The International Wine of the Month Club is a family-owned business that has been around since 1994, almost 20 years. The club has a two-tiered tasting panel led by Don Lahey and is comprised of 10 sommeliers, tasters, and winemakers. The panel works diligently to bring delicious boutique wines to its members. There are three membership types at different price levels: The Premier Series, The Masters Series, and The Collectors Series.
In the spring, I connected with the club’s Director of Customer Relations via Twitter and she reached out to me and asked if I’d like to sample the May Collectors Series white and red wines, which cost $69.95 a month plus $13.00 shipping and handling. I said yes, so she sent me the samples. Below are my reviews.
Au Bon Climat XXX (30th) Anniversary Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Santa Maria Valley Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2010 (member reorders are two bottles for $80.95)
I never really know what to expect from a Chardonnay since they taste so differently depending on the climate where the grapes are grown, the method of fermentation (different kinds of oak, stainless steel, or a combination thereof), and the winemaker’s personal style. My initial impression of this wine was almost mind blowing, as it was so complex. It had very alluring aromas of fruits and spices. The flavors were equally enticing, with sweet, tropical fruits in the front of the palate that gave way to tree fruits, citrus, nuts, and spice. The mouthfeel was buttery and creamy, yet the wine retained nice acidity on the finish. What a luscious treat.
Aldo e Riccardo Seghesio Barolo 2008 (member reorders are two bottles for $79.95)
Since I haven’t been tasting wines for very long (since 2008), I can’t recall ever having had a Barolo so this might have been my first. This wine had earthy, floral, and fruity aromatics. On the palate, my first impression was earth, raspberry, and tannins transported by a velvety texture. I paired this wine with fatty cuts of steak over the course of two days, which brought out sweeter red and dark berry flavors. This is a big wine that calls for robust, meaty food pairings.
I had no idea what to expect from The International Wine of the Month Club, but I was impressed with the May Collectors Series offerings I received to sample. If you enjoy tasting different wines from around the world at different price points and you don’t know where to start, a club like this might be an option to consider.