July’s Wine Club

July’s club selections are here!

wine-beer-store-phoenix-july-wine-club-craggy-fogAnd with that, Hidden Track Bottle Shop has turned a year old! July 1st marked our first year of operation, and wow have we had fun. Meeting all of you has been amazing and we must say thank you for letting us share our enjoyment of wine and beer with all of you!

July also marks Hidden Track Bottle Shop’s “The Hits” Wine Club having well over 200 wine club members! And the club is getting some industry attention. More and more wineries and suppliers are contacting us to offer deals for the club, which is exactly what we hoped would happen! It’s always nice to be able to offer two bottles of wine that would normally cost $40, $50, or $60, for just $25.

When you stop in to pick up this month’s selections, be sure to check out the chalkboard for a list of the top 10 wines from our first year. We have top AZ wines and top beer lists posted, too.

We’d like to also share a couple of our favorite quotes from the first year:
1. “I broke up with a guy because he ordered a White Zin.”
2. “I’ve got friends in Merlot places.”
3. “This wine tastes a little splingy.”
4. “I pair my wine with wine.”
5. “Wow, you really are hidden.”
6. “I can’t drink wine at restaurants anymore because it’s not as good as what I get here.”
7. “You don’t have any vodka?”
8. “I would like to sign up for the Wine Club.”
9. “Where are your Rieslings?” (Thank you, Somm: Into the Bottle!)
10. “My Malbec brings all the boys to the yard.”

There are many more, and there will be many more to come – you’re a clever group!

So let’s talk July Club –

The Roman Empire… Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be that kind of story! But as you know, the Romans were once at the center of civilization. And that civilization was fueled by a bio-diesel better known as “wine.” As the Romans expanded their empire, the territories they moved into were supplied by an infrastructure of military outposts. These outposts were key in holding supplies for the military so that they were not solely dependent upon rations coming from Rome. And by rations, we primarily mean wine. Wine was considered a form of currency, and part of a soldier’s compensation was one liter of wine per day. During times of conflict, the ration increased.

This is where it gets interesting. Some astute Romans were using their abacuses and figured out that it would cost Rome less to have the Church plant and maintain vineyards at various outposts. Of course, while they were at it, the Church could also spread the word of God to all the barbarians that Rome was trying to conquer. But really, money talks – and the military needed wine.

When the Romans reached an area called Germania, they set up an outpost in what would become the oldest city in Germany, Trier. This outpost became one of the largest and most important holdings for the Romans. It also became a distinct area for wine production as it sits within the Mosel Valley in Germany.

The Mosel Valley would develop its wine footprint around a varietal called Riesling, one of the most misunderstood varietals on the planet, and also considered one of the noblest varietals on the planet. The reason for the latter is that the Mosel Valley provides an amazing opportunity for grapes to struggle. From a variety of different colored slate, cool temperatures, and extremely steep slopes that the vineyards are panted within, the Mosel is a list of checked boxes for grape excellence.

All of these elements allow for one of the most transparent varietals in the world to display a beautiful balance of acid and natural sugars, which in turn create a wine that allows itself to enhance its flavors and enhance the flavors of most everything else near it, AKA your food. Yep, Riesling is arguably the best wine to pair with your food. We challenge you to prove us wrong!

And July’s selections are:

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2011
It’s not as hard to pronounce as it looks – we’ll tell you how to say it when you stop in! Markus Molitor is a badass German winemaker. He took over his family’s business when he was 20 and never looked back. He also never became part of the VDP because, well, he didn’t have to. He sources and produces primarily single vineyard Rieslings with an all-natural winemaking method. Even the yeast used is the natural yeast found on the grapes in the vineyards. Pair this wine with a spicy Thai dish and you will understand what food pairing is all about!

Craggy Range Te Kahu Red Blend 2011
This beautiful, silky smooth Bordeaux-style blend comes from the land of the Kiwi – New Zealand! The North Island to be more precise. Much of what people know about New Zealand wines revolve around Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of the South Island. However, many more varietals and great wines come from this mystical country. “Te Kahu” means “the cloak” in Maori (the indigenous culture of New Zealand). It refers to the mist or fog that rolls over the vineyard, creating that blanket of opportunity for temperatures to embrace and nurture the grapes. This single vineyard selection is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. Enjoy it in a glass…or with a hearty steak.

Cheers, and see you soon!

Craig & Danielle