Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pros and Cons of small production

As you might remember, I’m a member of Gold Medal Wine Club. Now, we belong to two “tiers”….the Gold tier, which we get on a monthly basis and is mostly wines in the $15-30 range, that are smaller scale wineries and the Platinum tier, which we get on a quarterly basis and is mostly wines in the $35-55 range from often even smaller scale wineries. (of course, the actual price paid is a little less because of the club program, but still, that’s their values)

I’ll be honest, most of the Gold level wines we drink fairly soon after getting them; they are just in the right price range for drinking quickly. But, the Platinum wines are a bit more expensive so we don’t drink them right away. For example, we received 3 wines in the platinum shipment in late August and we had our first one over the weekend at a nice dinner out; the 2006 Phipps Family Cellars (PFC) Zinfandel. It was amazing; so much body and so well balanced (not too spicy) it was really almost cab like; it had a “Christmas” type nose to it (vanilla/cinnamon) and was just wonderful both by itself and with steak. Anyway, having the chance to try a great bottle of wine I wouldn’t have normally had is one reason I love belonging to a wine clubs like GMWC- total production was less than 400 cases! (not to mention I love the re-order discounts –they buy in bulk and pass savings on to you) The pro of small production is often wonderful quality that's a better deal. I'd rather have this wine than a lot of mass market more expensive cabs or meritage blends, that's for sure and I'm glad I got to try it.

But, the reason I don’t like it….they are already sold out of every single thing I got in my last shipment. I don’t want to hurry up and open everything I have; the point of getting these slightly nicer shipments on a quarterly basis is to slowly build a collection. (our plan is to on average buy one nice bottle of wine a month, one to drink in the next 6-12 months and one to try to save for 3+ yrs) But, now I’ve had it, LOVED it, and WANT MORE OF IT and they are sold out. Boo! (note, I can go directly to the wine maker, as I think they might have some, but if I just want 1-3 more bottles, I don’t want to have to pay $30 shipping….) So, this is the con of trying small production wines; chances are you get one shot at them; either buy a bunch right away or wait for the next gem to come along and fondly remember the great one you tried.

Mr. Lush and I talked about how although its frustrating that we’ve tried something wonderful we might never have again, at least we got to try it, right? And isn’t that what its all about – getting the chance to try something so wonderful you remember why you spend your hard earned money on grape juice? ;)


Claire Uncorked said...

I'd be pissed! That Zin sounds phenomenal...

WineLush said...

But isn't it better to have loved and lost than to not loved at all??

pz said...

i think having that experience together is the most important thing! hope you have many more in the future =)

i'll be back in NC between dec 16 and jan 5... you two wouldn't happen to be in the area would you haha? hope you're well!