Vinícola has been operating in the heart of the D.O. Alella, Spain since 1906 – just over 9 miles north of Barcelona. Brothers Samuel and Xavier Garcia perform all of the tasks of managing the winery from planting the vineyards to the commercialization of their wines. The winery’s wines are characterized by the Mediterranean climate and are always produced free of herbicides, insecticides and inorganic fertilizers. Learn more about the winery here.

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October Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubWilli Haag Juffer RieslingWilli Haag
Juffer Brauneberg Auslese
Grosse Lage Riesling
Mosel, Germany

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Honeysuckle and crushed minerals give a modest introduction to this light-footed Auslese (select harvest) wine. The palate is bursting with ripe flavors of yellow-peach and pineapple. The wine’s sharp, zippy acidity lends balanced to a long finish.

Analysis: 8.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Riesling
Region: Brauneberg, Mosel, Germany
Critical Acclaim: 91 points – Wine Enthusiast

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Willi Haag Estate has been in the family more than 500 years – now run by Marcus Haag, the grandson of Willi Haag. Marcus took over the entire management in 1997 after completing his viniculture studies. Today, Marcus combines his family’s wine-making traditions with modern viniculture approaches to produce award winning wines.
 Learn more about the winery and its vineyards here.


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September Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine Clubroederer-estate-brut-multi-vintage-bottleRoederer Estate
Brut
Anderson Valley, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex flavors of pear, spice and hazelnut and is fresh, yet has great depth. It is lightly fruity with great finesse.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Varietals:
Approximately 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir
pH: 3.1
Residual Sugar:
12 g/L
Aging: Aged a minimum of two years on the yeast
Awards:

  • 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast, December 1, 2020
  • 93 Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2020
  • 93 Points – Decanter, July 2020
  • 92 Points – Decanter, January 2020 
  • 92 Points, Smart Buy – Wine Spectator, August 31, 2019
  • 90 Points – Wine & Spirits, August 2019
  • 92 Points, Best Buy – Wine & Spirits, August 2018
  • 93 Points, #27 Top 100 Wines for 2018 – Wine Spectator, July 31, 2018

ABOUT ROEDERER ESTATE:
Founded in 1982, Roederer Estate is among a very few California sparkling wine houses that only sources estate-grown fruit and builds upon a centuries-old tradition of winemaking. Nestled in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, the Estate’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean allows the grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character. Learn more about the Estate here.


Cremant-dAlsace-Lucien-Albrecht-Brut-Rose_eLucien Albrecht
Le Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut
Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Crémant Rosé has nice pink reflections and salmon tones supported by an elegant effervescence. On the palate, there are notes of delicate red fruit that bring roundness and body together to make a complete wine.

Analysis: 11.98% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Residual Sugar:
9.8 g/L
Total Acidity: 3.18 g/L
Vinification: 100% hand harvested, extended and soft pressed, 6-8 weeks controlled fermentation in stainless steel, then laid on racks for a minimum of 12 months.
Aging Capacity: Enjoy it now or keep it up to 3 years
Serving Temperature: 44.6ºF-46.4ºF
Pairings: Excellent for festive occasions.
Awards:

  • Silver Vinalies Internationales 2020
  • 90 points – Wine Enthusiast 2020

ABOUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE APPELLATION D’ORIGINE CONTRÔLÉE:
“Crémant d’Alsace Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée was created in 1976 to distinguish the wines obtained by the sparkling champagne method. The term “crémant” comes from Champagne where it was fallen in disuse. It was the recognition of the efforts made by several Alsatian winemakers, including the Maison Lucien Albrecht.” – Lucien Albrecht

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Maison Lucien Albrecht’s origins can be traced back to 1698 when Balthazar Albrecht settled in Orschwihr, a small Alsatian village ideal for it’s growing conditions. Eight generations later, the family continues to work in these same unique terroirs creating world renowned wines. Passed down from father to son, each generation has adapted its wine-growing and wine-making methods gradually to get the very best out of the terroir, while still producing authentic wines, characteristic to Alsace. Learn more about the family history here.

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August Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubBarton & GuestierBarton & Guestier
Vouvray Passeport
Loire Valley, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Bright clear yellow in appearance, the Vouvray Passeport has a fruit driven nose with subtle aromas of white flowers mixed with peach, pear, pineapple and carambola. On the palate, it is well balanced between fruit and flint, with a nice, refreshing finish.

Varietal: 100% Chenin Blanc
Region: Loire Valley, France – near the town of Tours
Classification: Appellation Vouvray Contrôlée
Soil: Clay and limestone base with sandy patches, where Chenin grows its best
Climate: Oceanic, mild and humid
Vinification: Pressing of the grapes with overnight settling – controlled alcoholic fermentation to preserve residual sugar
Viticulture: Low yields, hand tending, careful selection and minimal interference in the natural ripening of the grapes
Pairing: This wine is very versatile. It can be paired well with anything from cheese to appetizers, salads, fish, barbecue, or even spicy food or curry dishes. Best served between 46ºF and 50ºF.
Critical Acclaim:

  • Double Gold Medal – Wine Tasting Competition (WSWA) 2016 – USA – 2015 vintage
  • Double Gold Medal – York World Wine & Spirits Comp 2016 (2015 vintage)
  • Vivino Wine Style Awards 2017
  • “Best Buy” – Wine Enthusiast (2014 vintage)
  • 91 points Ultimate Wine Challenge ‘Finalist’ (2013 vintage)

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an aged cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY: 
In 1725, Irishman, Thomas Barton settled in Bordeaux, France to start is company – now, the city’s oldest active wine house. His grandson Hugh teamed up with Frenchman, Daniel Guestier, and in 1802 their partnership became official. Since then, the company has reached over 130 countries. Learn more about their story here.


BEXBEX Winery
Riesling
Nahe, Germany

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The BEX Riesling is brilliant straw color. On the nose, there are aromas of orange blossom, lime and white grapefruit, while on the palate there are mouthwatering flavors of lime and mandarin orange. The wine finishes with notes of minerals and citrus zest.

Analysis: 10.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Riesling
Appellation: Nahe, Germany
RS:
2.4%
pH: 3.23
TA: .82 g/100ml
Aging: Fermented at cool temperatures (52)F-55)F), then aged in stainless steel tanks to enhance the wines fresh fruit characteristics

Closure: Twist off to preserve the zesty citrus and bright stone fruit nuances. This allows a slight effervescence to be sealed in, lifting the soft aromas out of the glass.
Pairing: Enjoy as an aperitif, pair with a light or spicy cuisine, or serve as a finale with a dessert
Critical Acclaim:
Exceptional – “Best Buy” – 90 points: Beverage Testing Institute, Oct 2015

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

WINEMAKER NOTES – 2014 VINTAGE:
“The 2014 growing season was early and fast! Riesling shoots appeared on April 12, three weeks before the norm. Flowering was ahead of schedule and the vines ripened nicely through August when a period of strong rains occurred. Luckily Mother Nature delivered a nice dry September helping the grapes to reach full maturity. The hallmark of 2014 Riesling are sassy wines – crisp and lively with well-integrated acidity.” – BEX Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located 25 miles south of Mosel, in the Nahe (pronounced Nah-heh) region of southwest Germany; BEX Winery works to produce wines highlighting the distinct flavors of its land. Nahe is the most geologically diverse growing region in Germany. It’s known for its red slate/diverse soils, mild climate, and moderate rainfall – making distinct Rieslings with fresh fruit and floral aromas. Learn more about BEX Winery
here.


Sweet ClubLove the Sweet life?
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May Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBenning CheeseBenning®
Mild Goats Milk Gouda
Holland

Benning® Mild Goats Milk Gouda is a semi-firm, pure white, versatile cheese that is fresh and mild in taste. It is made from light goats’ milk that is then formed into classic gouda-style wheels and aged to create a smooth and creamy textured cheese. This cheese is great for the pickiest of eaters. It is mildly tangy and slightly sweet with hints of caramel. 

FOOD PAIRING: This cheese melts beautifully; eat as is, or slice/grate onto your favorite sandwich or pizza.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: The Benning® Mild Milk Gouda pairs well with dark and malty beers such as a malty Amber Ale. It also pairs nicely with a buttery Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or our May Wine Club Chenin Blanc.

WINESTYLES: Silky
BEERSTYLES: Dark & Roasty or Malty & Sweet


midnight-moon-pkg-smallCypress Grove®
Midnight Moon®
Holland

This aged goat milk cheese is made exclusively for Cypress Grove® in Holland. Aged for at least six-months, Midnight Moon® is an ivory-colored goat cheese with forward nutty and brown-buttery flavors, finish with long caramel notes. Similar to classic goudas, Midnight Moon® forms protein crystals as it ages, and lends to a slight crunch to the otherwise dense and smooth cheese. This goat cheese is known to convert even the pickiest of goat cheese critics!

AWARDS:

  • Best of Class, World Championship Cheese Contest  2010, 2020
  • Super Gold, World Cheese Awards   2015, 2018
  • Gold, World Cheese Awards  2014
  • Best New Product in Show, sofi Awards  2002
  • Silver, World Cheese Awards  2017
  • Silver Finalist, sofi Awards  2003
  • Third Place, World Championship Cheese Contest   2014
  • Bronze, World Cheese Awards  2016
  • Bronze, sofi Awards   2017

FOOD PAIRING: Serve with fig jams, seeded crackers, or bread

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with Ice Wine, Sweet Sherry, Syrah or Zinfandel. As for beer, look for a Belgian Dark, Stout, or a Tripel.

WINESTYLES: Fruity or Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Dark & Roasty, or Fruity & Spicy

ABOUT CYPRESS GROVE®, ARCATA, CALIFORNIA:
In the 1970’s, when pre-packed TV dinners and processed, rubber cheese were popular, a self-proclaimed “serious hippie” named Mary Keehn was on the hunt for something different. A mother a four, she wanted to find healthier milk for her children. Mary noticed her neighbor owned goats for brush control and asked if she could purchase two, at which the neighbor replied, “if you can catch ’em, you can have ’em”. Each day, Mary went out with grain until eventually she lured in her first two goats: Esmeralda and Hazel. These goats turned into four, and many more from there. With a lot of goats, came a lot of milk, and thus, Cypress Grove® was born! Learn more about their story here.


Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

 

April Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubGrafton Cheese ClubGrafton Village Cheese
Clothbound Cheddar
Vermont, USA

Grafton’s signature Cheddar is wrapped in cheesecloth and cave-aged for 6-8 months, a traditional method used for centuries allowing the cheese to take on a deeper variety of flavors. Grassy, nutty notes dominate with some lemony accents and a smooth, lactic body. The texture is firm and creamy with a tendency to crumble.

AWARDS:

  • 2019 American Cheese Society – Second Place
  • 2019 International Cheese & Dairy Awards – Gold
  • 2019 Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition – Silver
  • Many others – click here

FOOD PAIRING: Serve as table cheese, alongside dried fruits, nutty bread, dark berries, or grainy mustards

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with our April Wine Club Wine – Pierre Jean Sauvignon Blanc; or other ‘Old-World’ classics such as a Chablis, Pinot Noir or Riesling. For beer, reach for a Wheat Beer, Red Ale or off-dry Cider.

WINESTYLES: Silky
BEERSTYLES: Crisp & Clean or Fruity & Spicy

Grafton Cheese

© Photo by Grafton Village Cheese

ABOUT GRAFTON VILLAGE CHEESE:
The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers in rural agricultural communities who gathered together to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. This helped the community as they were able to take an abundance of creamy milk and turn it into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory; it wasn’t until several decades later, in the mid 1960s, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company, and a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste are the hallmarks of their company’s award-winning cheeses. Learn more about their story here.


Quicke’s
Devonshire Red Clothbound Cheese
Devon, UK

Quicke’s is handcrafted using milk from grass-fed cows, clothbound and naturally matured, typically for 6 months. This vibrant, full-flavored cheese has a distinctive taste on a classic Red Leicester, with crumbly texture, fresh, nutty flavors and a lemony creaminess. Best to be eaten within 7 days of opening. Once opened, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in air-tight container in the fridge. 

AWARDS:

  • 2020 Great Taste Award

FOOD PAIRING: Use in a Shepard’s Pie or with savory scones

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Pair with April’s Red Wine Club Wines or a fruity Pinot Noir. Also pairs well with sparkling wines, ciders and ales.

WINESTYLES: Mellow or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp & Clean; Sour, Tart & Funky; or Fruity & Spicy

Quickes03-06-20MattAustin-120_820x

© Photo by Quicke’s

ABOUT QUICKE’S:
Established in 1540 by Andrew Quicke, when he fell in love with Devon village and built a better farm. Using traditional recipes, time-honored techniques and heritage starters passed down through the generations, Quicke’s continues to create outstanding clothbound cheddar. Made by hand in the old-fashioned way, slowly matured for a deeply satisfying flavor, their cheese celebrates the deep connection that has grown between the Quicke family and the land they have nurtured for almost 500 years. Learn more about their story here.


WineStyles of West Des Moines is excited to announce they have got their hands on a small amount of Hook’s Cheese Company’s special 15 Year Cheddar! While this is not featured in this month’s Cheese Club, we promise you don’t want to miss this. Ask how you can pick up this very special, limited cheese at your local wine store!

Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

March Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubGruet Blanc de NoirsGruet
Blanc de Noirs
New Mexico, United States

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Pale salmon in color, this full-bodied wine has a fine mouse and a creamy, rich texture. Complex aromas and flavors of raspberry, baked pear and cherry are complemented by a hint of toasted vanilla. The balance of fruit, minerals and crisp acidity lead to a round mouthfeel and lasting finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay
AVA: American
pH:
3.12
Total Acidity: 70 PPM
Residual Sugar: 0.8% g/L
Fining: Sterile pads
Filtering: Diatomaceous earth
Aging: Aged en tirage for a minimum of 18 months
Vintage: NV
Critical Acclaim: 90 points Smart Buy; Top 100, Wine Spectator Best Buy; Year’s Best Summer Sparklers, Best Sparkling Wines for $25 or Less Wine & Spirits

WINEMAKING:
French for “white of black”, Blanc de Noirs describes a sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes that are gently pressed and its juice runs off the skins. Gruet’s Blanc de Noirs NV was first released in 1990. Following the success of their Brut release, Gruet Winery wanted to add a non-vintage wine using Pinot Noir, similar to the classic blends of NV Champagnes.


gruet-brutGruet
Brut
New Mexico, United States

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Aromas of green apple, citrus and minerality make for delightful start to this traditional sparkler. Gruet Winery’s Brut NV offers bright, crisp acidity complemented by a touch of yeast on the delightfully long finish. A classic house style!

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir
AVA: American
pH:
3.07
Total Acidity: 76 PPM
Fining: Sterile pads
Filtering: Diatomaceous earth
Oak: Bottle aged
Aging:
Aged en tirage for a minimum of 18 months
Vintage: NV
Critical Acclaim: #1 Sparkling Wine – Top 100 Values of 2016; 90 points, Smart Buy, Wine Spectator; Top 100 Best Buys of 2018, Wine & Spirits

WINEMAKING:
“Brut NV was our first wine released in 1989. As the predominant grape used in Champagne, we wanted our first sparkling wine to express the finesse of Chardonnay.” – Laurent Gruet


gruet-brut-rose-webGruet
Brut Rosé
New Mexico, United States

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

A beautiful garnet in color, this Rosé NV has a delicate, fine mousse and rich, fruit flavors. This full-bodied sparkler starts with floral and berry aromas which introduce flavors of cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry, finishing delicately with zesty acidity. 

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
AVA: American
pH:
3.14
Total Acidity: 68 PPM
Fining: Sterile pads
Filtering: Diatomaceous earth
Aging: Aged en tirage for a minimum of 18 months
Vintage: NV
Critical Acclaim: Top 100 Values of 2018 – Wine Spectator

WINEMAKING:
This Rosé NV was first released in 2004 under limited production. The wine’s color and taste was inspired from sparkling Rosés from around the world. The wine is made in the “Saignée” method by adding 2% still Pinot Noir to the blend to create the beautiful garnet pink color.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1984, Gruet Winery specializes in Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines. Family owned and run, the New Mexico-based winery produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – based sparkling wines and small collection of still wines, with roots originating from Gilbert Gruet’s Champagne house in Bethon, France. More than 25 vintages later, Gruet Winery has achieved unprecedented acclaim and remains a favorite of the nation’s top sommeliers.

Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

 

 

December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubCrucolo Il Piu SaporitoRifugio Crucolo
Crucolo Il Piu Saporito
Scurelle, Italy

Crucolo “Il Piu Saporito”, which means “more tasty”, is a semi-hard, mild asiago cheese coming from the Trentino region in northern Italy. The milk to make this cheese is selected from the cows that roam the pastures beneath the Trento Mountains. Crucolo has a surprisingly tangy finish to its creamy flavor.

The center is white and buttery with diffused and uniform holes, making for a very characteristic cheese. The sub-crust is evenly distributed – an indicator of great attention to detail during the ripening period. The ripening process lasts over 60 days, and must be performed under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In the aging period, the cheese forms are wetted and washed with water, then turned twice a week. The final product boasts flavors that are sweet, slightly sour, and perfectly salty with a slight bitter-spicy note.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Reach for our November Wine Club wine, Finca Buenaventura Aureo Cabernet Sauvignon, when pairing with this cheese. For beer, grab a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT RIFUGIO CRUCOLO:
The company takes its name from the place where it was built, and still today is the restaurant Rifugio Crucolo, on the “top” of the mountain in the heart of Val Campelle- halfway between the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range.

The Crucolo Refuge has entered the register of historic businesses, as it has remained in the same family management since 1782. Thanks to the love and loyalty of customers, the Crucolo company continues to grow each year. Today, they are exporting their own brand of cured meats, cheeses, and liqueurs worldwide.


GarrotxaSant Gil d’Albió
Garrotxa
Catalonia, Spain

Gorratxa, pronounced ‘ga-ROCH-ah’, is a semi-ripened cheese with a natural flowery rind. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, it is creamy and compact texture in the cut. This moist and cakey Catalonian import is fast becoming Spain’s most famous goat cheese. Crafted in the foothills of Northern Spain, Garrotxa offers a white pepper piquancy and looks like a river-stone. Its milky, delicate taste is not at all typical of a goat’s cheese. The full-bodied cheese is rich in flavor with a soft paste and a moist, creamy, yet almost flaky, texture. It is covered by a velvety grey mould coating that lends it a woody aroma, yet the rind is not ideal for eating. Garrotxa’s flavor is reminiscent of damp earth underlined by slightly nutty & herbal essences.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, then aged for several weeks in caves to ensure the delicately, cakey texture won’t harden up.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For wine, pair with a Cava or the Finca Buenaventura Aureo Chardonnay from this month’s Wine Club. The clean, lactic qualities of the cheese strike harmoniously with the fruitiness of these two wines.  For beer, look to pair with a Farmhouse Ale or Sour from our Sour, Tart and Funky or Fruity and Spicy sections.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Nectar, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Sour, Tart and Funky, or Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT SANT GIL D’ALBIÓ:
Sant Gil d’Albió is a family business in Catalonia, Spain, with 35 years of experience in the production of artisanal cheeses. Currently produce close to 90,000 kg (about 198,416 pounds) of cheese a year; their products are made in an artisanal way, producing only the highest quality of cheeses. Sant Gil d’Albió exports about 40% of their production, mainly shipping to the United States and throughout Europe.

Sant Gil d’Albió is a dynamic, growing company; expanding their range of products and modernizing their facilities, without forgetting their roots. They are a leading company in the production of artisanal cheese in Catalonia, receiving various awards for the quality of their products, including Garrotxa cheese, Lactium d’Or 2019 award.

The family business is part of the ‘Lal de Cabres Catalanes’ label, a group of farmers and cheesemakers that defend the consumption of products made with local milk. They continuously maintain the quality of all cheeses and ensure all products are sold at a fair price.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >