Origins of The Dirty Dozen


12When I came to TWH over ten years ago, I was a French wine novice. I was well versed in wines from California and Italy, but France for me was still un-chartered territory. It was not a conscious choice; it was that I lacked a mentor and access to them. An opportunity arose, I came to The Wine House and my education began. Except for names like Latour and Dujac, I hadn’t a clue about the multitude of producers and wines that I was now expected to know. I worked my way through the Rhone, Alsace, and Bordeaux, mostly concentrating on the “value” end of the spectrum, hitting the jackpot with what was then, and still is, known as the Country French section. Not long into my tenure here, I was up at the Russian River enthusiastically telling my River pals, who like me are wine enthusiasts, about all the terrific French and European wines I was drinking. One such friend, who happens to be the owner/winemaker of an ultra-premium boutique winery, asked what I thought was so great about these Wine House wines. I shot back that what TWH could deliver is the best case of wine for $100, period. He accepted my challenge, wrote out a check, and the following weekend I personally delivered what was to become the first Dirty Dozen sampler!!!

13Over the years The Dirty Dozen has evolved into a monthly offering that encompasses the wine globe. The first Dirty Dozen samplers always included Domaine de Pouy. I vowed that it would remain a constant component in every one and it did for a long time. Domaine de Pouy holds a special place in my heart for it was my wedding white, but things do change and so did the way wines get selected for The Dirty Dozen. What hasn’t changed about The Dirty Dozen though is the unbelievable value it delivers month after month. Whether you sign up to receive the sampler automatically or prefer to pick one up as needed, you can expect a savings of 20-30% off the full retail price. Furthermore, you get a selection of wines that span a range of styles, places and producers all chosen with versatility and quality in mind. And finally included with The Dirty Dozen is a write-up that, if I may say so myself, is informative, witty and fun to read with some sensational food-pairing suggestions so that you know what to expect when you pull (or twist) the cork.
Come on, broaden your wine horizons and pick up May’s Dirty Dozen. There is a sparkler from Loire, and wines from Spain, South Africa, The USA (an unoaked chardonnay from New York, no less!), and France. Oh and another thing, do not forget that this is a creative, yet easy way to send salutations to a loved one, friend, or business associate. Some folks arrange to have The Dirty Dozen sent out for 3 months, 6 months, a year, or whichever way it makes sense. We’ll work to make it simple for you, the sender, while providing the receiver with the best wine experience possible. Thanks for the inspiration Pete. Just like your team, you’re a champ! – Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, California, French Wine, Grenache, The Dirty Dozen, Wine Clubs/Samplers

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