Want to learn more about wine or just impress your friends with your tasting skills? A really great way to expand your wine knowledge and hone your palate is to join a wine club. Receiving regular deliveries of delicious wines will introduce you to new favorites and also teach you the basics of wine tasting in a fun and enjoyable way without the need to even leave your sofa!
Find New Favorites
Wine clubs are a great way to try new things you wouldn’t necessarily have picked off the shelf yourself. Our somMailier wine club gives you the option to choose between all reds, all whites or a mixed case for the more adventurous. We send you a new box each quarter which is packed with three or six bottles from a wide variety of French wine regions and producers.
This might include a fruity and youthful Beaujolais red, a crisp Chardonnay from Chablis, or a powerful red Bordeaux. All of our wines are sourced from small family-run producers and are imported to the U.S.A. exclusively through somMailier, so you won’t find them available anywhere else. Wine clubs can be a unique opportunity to try wines that you wouldn’t be able to get hold of otherwise.
Tailored Information Cards To Guide You
Every French wine club shipment from somMailier comes with detailed information cards for each wine in your box. You can use this to guide you as you open and enjoy each of the wines. The cards include in-depth tasting notes explaining the flavours and aromas in each wine as well as the story behind each wine. Many of France’s winemaking families have been crafting wines for generations, and by tasting their wines you get to understand a little bit of their history and their passion for their craft.
Hone Your Palate
Wine clubs are also a great way to improve your tasting skills and develop your palate. If you already know which wines you love and which you aren’t so keen on, why not push yourself and take your knowledge to the next level by working on your palate. All wine experts agree that the best way to do this is to taste as much as possible and to learn to identify the different aromas, flavors and characteristics of each grape variety and the typical wine styles of key regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone.
Joining a wine club is an easy way to train your palate since you can use the tasting notes as a guide. Why not start out by seeing what aromas and flavors you can pick out and then cross-check against the wine card to see how many you got? It’s best to start with the aromas giving the glass a good swirl or two before taking a sniff, and then proceeding with the flavors by taking a small sip and swilling it around a bit like mouthwash.
If you find this difficult at first, don’t despair. Training your palate takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it when you can impress your friends at dinner with your refined tasting skills! As you taste more and more wines from different regions and producers through your wine club membership you will become more and more familiar with the most common varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and France’s key wine regions.
For example, after a while you will be able to recognise Cabernet Sauvignon from its distinctive dark fruit notes like cassis, black cherry and plum notes, full body and spicy hints from the oak ageing. Likewise, over time you will get familiar with the typical flavor profile of Pinot Noir which is used to make red Burgundy. This grape tends to be lighter and fresher with more red fruit notes like redcurrants, red cherries and raspberries.
Food & WIne Pairing
Another way to impress your friends is by showing off your knowledge of food and wine pairing. Each bottle in our wine club shipments comes with a list of recommended pairings which have been specifically chosen to harmoniously match the flavor profile of the wine. You can even go all out and embrace the French theme by learning some classic dishes like Coq au Vin or Beef Bourguignon for a full-on Gallic experience.
By trying out different food and wine pairings you will soon discover your own favorites and pick up the basics of how to match food and wine yourself. According to Olivier Leflaive, who produces some of Burgundy’s most sought-after wines, the secret to successful food and wine pairing is to start with the wine and then decide what you will eat. Generally speaking, red wines are best served with heartier dishes like red meats or tomato-based pastas while white wines pair better with salads, creamy cheeses, roast chicken and fish.
There are no fixed rules when it comes to food and wine pairing, though, so joining a wine club is a great way to experiment and try out new combinations. When you’ve mastered the basics, why not try some more advanced pairings such as Pinot Noir with game dishes like pigeon or asparagus (notoriously hard to pair with wine) with a crisp and herby Sauvignon Blanc.
Joining a wine club also helps you appreciate the cultural side of wine. France has been producing wine for at least 2,600 years and wine is a crucial part of everyday life for many French people. Our founder, Laurent Yung, comes from five generations of Bordeaux winemakers and wine is quite literally in his blood. Along with his brother Patrick who has his own wine sourcing business in Paris, Laurent seeks out small, family-run wineries which are producing some of France’s most underrated and delicious wines.
Joining a wine club like somMailier is a bit like going on a virtual trip to a different French wine region and producer with each bottle you open. Our detailed wine cards tell you the origins of each wine you taste so you can learn more about France and experience a true taste of French culture without even leaving your sofa. Why not whip up a classic French dish or simply serve up some French cheeses and plenty of crusty bread for a real experience of Europe for a fraction of the airfare!
Has this whetted your appetite to learn more about French wine? We’re here to help! Why not check out our French wine club. Every three months we send direct to your door three or six bottles of boutique French wines which have been carefully selected by our family and wine experts in France along with detailed information about each wine and food pairing ideas to help you really discover French wine. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also have a wine club gift option for that special wine lover in your life!