Gold Medal Wines: Wine of the Month Club

One of my favorite relaxation rituals is to light a candle, pour a glass of wine, and recline in a hot bubble bath with a good book. In California, I was lucky enough to have stores like BevMo (Beverages and More) at my disposal, as well as easy access to a number of great small wineries. In fact, when we lived in our condo in the Rose Garden area of San Jose, there was a winery on our street.

Now that we’re in Texas, I’ve looked through the offerings at the grocery store and World Market, and their selections are okay, but for really interesting selections, I’ve become intrigued by the wine of the month club offered by Gold Medal Wine ( They offer monthly deliveries of two bottles of wine from small California vintners, which they’ll send to those states where mailing alcohol is actually legal. Prices range from $32 – $179 / month, depending on the rarity and quality of the wine being shipped. (They’re divided into three levels of club membership with the $32 price being good and interesting, while the $179 level is for wines that are truly original, rare, and special.)

Each package comes with two bottles, generally one each of red and white, but sometimes just red. They’re packaged in a styrofoam bottle-protector, and come with the monthly newsletter that talks about the wines selected, as well as offering news and reviews of other wines. For the money, it’s a great way to experience new and different wines that you may not otherwise be exposed to.

There are no monthly minimums, but members do get a discount on half-case (or more) reorders.

Sex, Murder and a Double Latte

by Kyra Davis

San Francisco mystery novelist Sophie Katz, half Jewish, half African American, drinks chocolate brownie frappucinos as if they were nutritional supplements and talks to her cat as if he’s a person. In this, the first book about her and author Kyra Davis’s first novel to be published, she also finds life imitating art, as she ends up trying, with her friends (one of whom owns a sex toy store, the other of whom is her gay hair stylist), to solve a murder that seems as if it’s ripped out of the pages of her last novel.

Along the way, she also has to deal with her mother, her sister and young nephew, and the fact that her prime suspect for the murder is also the man who stole her newspaper at Starbucks, and whom she’s dating…sort of.

Davis’s writing is fresh and funny, and manages to blend chick-lit with the mystery genre, her characters are interesting, and her plot works. A good mixture of froth, foam, and fear.