Ross' Weekly Sip: Wine Club Advice to kick off 2019

2018 was a year of turbulent changes in my life.  After 17 years in the restaurant industry, including my time at The American & Corvino Supper Club, I put away my suits and ties and ventured for the first time into the world of retail sales.  All things considered, I couldn’t be happier!  

Restaurants and retail alike, it’s not always easy to convince customers to take a step out of their comfort zone and experience something new.  That’s why when I began my carrier with Mike’s Wine & Spirits, one of my first goals was to improve and expand on our newly developed Mike’s Better Wine Club.  

My initial goal with the wine club was to offer something for everyone, regardless of price point, regardless of where the individual is in their journey of wine enjoyment.  That’s why I created Club Andy for the Novice, looking to experience the world of wine for the first time.  Club Pat for the seasoned drinker looking for the next big thing.  Club Mike for the connoisseur looking to age wine, and enjoy the best of the best, the rarest of the rare.  Each club offers two wines a month that you won’t see lining the shelves.  In addition, we have regular tastings featuring winemakers and industry professionals from around the globe, limited to our wine club members.  

In 2019, I hope to put great new wines in your hands, and the more our club grows, the better the wines will get!  If you’re not yet a member, check it out!  We’re doing big things at Mike’s, and we hope to have you along for the ride!  

Below I have attached my notes for our January wine club release.  If you’re interested in joining Mike’s Better Wine Club, send us your info at this link https://www.mikeskc.com/wine-club and I will contact you personally with more information!  

Cheers, and a happy 2019 to all of you. 

Ross Jackson

The Kansas City Wino 

Club Andy 19.95/mo

Since the addition of Club Andy, it has been our goal to introduce new wines and winemaking regions that are off the grid and hopefully create a new and exciting experience for the wine connoisseur in training.  This month, the Club Andy white offers a wine that I have not crossed paths with in 13 years of being in the industry.  The Suriol family is one of the oldest Cava producing houses in Penedès, In December I was presented with a very esoteric still wine, made entirely of the Xarel-lo grape, which is generally reserved as the work horse for the sparkling wines of Spain.  Its amazing to me how much this wine shows the power and acidity needed to make a great sparkler.  So much acidity that the fruit profile becomes incredibly apparent in the wine, and you begin to taste the fruits that you smell on the nose.  Rarely does anyone get the opportunity to taste base wine before they enter their secondary bottle fermentation.  This was truly a fun and remarkable experience to try this wine.  It would be right at home with Paella or any Spanish seafood or rice dish.  

To pair with this unique Spanish wine, we looked for something old world, in hopes of finding a Spanish counterpart.  Unfortunately we didn’t find that counterpart, as we found a value in Bordeaux that was too good to pass up.  The theme for Club Andy immediately changed from ‘Esoteric Spain’ to ‘Perfect Food Pairing Wines!’  This wine from the village of Fronsac, was a private label bottling of Chateau Meillac, which retails between $17-20.  That private label contract expired on January 1st and their loss is your gain.   

This classic Bordeaux Supérieur is comprised of primarily Merlot grown on clay soil with a healthy dose of Cabernet Franc for structure and aromatics.  Enjoy this wine with its classic pairing, lamb shank, or any other rustic roast.  

Club Pat 39.95/mo

Our theme for Club Pat this month plays off one of the hottest new trends in domestic wine today, ‘The New California.’  A new generation of winemakers across the state are testing the limits of winemaking while also paying homage to the forgotten grape varietals that put California on the map.  Many of these New California wines are made with an old world attitude, showing restraint of ripeness and alcohol, trying to create a structurally balanced wine in the end…something that has been lost in California for decades.  

Our white for Club Pat this month is the ONX Field Day.  This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Grenache Blanc from the Templeton Gap District of Paso Robles.  The final product creates a crisp, mouthwatering white of straw color that is incredibly aromatic with citrus and stone fruit along with a healthy dose of fresh flowers coming from the addition of Viognier.  

To pair with the Field Day, we have a red nearly five years in the making, and by that I mean, we’ve been begging Michael Cruse to bring his wines into Missouri for five years.  They’re finally here and we couldn’t be happier that we get to offer the first shipment to our wine club!  We are offering the Cruse Wine Co. Monkey Jacket red blend.  A blend of six old vine vineyard sites, this wine is primarily 25% Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Cinsault, Mondeuse, and Zinfandel; another 25% is Valdiguié; and then there’s Syrah, Tannat, St. Laurent, and Carignan. The result is a fruity concoction of pomegranite, strawberry, red cherry, plum, blackcurrant, and blackberry that’s dry, tannic, chalky, concentrated, and spicy on the palate.  You might call this a kitchen sink wine!  I call it California winemaking heritage in a bottle.  

Club Mike 99.99/mo

For this months Club Mike, we’ve sourced two rare bottlings with a Bordeaux theme, one to drink now, and one to stow away.  The first, 2007 Chateau Faugères Grand Cru Classe from Saint-Emilion is a classic right-bank blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  The second, the Vaglio ‘Miperal’ is 100% Valle de Uco Malbec, a grape indigenous to Bordeaux but that has found new routes in Argentina.  

While 2007 was a tough vintage in Bordeaux, great winemakers make great wine, and Chateau Faugères was greatly considered to be one of the best wines of the year.  Open this wine now with roast lamb and mint, or cellar it away for a few more years to see it in its final form.  

Vaglio is a single vineyard project by José Balbo, son of the famed winemaker Susanna Balbo.  Miperal is the new pinnacle of this project and one of the smallest micro-parcel wines in the world, as the vineyard site is only about half an acre in size.  We are very excited to have receive enough of this small production wine to offer our club!  Drink now if you so dare, but this wine will rest patiently in your cellar for the next 7-10 years. 

Andy Doohan