“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” So said Ernest Hemmingway who historically had more of an enjoyment for a quality vintage than most, but an admiration many a wine lover can savor.
Take husband and wife entrepreneurs Bruce and Pam Boring. While they shared a love for wine, they didn’t start out as experts on the subject. Still, the pull was strong enough to transform their passion into a profession. After repeatedly finding themselves struggling to choose a bottle they could really sink their taste buds into, the two started the California Wine Club in 1990. “Do you buy the pretty labels? Or maybe the $45 wine to ensure you get a nice bottle?” questions Bruce. “We came to rely on recommendations from friends. And so that is exactly what we set out to do with The California Wine Club. Be like friends recommending great wines to friends.”
The California Wine Club is currently one of the oldest and most respected wine of the month clubs in the U.S. They feature boutique family winemakers throughout California whom the Borings discover during monthly trips across California's wine country, tasting the wines that never make it to local stores. According to Bruce, California is the best location for such a business. “California has some of the most reliable weather conditions for growing grapes, he says. “They also tend to have a more robust flavor, more fruit forward if you will, compared to wines from other parts of the world.”
While the Borings profession may sound luxurious, enjoying the fruits of their labor doesn’t need to be costly. In fact, The California wine clubs slogan is you "don't have to drink expensively to drink well." According to Bruce there’s “no question that $40 to $80 wines can be very good. But, we have featured hundreds of $15 to $25 wines that in a blind tasting would come out ahead of those pricier wines. Campus Oaks 2010 Zinfandel is a prime example…or Milla Handley's $25, 2007 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir with 10 Gold Medals in 10 different wine competitions.”
In the coming year, the couple reveals consumers will start to see some excellent 2010 Chardonnays available, as well as 2009 Cabernets. If you like alternative whites, they suggest opting for fresh young Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Viogner (2011 or 2012 vintages).
“At The California Wine Club, we treat wine like an adventure,” says Bruce. But unlike most crusades, this one comes with little risk. “You will love the wine, and if you don’t we will replace it. That’s our 100% guarantee.”
For more on The California Wine Club visit CAWineClub.com