In Greece, two things are sacred - good wine and good olive oil. Okay, there are many more things sacred and there are situations where we don’t always care about the quality, but I’m sticking with the basic premise. Both go back to ancient times and the gods: Dionysus made quite a name for himself and Athena had a city named after her as a direct result of introducing the locals to the wonders of the olive tree.
In my family, we made both olive oil and wine. In true Greek fashion, we shared our bounty with all guests and visitors. My mom cooked for strangers and friends alike, while my step-dad poured freely. The things is, we kept the really good stuff to ourselves. You had to really rate in the family to merit the wine from the barrel in the back, or to get the particularly golden oil in your salad. It occurs to me that wine clubs and allocated wines work in much the same fashion.
I recently went to visit Arista Winery and tasted some wines that were not available for sale. I was instantly hooked and put my name on their mailing list so that I would eventually have the opportunity to buy some of their Pinot Noir. I had to be “in the family” to get the really good stuff. Similarly, most wineries will make special wines available only to wine club members. Not only do you get your regular shipments, but you learn about wines not generally available to the public.
If you are not a member of your favorite winery’s club, you might consider asking about it. You typically will get discounts, invitations to special events, great wine periodically shipped to your door without having to think about it, and “in crowd” status granting you access to the fantastic stuff in the back.
One more thing - Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for the life lessons on the joys of sharing great food and wine with friends, preferably along with some good music by the beach!