July 16 Newsletter
It was great seeing so many folks at yesterday's Alameda Meals on Wheels event at Rock Wall Wine Company!!
There were 1500 generous souls supporting a worthy local charity and having a great time doing so! We were pouring five well-made, inexpensive Portuguese wines and sampling out Famoso cheese from the Azores.
My arm sure is tired from pouring so many samples, but I've still got a smile on my face after meeting so many wonderful people!!
(And it was fun seeing people's faces drop when we told them that none of the wines on the table were priced over $9.50/btl!!).
Hopefully we'll see you at next year's event!
Badia A Passigiano Mags. We've brought in some Badia a Passigiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 in large format for your entertaining pleasure.
Passigiano is made by the venerable Antinori family, who Antinori purchased the vineyards around Badia in 1987. The abbey was once the home of the founder of the Vallombrosano order, and is still owned by the monks, although Antinori has the use of the estate's beautiful cellars.
Look for an intense ruby red color with light garnet hues. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate and coffee. Strikingly weighty structure expressed in well rounded and balanced tannins. A very lingering sweet flavor with hints of blackberries and plums.
"The 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva from the Badia a Passignano property spent 14 months in small French oak barrels prior to being bottled. It is a richly flavored Chianti loaded with sweet dark fruit, smoke, licorice and tobacco nuances. Made in an accessible yet generous style, it is sure to provide much pleasure over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2014. " - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
$75 for the Magnums (we have one in each shop) - quite a deal, since the 750 ml bottles are $45 each!
New Wine Club! We've created yet another club for ya - this one especially created for folks who drink a glass or so of wine per day. It's called the Farmstead Case Club, and delivers twelve bottles of quality wine each month for around $200.
The Farmstead Case Club really is the best of all worlds, as it is based on the selections in our monthly Classic Club (great wines in the $20-30 range) and our Bargain Club (six wines in the $9-15 range), plus two other Farmstead-selected wines.
Like all other Farmstead Wine Clubs, you'll receive a significant discount off our retail price on the wines in the case (in this case, a whopping 12.5% off our regular prices), plus discounts on most wines in the shop, detailed notes on each wine, and warm feelings from knowing you're supporting a small, independent, locally owned business!
We launch the club this week, so if you're interested in joining up, simply respond to this email, come into the shop, or call us on the phone!
This month's case comes in at $219 undiscounted, but sells to Farmstead Case Club members at $191.97, or a $16 per bottle average cost.
Janasse Côtes du Rhône - Robert Parker just released a survey on high scoring Bargain priced wines from several importers, and one of the standouts was this custom cuvée from Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône.
Here's what Parker said: "This is a custom cuvee made for the U.S. market by Eric Solomon from the dynamic, conscientious, remarkably consistent producer of Chateauneuf du Pape and Cotes du Rhone, Christophe Sabon. This Cotes du Rhone Cuvee, a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Cinsault aged 12 months in foudre, is gorgeous. Kirsch liqueur dominates the aromatics and flavors. The wine’s deep ruby/purple color is followed by lots of floral, licorice, lavender, pepper, roasted meat and herbes de provence notes. This complex, concentrated, stunning Cotes du Rhone sells for a song. Drink it over the next 3-4 years." 92 points.
We were able to snag several cases of this baby, and it won't last. We have it at $16.50 per bottle ($14.85 per bottle in a case). In store purchases only, no reserving by email or telephone.
Wine Clubs Allocations Released This Week. We release our wine clubs later this week - 12 clubs, 27 wines!
Bargain (six bottles): Chidaine Touraine Blanc, Rosé and Rouge, King's Ridge Pinot Gris, Underwood Pinot Noir, Montes Twins
Burgundy (choose one bottle): Premier Cru Vosne Romanée wines from Chezeaux
Case Club (new club, join!!) Classic Club plus Bargain Club, plus one bottle each of St Eugenie Corbières and St Roch Chimères.
Classic (choose at least two bottles from four offered) : Handley Chard, County Line Rosé, Handley Pinot, Porqué No red blend
French (one bottle): Domaine du Trevallon Rouge
High End White (one bottle): Clos Rougeard Brezé
High End Red: (one bottle from two offered) Dominus or Napanook
Italian (two bottles) Grec Grechetto and Polizano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Pinot Noir: (one bottle) Shea
Rosé - new club - join!! (three bottles) Bressades, Chidaine Touraine, Mas Guiot
Spanish (two bottles): Sherries: La Guita Manzanilla and Alvear Pedro Ximenez Anada
Sparkling Wine (two bottles) Natural Sparklers Donati Malvasia and Tant Mieux
All Farmstead Wine clubs have the same great benefits - significant discounts on most wines in the shops, advance notice and discounts for wine dinners, detailed notes on club wines, and our unflagging gratitude and devotion. Plus a free Farmstead Wine Tote with every new membership!
Check out the Wine Club page on the Website for further info, or respond to this newsletter if you'd like to join one of our clubs.
With the exception of the Shea Pinot - all club wines are available to the general public, Club members receive a discount on their purchases, non-club members do not.
$$ Dollar Tastings $$: This week at the Tasting Bar, we're featuring staff favorite wines. That's right, you can taste six wines for a dollar!
We've got some great wines on tap for your edumacational and tasting pleasure : this month's Bargain Club offering!
- Chidaine Touraine Blanc
- King's Ridge Pinot Gris
- Chidaine Touraine Rosé
- Chidaine Touraine Rouge Blend
- Underwood Pinot Noir
- Montes Twins Red Blend
We pour wine in Alameda on Thursdays 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays 2-5; and in Montclair Village on Fridays from 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays from 2-5. Please note new extended times!
Tastings cost $1 per person per flight (dat's right, six wines for a dollar).
By law all wine shops have to charge for their tastings - so since you have to pay something anyways, why not taste at a shop where all of the tasting fee goes to one of your local schools??
Here at Farmstead, all proceeds from our tastings benefit local schools, with this month all moneys going to Beacon Day School in Oakland!! So far this year, we've donated well over $3000 to local schools!
Cheese of the Week - Feta. We're in the middle of salad season (at my house anyways). Tomatoes are ripe, cucumbers are always in season, and sweet onions are perfect right now.
Mix them all together for a Greek Salad with Feta!!
Our Feta - Valbreso Sheep's Milk Feta comes from the rugged plateaus surrounding the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France - one of the wildest and most spectacular regions of France.
Feta is a fresh cheese where the curd is preserved in a salt brine, giving it a characteristic flavor and a specific texture. Originally created in Romania, Feta is now best known as a Greek cheese. However, this staple is made all around the Mediterranean, including southern France.
Valbreso Feta is made from 100% sheep's milk that is left over from the production of Roquefort, the famous French blue cheese. While typically eaten as a table cheese around the Mediterranean, in the USA it is most often added to mixed salads, and best appreciated in the summer.
RECIPE: Greek Salad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (1/2 teaspoon dried)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 head romaine or other leafy lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata, Niçoise, or Lucques olives, pitted and sliced or chopped
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, onion, cucumber, and olives.
In a jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Shake well to combine. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.