Newsletter – February 2022

Feb 22, 2022

America’s largest community of wine explorers

AWS News

February 2022 Volume 36, No. 1

AWS recognized for financial transparency and accountability

The world’s largest database of nonprofit organizations conferred the distinction based on our disclosures to members, supporters, and donors.

Appreciating Washington State wines

With this year’s National Wine Conference scheduled for October 27-29 in Bellevue, Washington, AWS member Eva Gallagher of the Puget Sound Chapter provides background on the state’s geography and oenological roots.

Time to engage with the 2022 National Tasting Project

The web-based program for this year is up and running; time to order your wine and provide feedback.

Resolve to know more about wine

Whether you’re an ambitious wine aficionado or an established wine professional, you’ll want to consider these two great wine education opportunities in 2022.

Enjoy an AWS member discount for the Eastern Winery Expo

Join us March 22-24 at the Eastern Winery Exposition in Syracuse, New York, for the largest trade show and grape-growing in the eastern United States. Leverage your AWS membership for a special discount.

Amateur Wine Competition update

Amateur winemakers should be on the lookout for a survey intended to help make the program better. Also, see the updated rankings of top amateur winemakers from AWS competitions.

Attend a free winemaking webinar with Daniel Pambianchi

Join us on March 10 as this author, lecturer, consultant, and seasoned winemaker — who also is an AWS member, explores winemaking techniques.

The AWSEF scholarship application period has opened

Now is the time to get the word out to interested applicants so they can prepare before the March 31 deadline.

Winemakers’ corner: How to compose a wine to age

Kevin Kourofsky explores how long amateur winemakers can age wine — and what it takes from vineyard to cellar to make a wine that lasts.

Government affairs

Read the latest about reform efforts in Mississippi and Virginia, COVID-related developments, and new efforts to reduce alcohol consumption worldwide.

Chapter events

Your fellow AWS members have been busy; read what they’ve been up to recently.


AWS recognized for financial transparency and accountability

The American Wine Society recently earned the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest database of nonprofit organizations. The distinction is a leading symbol of non-profit transparency and accountability, earned by fewer than 5 percent of the 1.8 million non-profits tracked by GuideStar.

David Falchek, Executive Director

David Falchek, Executive Director

GuideStar provides a seal rating — Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — to eligible IRS-registered nonprofit organizations that comply with GuideStar’s disclosure requirements. The Gold Seal signifies that the American Wine Society provides current and potential donors, members, and supporters with accurate and in-depth knowledge about the many ways the organization advances its mission and vision.

GuideStar Gold Seal of TransparencyWith information easily accessible, interested individuals and stakeholders can make their own determination of which nonprofits to support or be part of. The information includes verification with the IRS, audited financial statements and agency filings, along with information about programs and mission.

The AWS earned an entry-level Bronze Seal from GuideStar by Candid in early in 2021. Then, after a second consecutive clean, outside audit of 2020 financials and national leadership’s ongoing work to tighten organization best practices and governance, the AWS attained a Silver Seal in December, followed now by the Gold Seal.

The AWS in recent years has raised funds for people in winemaking communities devastated by wildfires. The AWS also raised more than $26,000 for its CRU 100 initiative to finance development of wine education resources for members. It’s raised money from “Harvest Friends.” (Thank you, members, for your generous support!) Soon, the organization may bolster its long-term sustainability further by creating a perpetual fund as another fundraising vehicle.

As the AWS continues to explore fundraising opportunities offered by non-profit status, publicly available data and reputational scores and rankings on platforms such as GuideStar will be increasingly important. The groundwork is already in place.

Appreciating Washington State wines

Beyond Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, more than 1,000 Washington State wineries produce excellent vinifera wines attractive to consumers around the world. The Wine Project by Ronald Irvine and Walter J. Clore, published in 1997 by Sketch Publications, is the best source on the history of Washington State wine.

The state’s geography as background

Washington separated from “Oregon Territory” in 1853 and became a State in 1889. A tall ridge called the Cascade Mountains — featuring Mt. Baker in the north, Mt. Rainier in the middle, and Mt. Adams in the south — divides the state into Eastern and Western regions. Eastern Washington is known for conservative politics, incredible irrigated croplands, rattlesnakes, and dry weather. Western Washington is known for its rainy maritime climate, dense population, seafood, and global corporations. Cooperation and animosity, along with admiration and exasperation, describe the relationship between the two halves of the Evergreen State.

A distinctive aspect of Western Washington is a body of water called Puget Sound, with access to the Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap Peninsula, and Pacific Ocean to the west. All of this lies west of the Interstate 5 corridor that runs parallel to the Cascades from Bellingham in the north, to Seattle and Bellevue mid-way, then to Olympia and Tacoma, and finally south to Vancouver on border with Oregon.

Grape cultivation takes root

Map of Washington State AVAs

Click on the image for a larger view of Washington State’s AVAs.

Washington’s earliest documented grape plantings were in 1825 at the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost at Fort Vancouver, Washington. By the 1890s, Puget Sound contained at least 2 commercial vineyards 90s. In 1914, large-scale vineyards emerged in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley. Then, Prohibition began, interrupting progress. (In Washington State, prohibition began in 1916, while it didn’t take effect nationally until 1920.) After Prohibition ended in 1933, Washington State University (WSU) in Eastern Washington funded vineyard feasibility research by Dr. Walter Clore. 1960 marked the beginning of commercial investment in Eastern Washington vineyards. Dr. Gary Moulton and WSU established a Western Washington fruit growers research station in the 1990s.

In the 25 years since the publication of The Wine Project, Washington State wine has gained global attention, and local consumers have become more sophisticated and appreciative of the treasured vineyards nearby. We have an abundance of AVAs and sub-AVAs producing world-class wine, and a thriving tasting room tourism industry. Today, the Yakima Valley alone is home to more than 120 wineries and 5 American Viticulture Areas (Areas in just 70 short miles containing more than 17,000 acres of producing vines.

More information about Washington State’s AVAs

The state’s pendulum has swung from juice grapes and hybrid varietals in the 1800s to vinifera dominant in the late 1900s, back to a diverse selection of 70 vinifera and hybrid varietals, fruit, fruit-grape blends, and sparkling wines in the 21st century. Boutique wine producers are the latest trend, and locals resonate with the “locavore” and “farm to table” neighborhood producer concepts. Western Washington urbanites enjoy buying directly from the wineries whether at a farmers’ market, community festival, or a nearby tasting room.

(Editor’s note: Besides being a member of the Puget Sound Chapter, Eva Gallagher is Vineyard Manager & Product Development Lead at 15 Firs, a fledgling vineyard between Seattle, Tacoma, and Mt. Rainier in the Puget Sound AVA.)

Time to engage with the 2022 National Tasting Project

As announced previously, the 2022 National Tasting Project featuring Sicilian wines is web-based —and that website is now available at Here you will find all of the details you need to run the 2022 NTP. (Note that you will not receive documents separately by email this year.)

On the website, NTP organizers, chapter chairs, and regional vice presidents can register to order wine through March 15. (It’s still possible to order after that date, but availability will not be guaranteed, and prices may vary.)

The retailer will contact you after March 15 to confirm your order. Note you won’t have to make a deposit when ordering, but your payment will be due when the order ships. You can expect delivery in March/April.

Mike Blake
Mike Blake,
NTP Chair

In addition to being able to order wine through the NTP website, other items you will find there include:

  • Educational information.
  • A meeting presentation.
  • Suggested food and wine pairings.
  • Guidance regarding how to organize and run an event.

Also, please take a few minutes to answer a brief, 16-question survey that will help us keep improving the NTP. By sharing your past experiences, you’ll help your fellow AWS members optimize theirs.

Finally, be sure to submit your chapter’s wine evaluations by September 30, 2022.

Send any inquiries to Mike Blake at

Resolve to know more about wine

The AWS offers members two great wine education certificate programs. Whether you’re an ambitious wine aficionado or an established wine professional, as an AWS member you’ll relish these opportunities in 2022.

  • AWS Wine Judge Certification Program. This 3-year curriculum includes required reading, self-study and online activities, along with a day of in-person instruction and testing for your respective level on October 27 at the 55th national conference in Bellevue, WA.

Your first step is to log onto your AWS profile and register for the WJCP session as soon as possible by contacting AWS Director of Education at Registrants for the First Year WJCP may be asked to complete a short proficiency entrance exam. Once registered, you’ll be able to participate in the lively and educational monthly on-line study and tasting sessions – led by wine judge instructors – to prepare you to pass the exam. After that, you’ll be a step closer to earning CWJ initials. Good luck!

If you have questions about the program, please reach out to

  • Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2 and 3 Awards in Wines will offer testing at the national conference in Bellevue, WA. This opportunity is available to AWS members only.

The AWS is an approved program provider for the globally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust. This program will be offered prior to the national conference, with the exact dates to be determined. WSET Level 1 credentials are not required to enroll in Level 2. Generally, someone with solid wine experience or, for example, an AWS Super Tasting certificate holder, can successfully complete Level 2 Wine Award.

The globally recognized WSET designation is a great way for ambitious consumers to deepen their appreciation of wine, as well as a valuable qualification for anyone in the wine business. The price, which includes study materials, subject-matter review, and testing fee, is very competitive relative to fees charged by private wine schools.

If you have ever planned to pursue WSET, you can start that journey now with the AWS. For more information about the program, email

WSET announces a new CEO

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the leading global provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications, has appointed Michelle Brampton as its new CEO. Brampton joined WSET on February 1 as CEO designate and will spend two months working alongside current CEO Ian Harris, who steps down on April 15. She previously spent 19 years at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), where she most recently held the role of Managing Director Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) from 2018 to 2021.

Enjoy an AWS member discount at the Eastern Winery Expo

Join us at the Eastern Winery Exposition (EWE), the largest trade show and conference for winemaking and grape growing in the East at the Oncenter in Syracuse, New York, March 22-24. Enjoy a discount by using the code 22AWS.

Eastern Winery ExpositionThe AWS continues as a proud industry partner of EWE after a one-year, pandemic-related hiatus.

EWE features 35 workshop and conference sessions, ideal for our winery professional members or home winemakers. An exhibit hall with more than 200 exhibiting companies, numerous opportunities for meeting the experts, sharing wine, knowledge, tips and techniques; networking, learning, socializing, equipment purchasing and wine tasting.

The AWS will have a booth — the easy-to-remember number 123. Attending members can stop by to say hello to our staff and volunteers.

We’ll be pouring AWS Commercial Wine Competition medal-winning wines at the EWE opening reception, highlighting quality winemaking and promoting our commercial competition, one of the oldest competitions in the nation. At the closing banquet, attendees will be able to enjoy more AWS medal winning wines from the east, as each table will feature an honored wine.

The AWS is happy to be part of wine industry re-emergence and convergence at the Eastern Winery Expo. Find out more

Amateur Wine Competition update

Like making wine, the Amateur Wine Competition never really ends; we just get ready for the next vintage.

A big part of that is analyzing the 2021 judges’ comments and preparing a survey for the participating winemakers. Be sure to look for it.

Planning already is under way for the 2022 competition. We’ll use the survey results and judges’ comments from the latest competition to institute some changes that should make competing easier and, more important, improve the program.

Keep an eye out here for additional updates on the competition front.

Congratulations to top amateur winemakers

As reported in our last issue, the 2021 Amateur Winemaking Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey awarded 176 bronze medals, 163 silver, 14 gold, and 20 double gold to 121 winemakers.

These links will take you to lists of the top winners over the past 5 years and the top 50 winemakers over the many years of our annual competitions, which incorporate results from the latest competition:

Recent AWS Top Amateur Winemakers 

AWS All-Time Top 50 Amateur Winemakers

Point totals are calculated by giving 100 points for each double gold or gold medal, 58 for each silver, and 34 for each bronze. Points have been accumulating since 1975, when our records began.

Thanks to Mickey Krauss for compiling these lists.

Attend a free winemaking webinar with Daniel Pambianchi

Join us for “Fining and Bottling: Winemaking with Daniel Pambianchi,” a webinar that will explore winemaking techniques, on Thursday, March 10, at 8 p.m. Eastern time, or 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Daniel Pambianchi

Daniel Pambianchi

A long-time AWS member, Daniel Pambianchi is a well-known winemaking author, lecturer and consultant, and a seasoned winemaker both as an amateur and professional. He has owned and operated a small commercial winery in Niagara Wine Country in Ontario, Canada.

One of his earlier books, Techniques in Home Winemaking, has become the go-to reference textbook by advanced amateurs and small-winery operators. Now with a new book, Modern Home Winemaking (Véhicule Press 2021), Daniel describes the latest technologies, equipment and products for making consistently great wines.

During this webinar, he’ll focus on techniques for fining and bottling, uppermost in winemakers’ minds this time of year. (Fining is the act of removing unwanted things in wine). This interactive session will likely go beyond those topics, with time to ask Daniel some questions or share your experiences. This session is free to participate, and the AWS will give away a few copies of Daniel’s book to members.

Making wine in your basement or a garage? Working at a commercial winery? Curious about winemaking or the wine industry? You will learn something new in this engaging presentation from one of the AWS’s own.

Use this link to register.

The AWSEF scholarship application period has opened

As happens each January 1, the American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship application period is open.

The Board of Trustees works throughout the year to identify and contact universities, professional organizations, and interested wineries throughout North America to get the word out to qualified graduate students about our scholarship program.

We now have contacts at over 25 universities with graduate programs in fields related to viticulture to whom we send an announcement email. If you want to make sure our list includes someone or a university you know, please contact Holly Tillis, vice president for scholarships, at She can add a contact to the list.

Qualifications for a scholarship are straightforward. A student must:

  • Be a full-time graduate student in a field related to enology, viticulture, and/or health aspects of wine with at least one semester of graduate study completed.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of a North American country (including, of course, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or any of the other 19 considered part of North America).
  • Not have received more than one AWSEF scholarship in the past (yes, a student can receive up to two scholarships from us during his or her academic career!).

Full instructions for completing the application and submitting it, along with transcripts and professor recommendations, are on our website. The deadline for applying is March 31.

The most important part of each application is the student’s 750-word essay describing their current and future research and its expected impact on the North American wine industry. The AWSEF trustees read these essays each year as we determine to whom scholarships will be awarded, and I frequently find myself intrigued and captivated by the leading-edge innovations these students are pursuing.

We maintain a list of all scholarship recipients, along with brief descriptions of their academic research, on our website.

Get to know Denise Griner, AWSEF Trustee, Vice-President for Private Development

Denise has been a member of the AWS since 2014, attended her first conference in Tyson, VA, in 2015, and hasn’t missed one since. She has been the treasurer of the Meadowlands, NJ, Chapter since 2015 and joined the AWSEF Board of Trustees in 2022.

Denise Griner

Denise Griner

Denise has a bachelor’s degree in Radiation Science Technology from the University of Nebraska and has been employed at Hackensack University Medical Center for 32 years, where she is a physicist assistant specializing in nuclear medicine and radiation safety. She currently resides in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, with her two dogs.

Denise enjoys learning about wine and sharing her knowledge with friends, family, and fellow wine enthusiasts. She enjoys good food, good wine, and traveling with good friends and family.

Winemakers’ corner: How to compose a wine to age

Kevin Kourofsky

Kevin Kourofsky

When I’m in funds sufficient to buy classified Bordeaux, unfortunately an increasingly rare event, I like to put down a case for long term aging. Even in a so-so year, top shelf Claret will age beautifully for 20 years or more. One of my great joys is sharing a bottle or two with friends. There is little in the wine world to beat a well-aged Bordeaux, especially from the Left Bank. The tannins are smooth, the fruit packed with currant and cedar flavors and an aroma that will carry you like a magic carpet. But taste that same wine with only a year or two of aging and you would probably find it brutal on the palate. And as a collector friend of mine once remarked, it also can be brutal on the lower digestive system.

Vintage port is another great joy, especially during the holidays. The flavors and aromas that develop can be amazing, from chocolate to cotton candy. If you are looking for a wine to age for your child’s 21st birthday, a Premier Cru Bordeaux should do the trick. If you want to celebrate your grandchild’s 21st birthday, try a Portuguese vintage Port.

But how far can we amateur winemakers age our wine before they develop that unfortunate tomato-on-the-nose quality that says we should have drunk this wine years ago? When I asked professional winemaker Jan Klapetzky how to make a wine for the ages, he jokingly wrote back: “I’m afraid first on my list would be to buy a vineyard in Beaune.” In a more serious vein, he added that up to 10 years is “pretty safe.” With more aging, he felt that the wine can develop “neat flavors.” Twenty years out, though, he admitted that many wines had lost their fruit.

Award winning winemaker Joe DiPonzio suggested that bold reds are best for longer term aging, but some whites, especially high acid whites can age gracefully. He cited his 2010 to 2013 Seyval Blanc, Vidal, Valvin, Muscat and Semillon/Chardonnay. He told me his 2014 California Old Vine Zinfandel was drinking “like silk.” And he has the medals to prove it.

Most of we fellow amateur winemakers craft our wines for near-term drinking, perhaps two to three years out. To create a balanced wine for near term drinking, the oak should be subtle, with acid that is friendly to the palate and tannins that are gentle in the mouth. For longer-term aging, the wine needs good grip for the tannins and a pH level that helps preserve the wine. The oak, too, can be a bit unbalanced as it will integrate into an older wine. As hockey star Wayne Gretzky famously said: “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Aim a bit ahead of what you taste now. Here are some secrets I have culled from excellent winemakers.

In the vineyard

A quality wine starts with quality fruit from a quality grower. Clean, ripe fruit is a must. Fruit that has been hit by disease will probably not be ripe and may contain off flavors. Small flaws in a young wine can become large flaws in a wine that is aged. Also, high sugars do not mean phenolic ripeness. A grower must balance the biological imperative of the vine with the need to have ripe grapes. In colder climates it may mean more hang-time, in warmer ones, more shading of the fruit. Proper ripening allows a depth of fruit to emerge in aging. Wines made with over-ripe or under-ripe fruit thin out with aging and may become unpleasant and unbalanced.

The trick is to have a good vineyard source. So, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this vineyard well sited and have a good reputation?
  • Does the vineyard look clean with healthy leaves or is there a yellow cast to the foliage, an early sign of disease?
  • Has it been a good growing year?
  • Are the seeds brown and crack when chewed, or are they green and soft?

Once you have a good vineyard source and a good growing year, consider the grape varietal you will use. Certain varietals have a thin skin and produce lighter wines, such as Gamay or Pinot Noir. Perhaps a better choice would be thick skinned grapes, “bold” varietals as Joe called them. Cabernet Sauvignon or Norton (Cynthiana) might be a better choice. Or at least they give you better odds. The thicker the skin, the more concentration in the wine.

That rule can be bent, though. Merlot from Washington State can be as bold as a Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot from Lodi, California, or from California’s North Coast can be massive. Extraction of color and phenols is the key.

In the winery

The grape is the most perfect fruit to make wine. The skin and stalk contain necessary flavors and tannin to make a lasting wine. From the skins are anthocyanins, the pigment compounds, that make red wine red. Within the grape are sugars to make alcohol. The acids, mostly tartaric, give a foundation to the wine and also help preserve the wine. Even the yeast to ferment the sugars is found on the grape skins. The grape berry is a wine package, just add crushing.

Perhaps there is a bit more to it. The winemaker’s skill is to balance and encourage the wine. Think of a musical composition: Nature, through the terroir, composes the melody. The winemaker orchestrates the composition and decides whether this melody is a chamber work or a grand symphony. An orchestrater then balances the sections of the orchestra. A winemaker balances the three fundamentals: Extraction of color and phenols, balancing alcohol, and balancing acids.

Extraction/Tannin. Extraction is transferring the flavor and color of the grapes to the juice, thus the wine, mostly by cold soaking the crushed grape skins in the juice. For aromatic whites, extraction is also important. For whites, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, the fruit is in contact with the skins for a shorter period of time compared to reds. This contact assists in aroma development and to give the wine a little mouthfeel.

Red wine obtains its color from the skins and much of its flavor, which we call “fruit.” Fermentation on the skins is done for that same reason, but much of the wine’s extraction occurs in the absence of alcohol during this soak. It is also important to allow the newly crushed grapes to integrate into a more uniform solution to properly measure the pH, titratable acid and sugar (brix) level.

Award winning winemaker Joe Diponzio achieves excellent depth of color and fruit in his wines, so I asked him how he achieves such good extraction. Joe does use enzymes designed to assist extraction. Importantly, he recommends for red wines a cold soak for 5 to 7 days. That’s a long time in a warmer climate as the fruit will naturally start fermentation unless chilled. If you have a professional chiller, you’re in luck. If not, freeze a lot of food-grade sealed chill packs or a great number of half empty water bottles. Cool climate winemakers usually have an easier time of it as harvest time is often naturally cold.

With long aging a wine’s fruit and color wane. To make a wine to last, you must start with a deep, tannic wine. The purchased enzymes, easily available, speed the extraction. So does adding pectin enzyme, that reduces potential hazes and also helps break down the juice locked within the fruit. Enological tannin also helps stabilize and retain color and tannin.

If you are making a wine for nearer term drinking, be careful with your cold soak, as too much extraction without aging leads to a bitter and unpleasant wine. If you have over done it, you can gently fine to reduce the tannin for more pleasant early drinking. This is true of both red and white wines. (See my article Finding Balance: Fining for Color, Tannin and Oak).

Joe also recommends barrel aging, an option not available to many of us. Many amateur winemakers make wine together and share the cost of a barrel and share the wine after bottling. Many hands make easier and more companionable work. The rest of us add our oak (and thus additional tannin) with chips, beans, staves or cubes. Mastering the addition of oak without overpowering the wine is a skill that needs to be mastered. With long term aging, much of that oak will integrate into the fruit, a marriage of sorts. You can add more oak with extended aging and it’s beneficial to preserving the wine. If you notice the taste of the oak at the same time as the fruit, that’s probably ok. But if you taste oak first, then the fruit, you may have gone too far.

Another technique that aids extraction is the saignée method. This is a French term for bleeding. It refers to syphoning off some of the grape juice from the skins, increasing the ratio of skins to juice, bolstering the extraction of color and fruit. And you create rose to drink while you wait for the wine to age. Though this method does have a downside. Mike Countryman, winemaker at Point of the Bluff Vineyards warns that any flaw in the skins will be more easily transferred to the wine.

Drying grapes, a la Amarone, is another method of increasing concentration. I have never tried this method, but it is increasingly used in cooler climates. Sometimes, to my palate, it does lead to wines that have a vaguely chemical essence, perhaps from underripe skins.

Acid Balance. Acid is a preservative in wine. It also gives the quality of freshness and brightness to wine. Too little and you have a cloying or blah wine. Too much and the wine can become undrinkably sour. Whereas extraction from the skins is one of the most important elements of a long aging red wine, acid levels are the most important factor in a white wine meant to age. In white wine with sufficient fruit, acid will carry the wine for a remarkably long time. Some sugar will disguise the acidity, balancing it on the tongue. Surprisingly, with extreme aging sugar becomes less sweet.

Acid levels are important in red wine too. If a red wine has a high pH, it will have a harder time lasting. It will quickly oxidize, turn brown and spoil. Too high acid in a red wine will make a bitter, too tannic wine. Acid emphasizes the tannin in a wine, the way a cold red wine will taste more tannic than at room temperature. Italian wines are somewhat more tannic than others, making it more food friendly and pairing well with higher acid dishes, like tomato sauce. But it always has that tannic grip at the front of the palate. Maybe the higher acid level is why.

Many wonderful California wines come to us at higher pH levels. They taste of soft and almost sweet fruit. Professional winemakers can manage that low level of acid. Cool climate winemakers often have the opposite problem, high acid levels. They too have techniques to manage their acid problem and bring us structured reds. Amateur winemakers don’t have all these methods available to us. We need to make sure our acid levels are properly balanced and within a manageable range.

For longer-term aging, I would suggest a pH under 3.6. Above 3.6 pH, wine can become unstable. After 3.6 wine requires an increasingly large amount of sulfite to stop oxygenation. Also, some of the acid might drop out in longer term storage, increasing the problem. Storage of the wine might also become more difficult, possibly requiring crown caps.

Cool climate reds might have an edge on their warm climate cousins. I believe that cool climate reds require more aging than the more accessible, softer reds of warmer climates. I say this from my experience in making Finger Lakes red wine and my testing the hypothesis by rigorous consumption. The oldest wine still in my cellar is a 2012 Finger Lakes Bordeaux blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 18% Merlot. The total acid (TA) was about 5.6 and the final pH was 3.5. It started out at about 3.41. I gently adjusted the acid down, but I didn’t want to adjust too much. I added ¾ cup of French oak chips (I now use cubes) for six gallons, which was too much for early drinking, but now is integrated. I commenced a malolactic fermentation. My early notes complain about too much tannin, but ripe tannin, and concern about the acid balance to fruit. It took forever to come around, which is probably why it still is in my cellar. I don’t think it’s going much further, so I will enjoy those last two bottles. It is now balanced. Ten years, not bad!

Alcohol. Alcohol helps to sustain a wine, but it is not as important as tannin and acid. Many long-lived whites are sustained by their acid levels, despite low alcohol levels. The alcohol helps preservation but must be in balance with the fruit. For red wines, high acid can lead to an unpleasant wine. They rely on tannin and alcohol. Again, as the Great Gretzky reminded us, think of where that wine is going, not where it has been. Keep to the standard levels of 12.5% to 14% abv and it may give you a more balanced wine for early and later drinking.

In the cellar

Before bottling you must be sure all fermentation is finished including malolactic fermentation. Test for the presence of sugar with a hydrometer (NOT a refractometer as it gives false readings in the presence of alcohol). Malolactic fermentations can slow down, stop or just play hide and seek. If you have inoculated with malolactic bacteria or notice a natural bubbling after sugar fermentation is complete, perform a malolactic acid test. It’s relatively easy if a bit smelly. Refermentation in the bottle will make your corks pop or probably ruin the wine. Been there.

If you really want a 20-year wine, Jan Klapetzky says he has had good luck with crown caps. Large beer bottles or champagne bottles work best. Do use the best crown cap available. Some standard beer caps aren’t meant for much aging and rust or lose their seal.

For more than 6 years of aging, synthetic closures are not recommended. Use very good whole natural cork. Class 3 is probably what is available without breaking the bank.

Sulfite is strongly recommended for all wine stabilization. It prevents oxidation and retards microorganism growth. Jan recommends “20 ppm sulfite over what’s needed for 0.6 molecular” at bottling. In translation, he means that you must either do a complicated calculation for use of SO2 or go to the many charts that tell you the amount of potassium bisulfite to add to the wine by pH and then add 20 PPM (parts per million) additional SO2. A chart is necessary because as a wine’s pH increases, more SO2 is necessary. An easy, but not necessarily perfect rule of thumb, is to use the pH meter reading after the decimal point as your PPM. A wine with a pH of 3.5 needs only 50 PPM. A wine with a pH of 3.80 needs 80. The TTB, for professional wineries, allows only 350 total PPM added SO2. Though we amateur winemakers are not bound by that regulation, it’s probably the safe rule to follow.

Wine in bottle should be stored in dark, humid conditions and on its side to keep the cork moist. Longer aging means more elements come out of solution, so to help decanting your wine mark the top side of the bottle so you don’t shake up those lees bringing it out of the cellar. Also, cork degrades and sticks to the neck of the bottle, so keep an osso opener handy.

Final thoughts

In 2016, I made a very fine Cabernet Franc, only five gallons alas. It was an excellent year in the Finger Lakes, and it was from Tom Mitchell’s vineyard, from his last harvest as it turns out. I didn’t manipulate the must much, adding 1.4 brixs more sugar. The pH was about 3.51 and my notes indicate that I left the pH alone, except inoculating with malolactic bacteria and cold stabilizing. From the beginning the tannins were naturally soft and fruit spoke of cherries, cocoa, currant leaf and a touch of tobacco. I drank my last bottle in 2021. But by that time, I noticed that though the fruit, was still good and the wine enjoyable, the wine had reached maturity. I began to ponder the question of why my 2012 lasted 10 years while my superior 2016 wine was arching down.

I think the answer is extraction and Joe Diponzio is right about allowing the must to cold soak longer. For my 2016, I only soaked for 1 full day before I inoculated with yeast. I think extraction provides a solid tannic body to the wine and is key to making a good red and crucial for aging. Had I extracted more of the tannin and fruit, my early drinking would have been less pleasurable, but the bloom of the later years would have continued longer. And maybe I’d still have a few bottles left.

I was also in a minimalist period for SO2 additions. I added just enough SO2 to stabilize it, thinking the tannin would carry the wine for many years. Jan’s suggested additional 20 PPM SO2 would have kept it bright.

This year, I have the pleasure of making a New York Cabernet Franc and Merlot from Lodi, California. And I have made a of a blend of the two. I’ll tell you in 5 years if I have made a wine to last. And we’ll see if I’m right on who has the edge in aging.

— Kevin Kourofsky, Kourofsky Wine

Government affairs

Here’s a brief roundup of official actions that could affect consumers and wine.

Privatization initiatives in 2 states

Mississippi. House Bill 512, authored by state Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, would get the state out of the liquor and wine distribution business by January 1, 2023. This move to privatize liquor sales would also lower the excise tax on wine and spirits from 27.5% to 18.0%.

Previous bills to privatize the sale of alcohol have all gone down in flames. What’s changed? Because of increased demand for alcohol during the pandemic, Mississippi’s only alcoholic beverage warehouse, in Gluckstadt (see nearby photo), was swamped by customers’ demands. Service became unbearably slow, and many items Alcohol warehouse in Gluckstadt, Mississippiwere out of stock.

The state has alternatives to its current situation. It could put money into the existing warehouse so that it can handle the increased level of business. It could privatize alcohol sales. Or it could hire a contractor to run the warehouse.

The problem with the final option, Lamar says, is the state’s prohibition against business contracts that last longer than four years.

He added, “We only contract with football coaches for four years.” It appears that Mississippi knows a lot more about football than it does about distribution and sales of alcoholic beverages.

Virginia. Republican Delegate Nick Freitas has filed House Bill 328, which would require the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority to “dispose of all real estate used as government stores and to terminate leased property upon which the board has operated a government store.” This would put an end to the state’s monopoly on liquor sales through ABC stores and allow private businesses to sell packaged hard liquor.Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority logo

In order for this bill to become law, someone probably has to show Virginia that it will collect more tax revenue by privatizing the sale of alcohol than by keeping it as a state-run monopoly. This will likely require an increase in the state excise tax on alcohol.

Reform proposed in New York

Gov. Kathy Hochul, in her State of the State Address in January, announced her support for permanently allowing beverages like wine and cocktails to be sold for pick-up or delivery. Let’s see how long it takes for the legislature to draft a bill that will authorize something that is already legal in many other states.

Lawsuits filed over COVID coverage in California 

Restaurants in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Clarita and San Diego are part of a group suing Farmers Insurance, alleging the company breached contracts and didn’t compensate them for losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on January 4.

The plaintiffs anticipate the case will become part of a civil case involving Farmers COVID-19 business cases.

The suit alleges that denials of insurance claims by Farmers Insurance during the pandemic “leave plaintiffs in dire financial straits — precisely the situation they sought to avoid when they obtained coverage for loss of business income.”Farmers Insurance logo

Farmers Insurance said that its obligation is to pay those claims covered under their policies and to apply policy exclusions where they exist. It claims that the policies do not cover damages resulting from governmental stay-at-home orders, which fall under applicable exclusions.

The complaint states that Farmers Insurance did not include a specific exclusion for a pandemic. The polices do include an exclusion of loss due to virus or bacteria. The suit argues that the restaurants’ losses were caused by measures taken by California’s elected officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not the actual presence of coronavirus on the plaintiffs’ properties.

Study shows COVID protection from consuming alcohol

A study by groups at two prominent hospitals shows that those with a high consumption of red wine, white wine, champagne — and those who have a low intake of fortified wine — had protective effects against COVID-19.

Consuming red wine was associated with a 10% to 17% lower risk in contracting COVID-19 compared to non-drinkers. White wine and champagne drinkers who consume between one to four glasses per week showed a 7% to 8% lower risk for COVID-19.

Drinking 1–2 glasses of fortified wine each week was associated with a 12% lower risk of COVID-19. In contrast, drinking beer and cider was associated with a 7% to 28% higher risk of getting COVID-19, regardless of the amount consumed. Likewise, spirits drinkers also had a higher risk of COVID-19 the more they consumed.

Researchers think the polyphenol content in alcoholic beverages, which have antioxidant properties, may play a role in their findings. Red wine has the highest concentrations of phenolic compounds. Polyphenols are known to decrease blood pressure and reduce inflammation, as well as inhibit the effects of viruses such as influenza and other respiratory tract-related infections.

“These findings support the notion of the strong beneficial properties of red wine against the COVID-19 risk,” according to the researchers.

The study was conducted by researchers from Shenzhen Kangning Hospital (China) and South West Hospital (UK). They analyzed 473,957 subjects from the U.K. Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource, containing in-depth genetic and health information from half a million U.K. participants. The goal of the study was to investigate the association between alcohol consumption with COVID-19 risk and mortality.

Health groups seek to reduce alcohol consumption worldwide

In Switzerland, the World Heart Federation, a non-governmental organization working with the World Health Organization, recently stated that any level of alcohol consumption can lead to loss of healthy life. Its policy brief aims to dispel the idea that a daily glass of wine might be good for you.

World Heart Federation logoA member of the Federation’s advocacy committee said claims regarding the cardiovascular benefits of a glass or red wine a day “are at best misinformed and at worst an attempt by the alcohol industry to mislead the public about the danger of their product.”

However, criticism regarding the policy brief surfaced quickly. Cambridge University statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter highlighted that the WHF data didn’t include comparisons with non-drinkers. Dr Richard Harding, who helped review sensible drinking messages for the U.K. Government in the mid-1990s, said, “This campaigning document misrepresents the science and is not evidence-based.”

The World Heart Federation subsequently updated its document but stood by its claims.

In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned in January that millions of Britons are causing themselves “silent harm” through hazardous drinking. as figures reveal increased levels of “higher risk” alcohol consumption during the pandemic.

I believe that most adults make informed decisions regarding alcoholic beverage consumption; most of the time, they enjoy alcohol sensibly. I also believe that for some adults, there is indeed no safe level of drinking alcohol. Be responsible.

Governments consider health warning labels for alcohol

A recent study at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), in Zürich, attempted to determine what effect a health warning label (HWL) on a wine bottle would have on wine consumers.

Besides government campaigns to draw consumers’ attention to the potential harms of alcohol consumption, HWLs on alcohol containers are gaining interest as potential interventions to reduce the harms of continuous and/or excessive drinking.

This is what they found out:

  • HWLs on wine bottles had a small effect on risk perception of a sample of Swiss consumers.
  • A HWL with a liver cancer warning only increased the risk of cancer but not of other risks.
  • Images of a diseased liver and text warnings did not have a higher impact than text-only HWL.
  • Cultural worldviews and belief in health benefits of wine consumption were the major determinants of HWL acceptability and perceived need for health warning labels.

Only a few European countries currently mandate HWLs. This may be primarily because of the cultural and economic significance of wine and wine industry lobbying. Another reason may be that alcohol consumers do not see the need for HWLs because they do not feel that wine consumption affects their health negatively. Consumers in Europe and beyond generally believe that drinking wine in moderation has positive health effects.

Tom CobettThe French government recently wanted to put a warning on wine bottles stating that drinking wine is bad for your health. The French wine industry united to temporarily stop the government’s thoughts of doing any crazy labeling.

— Tom Cobett,


Chapter events

The Cleveland (OH) Chapter met on December 5, at the St. Clair Rifle and Hunting Club for a tasting featuring the “Best of the Best Wines of 2021.” Forty-three members and guests were present. Members tasted all the first-place wines from the 2021 monthly tastings. The chapter added 20 new members this year, and 30 in the last 2 years. All saluted Dennis and Carol Rosa, who have been fearless leaders for the past two years.

  • 2019 Pessimist by Daou Vineyards, $20 (1)
  • 2019 Nero Grande Appassimento Red Blend Negromaro & Primitivo Blend, $10 (2)
  • 2017 Espirit de Tablas by Tablas Creek Vineyard, $60 (3-tie)
  • 2016 Emphoria Deep Red Cuvée by Carski Vinogradi Mostar, $38 (3-tie)
  • 2020 La Crescent by Drumlin Ridge – Wisconsin, $25
  • 2018 Cabernet Franc by Kosicek Vineyards, $24
  • 2019 Estate Rosé by Bent Ladder Cider and Wine, $13
  • 2020 Tavel Rosé by Domain Come-Loup, $17

The Derby Somms (KY) Chapter held its October 2021 tasting, which was hosted by Owen and Pat Wetzel. The theme was California Dreaming, as all wines were from wineries that members had visited with the hosts previously in California. The wines were poured blind and given to the members for tasting.

  • 2012 Cabernet Franc, Santa Maria Valley, CA, $48 (1)
  • 2018 Mazzocco Dry Creek Valley CAZ Red Blend, Sonoma, CA, $30 (2)
  • 2012 Selby Dry Creek Valley Grenache, Sonoma, CA, $35 (3)

The Fleur de Lis (KY) Chapter held its October 2021 tasting, which was hosted by Owen and Pat Wetzel. The theme was “where in the world is Carmen Sandiego,” as all wines were the same varietal but from different wine regions. Seven wines were poured blind and given to the members for tasting.

  • 2014 Lobo Wulff Vineyards Pinot Noir, Napa, CA, $68 (1)
  • 2018 Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, $45 (2)
  • 2011 Vidon Vineyard 3 Clones Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, WA, $45 (3)
  • 2018 Meyer-Nakel Pinot Noir, Germany, $48
  • 2019 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir, Walker Bay, South Africa, $53
  • 2016 Billsboro Pinot Noir, Finger Lakes, NY, $45
  • 2016 Beaune Clos de l’Ermitage, Burgundy, France, $55

The highlight of the Heritage Hunt (VA) Chapter has become the November meeting where the theme has been the pairing of novel foods with exceptional wines. With almost 100 members in attendance, this year’s meeting did not disappoint. Members enjoyed the food and wine pairings under the leadership of Chef Brian of the Virginian Dining Room paired with wines from Early Mountain Vineyards:

  • 2020 Five Forks (Petit Manseng/Sauvignon Blanc blend) ($26) (Fried green tomatoes and arugula tossed with tarragon buttermilk dressing)
  • 2019 Quaker Run Vineyard Chardonnay, Limited Release ($42) (Stuffed cucumber with crab, roasted corn, goat cheese, and fresh salsa)
  • 2020 Rose ($25) (Yukon gold potato croquette with apple sauce and crème fraiche)
  • 2020 Foothills (Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot with a splash of Petit Manseng blend ($27) (Lamb kebab served with mint tzatziki sauce, pita crisp and black olive tapenade)
  • 2019 Shenandoah Springs Cabernet Franc ($45) (Teriyaki short rib served over black rice with pineapple compote)
  • 2019 Eluvium (Merlot/Petit Verdot/Cabernet Franc blend) ($60) (Black Forest torte)

On November 28, Joe Pulgiese of the Lehigh Valley (PA) Chapter hosted a tasting sponsored by Tenuta Torciano Winery from San Gimignano in the Tuscany region of Italy. Joe introduced Alberto Pucci, from Tenuta Torciano Winery, who led them through a tasting of their wines, oils and vinegar. Alberto explained the wines as they enjoyed it with delicious foods prepared by Vivo Italian Kitchen.

  • Cavaliere Super Tuscan IGT, $33 (2)
  • Baldassarre Super Tuscan IGT, $33 (1)
  • Bertolomeo Super Tuscan IGT, $45 (3)
  • Vernaccia of San Gimignano DOCG, $29
  • Chianto Classico DOCG, $29
  • Malbec IGT Tuscan Red, $29
  • Morellino di Scansano DOC, $29

The group clearly enjoyed the Super Tuscan wines the best.

Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter met Nov. 18, 2021, for Thanksgiving wines presented by Mary Clair Bretz with Chair and co-chair Richard & Mary Berezinsky and 40 members/guests. Wines paired well with a traditional roasted turkey dinner, as well as with deep fried turkey, and smoked turkey. Wines served were:

  • 2020 Chateau Belingard Bergerac white blend, $11
  • 2019 Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler single vineyard Dry Riesling, $16
  • 2019 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, $ 11
  • 2020 Debeaune Special Selection Beaujolais-Villages, $11
  • 2019 Juggernaut Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, $20
  • 2018 Davey Family Estate Grown Shiraz, $16
  • 2018 1,000 Stories bourbon-barrel aged Zinfandel, $13
  • 2019 Albrecht Tradition Gewurztraminer

Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter met Dec. 16, 2021, for Christmas wines presented by Debra Harris with Chair and co-chair Richard & Mary Berezinsky and 38 members/guests. Welcome wines (choice of red or white) were traditional warm, spicy German Gluhwein in mugs like those served in a European Christkindlemarkt.Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter The evening ended with liquid dessert – homemade eggnog made by another AWS member. Santa even showed up and presented each attendee with a small gift!

  • 2018 Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer, $25
  • 2018 Dr. Heyden “Oppenheimer” Kabinett Riesling, $15
  • 2019 Tenuta le Calcinaie Chianti Colli Senesi, $16
  • 2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, $50
  • 2014 Newton Mount Veeder Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $179

On November 21, the North Wake (NC) Chapter met at Heritage View Clubhouse in Wake Forest, and tasted one Beaujolais Nouveau and five Cru Beaujolais. Twenty-three members and 8 guests attended. This was a timely meeting; the Beaujolais Nouveau had been released just three days earlier. Greg Hedrick presented the wines along with a very informative PowerPoint presentation showing the regions and villages within the Beaujolais AOC and the characteristics of the wines from the various villages. Greg also discussed the character of the Gamay grape with particular interest to the members being Beaujolais Nouveau and the history of Beaujolais Day. Beaujolais Nouveau was a new tasting for many of the attendees. The group also discussed food pairings.

During the meeting, two members who attended the recent AWS National Conference in Atlantic City shared their experiences at the conference and encouraged members to attend future conferences. The chapter is growing and added 21 new members.

  • 2019 Chateau des Deduits Fleurie $20, (2-tie)
  • 2018 Debeaune Belles Grives Morgan $17, (1)
  • 2019 Domaines des Maisons Neuves Moulin a Vent Les Bois-Combes, $25, (2-tie)
  • 2021 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, $11
  • 2020 Chateau de la Perriere Brouilly, $19
  • 2019 Domaines des Maisons Neuves Chiroubles, $25

On December 12, 2021, the Ocean Isle Beach (FL) Chapter celebrated 10 years of operation with its “Cheers to 10 Years” gala held at the Silver Coast Winery. 96 participants, including guests from Silver Coast Winery, attended the celebration. Stan Barwikowski, OIB Chapter co-chair, told the gathering, “It was hard to image how successful the chapter has been since its start in August of 2011 with only 2 members.”

Ocean Isle Beach, FL, chapterThe OIB Chapter was founded on August 25th, 2011, with the help of Dana Keeler, Silver Coast winemaker and the support of Maryann Azzato, Silver Coast owner.

The celebration began with a glass of Prosecco, followed by the wine tasting stations and a course of appetizers. Attendees then dined on a buffet dinner. The chapter presented Silver Coast with a gift of appreciation for its decade-long support. The evening continued with a challenge activity, a photo booth, and dancing to the music of DJ Butch Barnes. Also, throughout the evening a continuous video history of the chapter was played on a large screen TV. AWS Executive Director David Falchek attended to mark the occasion.

The Piedmont (SC) Wine and Vine Chapter met on December 19 at the home of Walt and Penni Kucaba in Spartanburg. The hosts and members enjoyed a tasting of Greek wines starting with a champagne ice breaker. Wines were first tasted on their own then while eating authentic Greek dishes prepared by Penni based on her recent trip to Greece. The red wines went particularly well with all the various dishes. The last wine called Hermes was a dessert wine served after the main food was finished and after Greek desserts.

  • 2019 Greek Wine Cellars, Agiorgitiko, Nemea, Greece, $25
  • 2019 Zoe, 90 % Agiorgitiko and 10% Caberbet Sauvignon, Peloponnese, Greece, $15
  • 2020 Santo Wines, Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece, $24
  • NV Hermes, Mavrodaphe of Petra, $15

The Piedmont (SC) Wine and Vine Chapter met on January 15 at the Parker-Binns Vineyard in Mill Spring, NC. This winery has award-winning wines from both white and red grape varieties grown on its estate.  The group tasted 2 whites and 3 reds. The wines were all excellent and a good example of the type of wines being produced in North Carolina. The winery is located between Asheville, NC, and Spartanburg, SC. Members enjoyed the wine tasting and then a meal.

  • 2020 Reserve Chardonnay, $28
  • 2020 Petite Manseng, $28
  • NV Reserve Merlot, $35
  • NV Loco Lulu (a red blend), $20
  • NV Cabernet Franc, $23

The Rochester (NY) Chapter met on Saturday, January 15 for a tasting of some of the wines from Wine Spectator’s top 100 list (at least, the ones members could find). Members also provided their own individual plates of goat cheese, dried cranberries, Asiago cheese, Stilton blue cheese, Comte cheese, and almonds.

  • WS #86 2019 Boundary Breaks Dry Riesling No. 239, $20
  • WS #48 Domaine de Villaine Bouzeron 2018, $42
  • WS #27 Evening Land Seven Springs Chardonnay 2018, $45
  • WS #33 Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc 2020, $17 (3)
  • WS #37 Rochioli Pinot Noir 2019, $64 (1)
  • WS #90 Etna Rosso Graci 2018, $33
  • WS #24 Ridge Geyserville 2019, $45 (2)

The Triangle (NC) Chapter met on November 21 for a tasting of wines from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery hosted by AWS member Theresa Thiel at the Lochside Community Center. Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery on Keuka Lake has been named one of the Top 100 wineries in the world by Wine & Spirits magazine for 2019. Dr. Frank also made the Top 100 in 2016 and is the only upstate New York winery on this year’s Wine & Spirits list. It was named one of America’s 11 best wineries by Men’s Journal. Dr. Konstantin Frank ignited the “Vinifera Revolution” a movement that forever changed the course of wine growing in the Finger Lakes and the United States. Dr. Frank’s vision, knowledge and determination are credited with helping elevate the New York wine industry from a state of happy mediocrity to a level that today commands world attention. Wines tasted were:

  • 2019 Gruner Veltiner, $12 (1)
  • 2020 Rkatsiteli, $14 (2)
  • 2020 Gewurztraminer, $14 (3)
  • 2019 Old Vines Piont Noir, $20
  • 2019 Blaufranksich, $18
  • 2019 Saperavi, $24
  • 2018 Amur, $24

The Triangle (NC) Chapter met for a tasting of Zinfandel blends presented by AWS member Ira Blumenthal and hosted at the home of AWS members, Renee Palmer and John McNeirney. This tasting was originally intended entitled, “Zinfandel Blends – The Contenders and The Pretenders.” AWS members tasted and compared The Prisoner and 8 Years in the Desert, two of the premier Zinfandel wines in the world, alongside “copycat” blends from lesser-known producers. However, after further research, the “copycat” wines were found to be equally good being produced by very well-known names in California wine, so it’s hard to call them “pretenders.” Members did a blind tasting of the wines, and Renee and John treated members to exceptional holiday treats.

  • Lillet Blanc “Welcome Wine”, $19
  • NV 1858 Red Blend (Caymus), $25
  • 2020 Torial Red Blend (Michael Wagner), $35
  • 2019 The Fugitive (Truett-Hurst), $30
  • 2019 Scouts Honor (Venge Vineyards), $35
  • 2019 Saldo Red Bend (The Prisoner), $35 (3)
  • 2019 The Prisoner (The Prisoner), $45 (1)
  • 2019 8 Years in the Desert (Orin Swift), $40 (2)

The Venice (FL) Vinos Chapter held a tasting celebrating the holidays with Italian wine and food catered in for the occasion. Twenty-seven members and guests enjoyed the afternoon hosted by Vicki and DennisVenice, FL, Vinos Chapter Sliepen, who recently became new members.

  • Borrasca Prosecco DOCG, $15
  • 2020 Marchese di Borgosole Rose, $10
  • 2020 Tesoro della Regina Pinot Grigio, $15 (1-white)
  • 2020 Nero Oro Appassimento Nero d’Avola, $13
  • 2015 Tenuta del Portale Aglianico Palm, $20
  • 2017 Tesoro della Regina Amarone, $40 (1-red)
Adrienne Turner

Adrienne Turner

To have your event included in the AWS News, e-mail your tasting results to me at Please follow the format specified for Chapter Events, which you can download from the AWS website. Include the cost of the wines you tasted, plus scores or rankings. This information lets other members know what you liked and which wines were good values.

AND … Please send us sharp, interesting pictures from your event. We would love to share those, too. 
–Adrienne Turner, Chapter Events editor


AWS News Staff We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Jack Kraft, Editor
David Falchek, Publisher
Adrienne Turner
Tom Cobett
Mike Blake
Kevin Kourofsky
Kristen Lindelow
Diane Meyer