January Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBlumenkäse
Switzerland

An alpine cheese covered with wildflowers from the meadows of Switzerland. This floral beauty isn’t just pretty on the outside, it’s packed with flavors of French onion soup and sweet carrots on the inside. The rind is decorated in a long list of herbs and flowers, including: winter savory, dill, garlic, caraway, lovage, marjoram, mint, leek, chive, parsley, juniper berries, onion, marigolds, cornflower, roses, and strawberry leaves. 

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Chardonnay, Viognier, Bubbles or Fruity Red Wines; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter, such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Fruity, and Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy and Bitter

Blumenkases


Marcel Petite
Sagesse 24-Month Comté
France

Selected by Essex St. Cheese Co., Sagesse Comté (formerly “Symphony”) represents the highest level a wheel of Comté can achieve at Marcel Petite; only 2% of all production reaches this point. Sagesse Comté is selected in line with the Essex flavor profile, but is bigger and broader in taste with a darker paste and immense tyrosine crystallization. This is an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese with a powerful depth of flavor, similar to a great piece of dark chocolate. Sagesse Comté is available only once a year.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Champagne, aged Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir; for beer, look for something Malty & Sweet such as a Milk Stout.

WINESTYLES: Rich, Mellow, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet

MarcelPetiteSagesse

© Photo by Comté Marcel Petite


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 >

January Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubAntech Brut NatureAntech
Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Limoux, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our Brut Nature wines are made with “zero dosage”, which means that no “expedition liqueur” (sugar) has been added to the bottle. They respect and reveal the purest expression of our painstakingly selected grapes and our blends — berries, linden tree flowers, crisp green apple, anise, etc. — depending on the cuvées.” – Antech

This wine has not received any dosage and thus it expresses the purity and liveliness of the wine. With a crystalline yellow color and golden highlights, the fineness of the bubbles are delightful. The intense nose offers delicate aromas of hawthorn and a pretty fresh mouth of citrus aromas with a very harmonious finish, where the wine can express itself. Taste it as an aperitif or along with the meal. Serve chilled (45-47°F).

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin, 5% Chardonnay
Vinification: Traditional Method, exclusively handpicked harvest. Direct pressing of the grapes and selected musts are set for a first fermentation in inox vat under controlled temperature. Finally, blending and a second fermentation are completed in capped bottles on lattes for around 18th months in air conditioned cellars.
Critical Acclaim: 90 points from Decanter

VINEYARD:
This wine is grown with an oceanic influence in a Mediterranean climate on hillsides and terraces with gently sloping clay-limestone soil. On average, the vine age is about 20 to 40 years old and yields less than 50 hectares. For over five centuries, Antech has tamed this magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. The secret of their character lies in the wise combination of Limoux’s three terroirs, which form the backbone of their cuvées: freshness from the Pyrenees, vinousness from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. Limoux is a lovely little Languedoc town in the heart of Cathar country.  Learn more about their vineyards here.
ABOUT THE WINERY:

Family owned and independent for 6 generations, the Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of sparkling wines in Limoux, legendary sparkling wine area. Forerunner in the regional anchoring and the revival of the traditions, the Antech Estate distinguishes itself by a distinctive style, from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action.

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CollectionDomaine Charles Baur
Crémant d’Alsace Brut
Eguisheim, Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Crémant is a style of sparkling wine from France, with strict regulations that govern the production methods. Alsace, as a Crémant producing region, dates back to the 19th century and typically have fine mousse (bubbles).

This Crémant, or Brut sparkling white wine, offers a complex nose of apples, pears, white flowers, and a touch of melon. On the palate, this sparkler is fresh, delicate, well-balanced, and provides a fantastic mouthfeel. It pairs nicely with seafood, oysters, and desserts, but can also be enjoyed on its own any time.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 80% Pinot Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
Appellation: AOC Crémant d’Alsace
Harvest Method:
Manuel harvest with sorting
Vinification:
Pneumatic pressing of whole grapes with selection of juices. Prize de Mousse in bottles at low temperature. Stored, then disgorged.
Critical Acclaim:
92 points Wine Enthusiast 

VINEYARD:
The vines are located in Eguisheim and the surrounding area. Predominately clay-limestone, the slopes of Eguisheim have weak to steep slopes. Protected by the Vosges, rainfall is low, which promotes maturation and limits disease. To learn more about Domaine Charles Baur’s Vineyard, click here.

Alsace wines Charles Baur Eguisheim_ Crémant d'Alsace Brut

Photo by Domaine Charles Baur

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in Eguisheim, in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the Charles Baur family cultivates vines located on the slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate surroundings. Their beautiful wine heritage is made up of several plots located on the Grands Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg. With the aim of producing great Alsace wines, they seek moderate yields and harvest and sort all of their production by hand. In order to ensure a high level of quality every year, they exclusively produce wines with their own harvest grapes. The Charles Baur Winery develops the entire range of Alsace wines, a very wide range of Grands Crus and several Crémants d’Alsace.

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December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

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November Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubBouteille Fiche BrutRidgeview
Bloomsbury Brut
Ditchling, Sussex, England

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our sole focus in the winery at Ridgeview is minimal intervention, to let our exceptional grapes speak for themselves and nurture the juice into making the best wine possible. Balance is at the heart of all of our wines, making the most of the full fruit flavors in harmony with our wonderful cool climate acidity.”

Bloomsbury is light golden in color with a fine, persistent mousse. Citrus fruit aromas with hints of melon, peach and honey. Chardonnay dominance brings finesse, along with crisp freshness. The Pinots add depth and character leading to a beautifully balanced finish. Will age gracefully over time as the Chardonnay matures.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
Altitude: 5m-65m ASL
Vineyard Age: Between 8 and 22 years old
Exposure: South & Southeast
Soil: Clay & Limestone, Flint & Loam
Bottle fermentation on the Lees: 12-18 months
Memorable Moment: Official wine served for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Critical Acclaim:

  • SILVER Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
  • SILVER OUTSTANDING International Wine and Spirit Competition 2018
  • 90 pts. – Decanter 2013
  • 90 pts. – The Wine Advocate (NV)
  • 91 pts. – AG Vinous (NV)
  • 90 pts. – Wine Enthusiast (NV)
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2015
  • 91 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2014
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2013
  • 90 pts. – Wine & Spirits (NV)

PRODUCTION:
Whole-bunch pressed to limited pressure, and to give a low yield of 62% volume to weight. A natural cold settling takes places without the use of enzymes. Fermentation at a moderate temperature of 60.8-64.4°F in stainless steel using natural yeast. Malolactic fermentation is carried out.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Ridgeview story began in 1995, when Mike and Chris Roberts decided to release a vision, nurtured for many years. With a love of England and a passion for wine, they investigated the English wine industry with a view to understanding the type of wine production they felt would thrive best in the cool climate of Southern England. Their research pointed towards traditional method sparkling wine made from the three classic varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. At the time, sparkling wine production in England was largely unexplored and unproven, so the dream to create world class sparkling wine in Sussex was a certainly a risk.

Nestled at the base of the beautiful South Downs with their chalky soils, the perfect site was found – the ridge with an unforgettable view. It was here the journey began. Whilst the vines were gently nurtured towards their first harvest, we were busy creating one of England’s only underground cellars and building a state-of-the-art winery. Ridgeview’s first grapes were harvested and pressed; the wines were bottled, then hidden away in the cellar to age.

Over 20 years later, production has increased to more than a quarter of a million bottles and Ridgeview is sold across the world. Their winery continue to invest in the most modern, specialist machinery and proudly crafts every element of their production methods on site- from hand picking all of their grapes, gently pressing them to extract maximum flavor, bottling, riddling, disgorging and labelling. Learn more about Ridgeview Winery here.

Simon Roberts

Head Winemaker: Simon Roberts

WINEMAKER:
Founder, Mike Roberts MBE, was originally at the winemaking helm ably assisted by his son Simon, to whom he passed his considerable knowledge and experience. Simon Roberts is now Ridgeview’s Head Winemaker, supported by a highly experienced and talented winery team.

A natural winemaker with a skilled palate, Simon likes minimal intervention as a Winemaker and would rather let the grapes speak for themselves. Simon trained at Plumpton Wine College and gained experience in Australia. Now responsible for the day-to-day Winemaking at Ridgeview, Simon has the support of a fantastic team. In his spare time Simon can be found coming up with culinary creations in the kitchen. Learn more about the Ridgeview team here.

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October Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubDOC BrutScarpetta 
Prosecco
DOC Brut
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This Prosecco comes from the Grave del Friuli, Italy’s newest DOC region for Prosecco. Light, bright and sparkling appearance, with aromas of juicy melon, white flowers and hazelnut. This light, dry and vibrant Prosecco makes the quintessential aperitivo with flavors of green apple, honeydew melon and fresh cut flowers. Pair with anything from a bag of chips to a light appetizer – enjoy on its own, or while dreaming of relaxing in the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume

Production:
The grapes Glera (the noble grapes of Prosecco) and Chardonnay are fermented in stainless steel, kept at very low temperatures and then brought into the Charmat Method, also known as Metodo Italiano. From there, they are further aged in bottle.

Rosé Brut TimidoScarpetta 
Timido
Rosé Vino Spumante Brut
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This sparkling rosé comes from the Grave del Friuli and is made from 100% Pinot Noir. It has a bright pink, rosy and vibrant appearance, with aromas of strawberries and fresh cut flowers. On the palate, this wine is crisp and dry with delicate flavors of juicy strawberries and fresh herbs. This Spumante Rosé is great to have before or after a meal; its wonderful with salads, plates of salumi or a lovely grilled salmon.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume

Production: The grapes are fermented in stainless steel and produced in the Charmat Method (also called “Metodo Italiano”); this is the same method used in Prosecco production. The wine is then aged in stainless steel and in bottle.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Years ago, travels took the winery to the northeastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. A passion for creating wines from this unique region eventually led Scarpetta to expanding into all of Italy. True to Italian traditions, part of everyday meals include drinking good wine, great conversation, and little moments of celebration. Scarpetta was created as an homage to this lifestyle. Scarpetta refers to a small piece of bread used to soak up the last bit of delicious sauce on your plate that you can’t possibly leave behind.

Italy is as diverse in its wines as it is in its cuisine, which is why we’ve developed a passion for combining regional wines with provincial recipes. There’s an old food and wine pairing motto that says, “if it grows together, it goes together.” Our hope is that Scarpetta wines will bring this story of the Italian table to life. Our wines are meant to be enjoyed with good food, but more importantly shared — from special occasions to everyday adventures.

 

Flora ProseccoCol di Luna 
“Flora” Prosecco DOC
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Made in the pre-Dolimites of Vittorio Vento, Italy, this is a ‘Brut’ nature Prosecco. On the palate, it is bone-dry, with flavors of mountain flowers, mixed with honeysuckle and wild tart apples. The crown cap closure keeps the wine fresh and fizzy – more ideal than the classic cage and cork method, as it is quick to open and easily enjoy.

Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume

ABOUT THE WINERY:

For generations the Col di Luna family has been dedicated to wine-growing and has lived on this hills passionately cultivating their land and growing the traditional local grapes. Love for making wine has been a part of the family heritage from the distant 1780s, when Antonio Maria Casagrande Cosmo moved from Venice to the hills north of the city and planted their first vineyard.

Col di Luna is located in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco producing area. Due to its geographic position, this beautiful and unique area has an enormous potential for the production of distinctive great sparkling Prosecco wines. They believe good wines come from grapes which bear the characters of the place they originated from and that’s why Col di Luna allows their wines to naturally express the earth that grows them. The harvest begins in the middle of September. Testing for the proper ripeness of the grapes begins at the end of August. When it is confirmed that the level of sugar and acidity is ideal and stable, the harvest starts.

Col di Luna believes that man is an important and irreplaceable link in the life cycle of grapevines, so, all harvesting is done by hand. The grapes are then taken immediately afterwards to the cellar for processing. Their production areas extend over 9 provinces in Veneto and Friuli. The most important production area is the province of Treviso. Col di Luna is located in the very hearth of the traditional area for glera production.

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September Bubbly Club

Astraeus RoséBubbly Wine ClubWaterkloof
Astraeus Rosé Pinot Noir MCC
Elgin Valley, South Africa

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“In Greek mythology, ASTRAEUS, father of the four wind gods and the stars was an astrological deity known as the god of the dusk. Appropriately he married Eos who was the goddess of the dawn. Together they had many children, one of whom was named Boreas: God of the cold north wind, which howls relentlessly through Waterkloof’s vineyards and so defines the character of our grapes and resulting wines. While many people believe Waterkloof’s logo depicts a blowing man, it is actually a blowing god – Boreas. No myth, this palest of pale MCC rosés is a true product of nature.” – Waterkloof Wines

This is a lightly colored Pinot Noir Rosé with fine bubbles and not an overpowering mousse. It gives off floral and mineral aromas and strikes a fine balance on the palate between elegance and fine supporting structure. It can be enjoyed on its own or with some classic red fruit desserts.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
TA: 6.2g/l
pH: 3.2
Residual Sugar: 5.24 g/l

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS:
The grapes for Astraeus were sourced from an organically farmed vineyard in Elgin Valley, in the Western Cape of South Africa. Here, the Pinot Noir grapes receive enough cold temperatures during the winter season, as well as during the growing season, with Elgin Valley’s natural level of cloud cover. Elgin has a big diversity in soil types, but this particular vineyard consists of Table Mountain sandstone, which imparts a minerality to the wine.

Vineyard Work 1

WINEMAKING PROCESS:
This hand harvested Pinot Noir is whole bunch basket pressed for the purest juice; no further maceration is allowed. The juice is then left to settle naturally for 12 hours. From there, wild yeast fermentation, with no additions, takes place in old 600 liter barrels, where the wine spends 9 months on the lees. With bottling, champagne yeast is added and the wine is left in bottle on the lees for a further 11 months; after it is disgorged and left under cork for a further 7 months, the wine is ready to be released.

HISTORY OF WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began.  Learn more about the Waterkloof story here >

 

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August Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubDSC_0588-EditPOE Wines
NV Ultraviolet Sparkling Rosé

Napa, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

NV Ultraviolet Sparkling Rosé is a base of 85% Coombsville Cabernet Franc Rosé, made from the grapes that go into POE’s Ultraviolet Cabernet Sauvignon. The remaining 15% is French Colombard from Mendocino.  This sparkling rosé has aromatics of lemon blossoms and strawberry, the palate shows lovely minerality and fine bubbles, with underripe strawberry, peach, and orange peel, with a lingering bright grapefruit on the finish.

WINEMAKING:
POE had been making Champagne method sparkling wines for six years, when they decided to make a playful, fruit driven California sparkling wine, by utilizing the Charmant method.  As opposed to fermenting in the bottle, POE takes their sparkling base and instigates a second fermentation in stainless steel, utilizing yeast and sugar.  This is the same process as the Champagne method, but in a different vessel.  The fermentation is kept cold, and lasts seven weeks.  After a few months of rest, they bottle under cork.


ABOUT POE WINES:
Samantha Sheehan founded POE in 2009 after being inspired by the wines she tasted in Burgundy and Champagne.  The goal was not to replicate Burgundy, but rather create alluring, vineyard specific, age-worthy wines revealing the beautiful terroir of California.  There is minimal intervention, judicious use of sulfur, and never any additives. POE produces traditional Champagne method sparkling wines, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and a nouveau from Pinot Noir.  Each wine is made in very limited quantities, and sold directly from the winery and to high-end restaurants around the country. 

Owner/Winemaker Sam Poe Sheehan

POE Vineyards© POE Wines

Bubbly Wine ClubBodkin Sparkling Sauv BlancBodkin Wines
Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

Healdsburg, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Bodkin Wines is proud to release the fourth cuvée of California’s first Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. This unique and stylish twist on Sauvignon Blanc has a core of racy crispness driven by lively acidity, accented with lemon-lime aromas (no cat grass — no worries) and citrus-passion fruit flavors. The pronounced citrus tones team with a note of toasted hazelnuts to accent the enchantingly plush mouth feel of the wine. The wine is called Cuvée Agincourt in reference to the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War. In 1415 where the English army comprised largely of archers armed with Bodkin pointed arrows beat back a French army much more numerous and comprised of the nation’s high nobility.

VARIETY: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
ALCOHOL: 11.5%

DOSAGE: Brut

ABOUT BODKIN WINES:
Bodkin Wines was founded by Chris Christensen, an Iowa native, in 2011. His passion for aromatic wines and winemaking led him to create America’s first Sauvignon Blanc with bubbles. In 2013, Andrew Chambers, an Oregon native, joined the brand and they purchased 24 tons and made 1,100 cases of their award-winning Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. Since that time, Bodkin Wines has produced over 15 varietals of wine, eleven of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast. They are consistently growing, year after year, but are determined to keep their presence small and unique. Bodkin Wines is still 100% owned by both Chris and Andrew, two guys living and working hard in Sonoma County.

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Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 6.38.33 PM© Bodkin Wines