Enjoying Life One Glass at a Time

March 2015 Wine Club

Here we are into March when some of our members thoughts turn to prepping for the cruise back to cooler climes. BUT, before we leave or begin hunkering down for triple digits we have WINE CLUB business to take care of. Don’t worry, if you are not planning to be here over summer, part of the hunkering process for the rest of us is figuring how to shoulder the load while you’re gone. Don’t worry, we’ll scrape by!happy

Financial Statement

Before diving into the nuts and bolts of the good stuff, here is the promised financial report. Forgive the formatting here, this is a cut-and-paste from an Excel spreadsheet. I have left the formatting to my website program rather than spend an hour revamping it. Any questions just email me or ask at the next meeting. The wine dinner (blank now) will appear on the next report. Also notice that we have a $286 net gain. That’s due to collecting beginning-of-the-year dues. The awards and prizes were from the Wine Shuffle (last month).

Merril Ranch Wine Club

Monthly Financial Report

This financial report applies to the period:

February 1, 2015


February 28, 2015


Sale of Supplies to Members

Less: Cost of Sales

Gross Profit from Sales

Other Income:

Tasting Fees


Member Dues



Wine Dinner

Interest Income



Total Revenues


Operating Expenses:

Wines for Tasting


Supplies, plates, forks, napkins


Awards & Prizes



Wine Dinner



Total Operating Expenses


Net Gain/Loss:

Total Revenues


Less: Total Operating Expenses


Net Gain/Loss


And Now The Good Stuff!

We had a total of 50 tasters for our Cabernets of the World taste-off. That’s kind of an ambitious name for a tasting of three wines, but we are all ambitious tasters! We chose three very nice Cabs from three widely separated regions of the world, Napa Valley, Bordeaux, France, and Maipo, Chile. These wines are also spread out in age, from 3 to 10 years old.

Now, some have asked how we decide which wines to present for tasting. I will digress a bit here (feel free to skip to the next paragraph) and explain the very precise process we went through to select those wines (this is pretty typical of each month). We boldly burst through the doors of Total Wine, confident in having created the perfect plan earlier in the week at our very serious ‘Executive Board Meeting’. In this case we had chosen 3 nice Cabs from 3 acclaimed growing areas (Napa, Bordeaux, and Australia) and from the same vintage (though the ‘down-under’ wines will always be a half-year younger or older—just the way the world works). We purposefully guided the cart down an appropriate aisle, Wayne with his trusty iPad, me with calculator and Diane and Kathy scurrying about the stacks looking for the desired wine. Item found, we begin loading the wine when their stock is found to be one bottle short of the required 5 bottles. We contact a cheerful employee who tells us that we are out of luck. Wayne quickly dives into the iPad, finding another candidate the fits the profile and inventory needs, but oops, its more than the original, so now the other 2 wines will not fit the price point. Additionally, looking for the second wine creates a new problem, as now the vintage inserts itself into the selection process. OK, you get the idea. After crisscrossing the store multiple times, consulting almost continuously with that same cheerful employee (who has entirely gotten into our mission), and ending up with plan D or E, we finally end up schlepping to the checkout with the selection you see below.

March 2015 Wines

Out of our 50 tasters, we had 23 (or 46%) correctly choose wine A as the oldest wine. That was a good percentage as the wines were all very good, none showed the characteristic orange rim you might get with an older wine, and the oldest still had firm tannins.

Ruthie graciously donated our two door prizes, a wine game and a wine journal. Both were awarded by random drawing of those that correctly named wine A as the oldest wine.


Of those that expressed a preference for one wine over the other two, 23 out of 42 chose the Napa Cab (and the oldest wine). The other two were about equal with the Chilean getting 9 votes and the French wine gathering 10.

By the way if you enjoyed the French wine (it was my favorite), that is a good price for a Bordeaux that drinks well now and will age for at least another 10 years. If you liked the French wine and happen to be looking for some, it might help to look closely at the vintage. The weather varies more from year to year in France than in many other wine regions (especially our own Napa Valley) and it may help to choose based on year. The 2009 was a great—some say exceptional—year for Bordeaux wines and the price tends to be lower than other similar years because wine folks were waiting for the 2010 wines (an even better year). The 2005 vintage was also exceptional. In my quick research, I have not seen a five year period where there were 3 years so highly rated (95 or above) since the late 1980’s.

So, before getting to the really important people (and food!) that makes our club what it is, I’d like to say thanks to all of you that pitched in to help move tables, chairs and clean up after our festivities. Thanks to Pat Gougelmann for the time spent taking pictures and formatting them for us.

Our People, Wines and Food…




And until next time….

Wine Cheers