|Paul Kalemkiarian Sr. & Jr.|
Today I going to write about the wine club that I belong to. If you go a quick Google search you will find that there are many, many wine clubs that you can choose to join. When I was first started looking for a wine club it wasn't easy do to the many choices. I ended up choosing the wine club that is currently the topic of our review, The Wine Of The Month Club (http://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/). For the purposes of simplicity for the remainder of this article I will simply be referring to it as "The Club". I will explain more in the next paragraph. Before I go into the review however, I want to disclose one important item that I feel I must in order to be above board with you guys. The owner of The Club, Paul Kalemkiarian Jr has agreed to send me a bottle of wine in exchange for a review of that particular wine. Paul has sent me the "Porto Kopke 10 Years Old Tawny" from Portugal that I will be reviewing next. One other thing I want to let you guys know is that before I even thought of contacting Paul, I was already a member of The Club myself and believed that it was worth getting into an agreement with Paul and talking favorably about. Remember I am paying full price each month for The Club myself so it must be good or I would have already cancelled. One last thing that I would like to mention. I would like you, my readers to know that I am from Brooklyn, New York and am from the "Old School". I will never sell myself or the name of The Desert Wine Guy out to anyone. My reviews whether on wine, or as in this case a wine club are my true opinions on whatever subject I am reviewing. The reason I am saying all this is because I want to let you guys know that as always I will continue to review all wines and anything else I decide to review and give my sincere, honest opinion. I also do not like wines or services or for that matter dislike wines or services simply because the person owning, pouring or as in this case, giving me the wine is nice or friendly, I do not work like that. I will not even let the politics of the Vineyard owner, wine maker or company owner effect my reviews on a product. I myself came to Paul with the proposed arrangement because I felt that The Club was something that I could actually support because as I have already said, I have actually belong to The Club myself. Now that I have been straight with you my readers lets get into this because this article is something that I do want to share with you all.
Let's start learning about The Club by first hearing what attracted me to joining it myself in the first place. Before The Desert Wine Guy was created and before I joined or for that matter even heard of The Club I was not what you could call a wine drinker. I occasionally had some wine but it was just not my thing. If I was drinking I would drink some beer and that was that. The one thing I noticed at that time, as well as today is that The Club didn't send out what you would call "big name wines". I didn't recognize any of the wine labels that I was sent. To be honest at the time I thought that was a big drawback to The Club. I mean other clubs were sending to their customers big name wines and because they were big name wines they had to be better, right? I mean who wouldn't want a Robert Mondavi wine or an Ernest & Julio wine? Well guess what, once I really started learning about wine I realized that simply name alone does not mean anything. Because I wasn't really a wine drinker the wines that I received from The Club simply sat in a small kitchen wine rack on the counter. You know the kind of rack I am talking about, I think we all have at least one. I'm talking about the wine racks that K-Mart and Walmart sell. The ones that are just used for decoration. My membership for The Club eventually expired and I ended up not renewing it and The Club was forgotten about. A few years later as The Desert Wine Guy started to take shape. I started to open these wines and drink them and do you know what I realized? I realized that these small, (I guess you could call them Boutique wines) were very good. I ended up drinking and eventually reviewing these wines and loving them. By this time the wines were a few years old and the wines had time to develop in the bottle. Most of the wines were so good I would get with the particular winery to purchase another bottle or two and I was informed that the wine was no longer available, I guess since they were small production wines I had waited to long to drink them and I was out of luck. WOW that was terrible. One day I am sitting in my Loft doing a review of a wine that did not come from The Club but was from a small winery that I had never heard of and I started to think about The Club and the great wines I received from them. It was then that I decided to rejoin. I was now on the path to learning and discovering everything I could about wine as well as to go on to develop two small backyard Vineyards. I started to grow in my wine knowledge and experience. Prior to re-joining I thought of the great wines that I received from The Club. What I believed at the time was "bad" wine simply because they were from small Vineyards ended up turning into my "great awaking". I looked around the internet and saw that there are many wine clubs that I could join but those early memories that helped plant the seeds of The Desert Wine Guy had a major influence on me and I went to The Clubs website and saw how Paul loved wine and was so willing to share that love and teach his customers about wine. I also remembered just how great those early wines really were. A quick check of The Clubs website clearly shows that. There is everything from videos of interviews of winemakers that Paul has conducted to educational articles on wine. Paul interviews fellow Bloggers and is a wealth of knowledge. There is a link to wine news article of interest. Paul has his own wine blog with recipes and articles on individual wines. Paul also has a shop where you can purchase great wines. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase gift baskets, gift certificates and wine accessories. I recently purchased the Wine Tasting Party Kit that has everything and I do mean everything to host your own tasting party. They charge $29.99 for the kit and I truly believe it is worth every penny. Here (http://vimeo.com/53347603) is the link to Paul's review and description of the kit. There is a little something for everyone who has any interest in wine or for that matter knows anyone who has an interest in wine. Paul also has 6 (yes I said 6) different levels of wine clubs to choose from. There are 4 clubs for those who want 2 bottles each month, 1 club for those who want 6 bottles every other month and 1 club for those who want 12 bottles every 3 months. From the person who is just developing an interest in wine or is already a casual wine drinker all the way up to the wine expert there is a club for you. As an example how great the prices are if you take the Classic Series Wine Club for example, you are getting 2 bottles a month for $37 which DOES include shipping. That is a little over $18 dollars a bottle. I, myself am signed up for the Cellar Series Wine Club which is 6 bottles a month for $86 which also includes shipping. No matter what club you join there isn't just wine that comes with each shipment. There is also a color glossy magazine that tells you about each wine you receive such as who made the wine, where the wine is from and what to look for in the wine. There is even information as well as what foods to pair each wine with. Included with each shipment is a newsletter (which is really a magazine) also. The color, glossy magazine which is entitled "The Tasting Room" discusses things such as terroir, climate, grape variety, winemakers' history, cellaring conditions, as well as temperature settings for storage and service, recipes and more. One other item I would like to add is that when you e-mail Paul he actually e-mails you back, and quickly. Prior to working with Paul I have e-mailed him a few times and even though he is very busy especially with the holidays he has gotten back to me very quickly. I am also very regularly getting e-mails from him as to great buys he is offering on wines. When I say great buys that is what I mean. One example is $9 two day shipping which is going on right now (ends the 21st) . One other important point to make is that I haven't seen any e-mails from other companies related to the wine industry that I have not, myself initiated. What I am saying is that I have seen nothing to lead me to believe that Paul sells your e-mail address, this is good. One other great thing I must mention is that there are no dues to pay. If you get tired of receiving great wines from The Club, just let Paul know and that is it. I have also done some checking on the internet about The Club to see if my great experiences with The Club are common experiences or if I am just lucky. What I found out is that everyone has nothing but great things to say about The Club. Here is a link to Yelp
In closing this article out here is my advice to you if you are looking to join a wine club or if you already belong to a club and are looking to expand your wine tasting and knowledge. I recommend that you at least give The Club a try. If you love to taste the wines that are made from the Vineyards you never hear of as well as few that you have and love the experience like I do then I believe you have found the perfect wine club. If on the other hand even you are locked into the big name wines and believe they are the end all be all of wine choices then it is time to expand your horizons and venture out from your comfort zone. I recommend that you to join The Club and at least give it a try, I think you will be glad that you did.
The Desert Wine Guy