AWS News – October 2023

Oct 24, 2023




The search narrows for a new AWS executive director

The search for a new AWS executive director is proceeding apace, according to the head of the Search Committee.

AWS members vote for continuity on the Board of Directors

During balloting this summer, members of the American Wine Society voted to return two sitting members of the national Board of Directors for 3-year terms beginning on January 1, 2024.

The countdown clock is ticking to the National Conference

A few pre-conference tour spots remain, other pre-conference activities are available, and some volunteer spots are still open.

Calling all Certified Wine Judges

Now is the time to register for the Certified Wine Judge with Merit Program available for your continued education efforts and personal development in the world of wine judges.

AWSEF gears up for its fundraising events

The AWS Educational Foundation (AWSEF) needs your help to be successful, and you have two ways to chip in.

Winemakers’ corner: Your fermentation has stopped, so now what?

Kevin Kourofsky discusses the importance of keeping wine yeast happy by maintaining sound, clean, and ongoing fermentation —and what to do if you encounter a problem.

Start planning your wine getaway for 2025

​It’s never too early to start planning for vacation, and if you’re looking for a relaxing, wine-filled holiday, AWS has the ticket for you.

Member spotlight

In the first in an occasional series, we highlight happenings that focus on an individual or group of AWS members. This month: Six AWS members were featured in a New York Times article “The Agony and Ecstasy of Home Winemaking.”

Chapter events

Dinners, pig roasts, football, and Halloween. Your fellow AWS members have had some exceptional experiences lately; read what they’ve been up to.

The search narrows for a new AWS executive director

​The search for a new AWS executive director is proceeding apace, according to the head of the Search Committee.

Jay Bileti

Jay, Bileti, Search Committee

“We received nearly 200 inquiries regarding the job, and we’ve been impressed by the quality of the candidates who applied,” said Jay Bileti, former AWS Director of Member Service.

The AWS Board of Directors began seeking applications for a permanent executive director in mid-September. John Sporing has served as interim executive director since last fall. The opening was publicized through the AWS website and various online sources, including the American Society of Association Executives.

“Our charge is to review the applicants’ qualifications and conduct interviews to narrow the field, and then submit a list of finalists to the Board of Directors for a determination,” Bileti said. “We’re at that stage now.”

The rest of the Search Committee consists of former AWS officers and/or former board members.

The AWS executive director, which reports to the Board of Directors, is a hands-on position responsible for the day-to-day management of the AWS national office and continued implementation of the AWS strategic plan.

AWS members vote for continuity on the Board of Directors

During balloting this summer, members of the American Wine Society voted to return two sitting members of the national Board of Directors for 3-year terms beginning on January 1, 2024.

Carrie A. Garczynski was reelected to another term as Director of Member Services, and Richard Berezinsky was reelected to another term as Treasurer. Each will be serving their second 3-year term.

Rich Berezinsky

Rich Berezinsky, Treasurer

Carrie Garczynski

Carrie Garczynski, Director of Member Services

Garczynski is a member of the Denver (CO) Chapter and has been an AWS member since 2017. Berezinsky is a member of the Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter and has been an AWS member since 2010.

In addition to the election, Carol Maher was appointed by the Board of Directors as chair of the Governance Committee. The committee oversees evaluation and preparation of slates of nominees for executive director and officer positions and advises the Board on various policies.

Garczynski, Berezinsky, and Maher continue a tradition over the 50-plus years of AWS existence, with the society benefiting from many members who have come forward to selflessly contribute their time and talents in the management and advancement of our organization.

The countdown clock is ticking to the National Conference

Just a few weeks remain until the 56th Annual AWS National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, from November 9–11, but there are still a few pre-conference tour spots left to one of the most charming and historic AVAs in the state of Missouri.AWS conference logo for St. Louis, Missouri

Through the generous support of our tour sponsor, Visit Missouri, we are able to offer this amazing tour to you as an AWS member, for only $129 per person.

Hermann, Missouri, AVA Tour: Wednesday, November 8, at 8:15 a.m.

We will travel to the Hermann AVA and explore Missouri’s underground cellars. They stay a naturally cool 50° Fahrenheit year-round and are among the largest in the world. You will start at Stone Hill Winery, and then divide into groups who take trolleys to Adam Puchta Winery and Hermannhof Winery.

Register here

Other pre-conference activities are available

Remember, you can come early and ride the tram to the top of the arch (advanced reservations suggested), enjoy a riverboat cruise or take in some of the amazing blues that St. Louis has to offer.

As always, we offer special thanks to our sponsors!

You can still volunteer to help

The National Conference would not be possible without volunteers from our membership who give their time and effort. In addition, our volunteers help hold down the cost of the conference.

If this is your first conference, know that volunteering is easy, and we provide instructions on what to do. Volunteer assignments do not take time away from your conference experience.

To volunteer, first log in to your AWS account and see what sessions you received. This is important because you can volunteer only for those sessions.

The positions we need are from Thursday evening to Saturday evening. We need general session volunteers and meal/reception volunteers. You can read a description of each here. Then, select a button below to volunteer.

Session volunteer Meal volunteer

Sponsors for National Conference

Calling all Certified Wine Judges

Now is the time to register for the Certified Wine Judge with Merit Program available for your continued education efforts and personal development in Certified Wine Judge with Merit logothe world of wine judging.

A Certified Wine Judge is a standard highly respected around the country and internationally. These judges now have the opportunity to be certified and recognized for their continuing education efforts and wine judging activities for each year they enroll in this program.

This remarkable achievement will reflect your expertise and dedication to honing your wine judge skills through continuing involvement, wine judging activities, and education.

Twelve Certified Wine Judges who previously registered will receive their Certified Wine Judge with Merit designation at the National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. While recognition at the National Conference required registering by October 15, you have until December 31 to complete your 15 continuing education units (CEUs), and submit for Certified Wine Judge with Merit for 2024.

Views on life

AWSEF gears up for its fundraising events

The AWS Educational Foundation (AWSEF) needs your help to be successful, and you have two ways to chip in. (As a member of AWS, you also are a member of the AWSEF.)AWSEF logo

Get involved with the Silent Auction

The foundation hosts a Silent Auction at the AWS National Conference  each year — the main source of revenue to fulfill its mission of providing scholarships.

2022 AWSEF Silent Auction

2022 AWSEF Silent Auction

You can get involved now by donating wine-related books, tools, and other miscellany — and, of course, wine — to be auctioned.

To donate, simply complete the 2023 Silent Auction Donation Form with your donation information, and then email it to Denise Griner, AWSEF vice president for private development, at If you’re attending the National Conference, you can bring your donation to conference registration on Thursday, November 9. If you’re not attending the National Conference or don’t want to bring it with you, you can mail it in advance (see the donation form for details).

And just as important…be sure to bid on items at the Silent Auction at National Conference! Bid often! Out-bid your friends! Help the AWSEF have the most successful Silent Auction yet.

Participate in the pre-conference raffle!

AWSEF sponsors a pre-conference raffle, which is an important tradition that offers the opportunity to participate in fundraising for those unable to attend the National Conference.

Kristen Lindelow, President of AWSEF

Kristen Lindelow, President of AWSEF

Once again, Banfi Vintners Foundation has donated a bottle of wine as the grand prize for the raffle. This year, it is a 3-liter bottle of Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (that’s the equivalent of 4 750 ml bottles, enough to share with friends). This beautiful wine is 100% Sangiovese, fermented in hybrid French oak and stainless-steel Horizon tanks, then aged for 2 years in 80% French-oak casks and 20% in French-oak barriques.

Winemaker’s notes say this is “an intense and elegant Brunello. Ruby red with light garnet-colored nuances…intense and fruity bouquet…sweet notes of plums, sour cherries, orange and spicy hints of myrtle, juniper and incense…full-bodied and powerful, soft and smooth tannins are well-integrated…”

Raffle tickets are on sale through Saturday, October 28, at $10 each, and are available by contacting Bonnie Lance at 631-806-7234 or Walt Rachele at 443-280-2319. Or, you can Venmo to Walt-Rachele. No matter how you choose to purchase your ticket, be sure to provide your name, phone number, the number of tickets you want, and the name of your AWS chapter.

Spotlight on 2023 scholarship recipients

We awarded scholarships in 2023 to 8 very deserving graduate students. These students do research that directly benefits the North American wine industry — and that’s a great thing!

With each issue of the AWS newsletter, I’ll introduce two more of these students to you.

Michael Cook, Ph.D. candidate at Texas A & M University — Recipient of the North Alabama Chapter Scholarship

Michael Cook

Kyle Freedman, Ph.D. Candidate at North Carolina State University — Recipient of the Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter Scholarship

Kyle Freedman

Winemaker’s corner: Your fermentation has stopped, so now what?

Kevin Kourofsky

Kevin Kourofsky

Kevin Kourofsky discusses the importance of keeping wine yeast happy by maintaining sound, clean, and ongoing fermentation. Failure to do so can result in ‘stuck’ fermentation, but you can avoid it with a little care and fix it with a little detective work.

Read more here


Wine stopper meme

Start planning your wine getaway for 2025

​It’s never too early to start planning for vacation, and if you’re looking for a relaxing, wine-filled holiday, AWS has the ticket for you.Wine Cruise to France

Join us for a 7-night cruise on the Seine River in France sponsored by the American Wine Society and featuring renowned wine expert, author, and storyteller Paul Wagner. And, of course, you’ll experience some of the best wine available while enjoying the company of your fellow AWS members.

From May 8–15, 2025, you’ll visit Paris, Les Andelys, Le Havre, Caudebec-en-Caux, Rouen, and Vernon. You’ll travel aboard the finely appointed AmaLyra cruise ship and have access to three seminars featuring wines from the Champagne, Alsace and Loire Valley regions. Plus, take part in three wine-and-food-pairing dinners led by Paul Wagner, featuring wines from those regions.

Staterooms start at $4,599 per person, and you can book now for the best selection. Plus, save 5 percent on balcony staterooms when you book by December 31, 2023.

Get cruise details here


Member spotlight

In this first an occasional series, we highlight happenings that focus on an individual or group of AWS members.

Six AWS members — Lisa and John Nordman, Gordon Gribble, Lou Camilotto, and Mark and Sandi Diehl — were featured in a New York Times article “The Agony and Ecstasy of Home Winemaking.”

Read more here


Chapter events

To have your chapter’s event included in the AWS News, e-mail your tasting results to Sending it to any other email address risks getting it overlooked.

Be sure to 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.


The Lehigh Valley (PA) Chapter started 50 years ago in Don and Virginia Squair’s backyard, and in August we celebrated the anniversary in the beautiful backyard of Dean and Bonnie Scott, at Bergeist Vineyards! Our first chapter chair, Don Squair, and wife, Virginia, were our guests of honor. LVAWS 50th Anniversary

We’ve grown from a dozen members to 130 members today.  Former chairs from over the years provided photos and artifacts, which members could peruse throughout the afternoon.

At the tasting we celebrated and recognized all our members and, of course, celebrated wines of the Lehigh Valley. The food was delicious, and we ended with a delicious 50th anniversary sheet cake.

We all know that the American Wine Society promotes wine education and appreciation. At its August tasting, the Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter decided to add another objective: to have lots of fun.

The theme of ‘Wine and Song’ paired 7 wonderful wines with specific songs and a variety of selected appetizers. Taylor Swift’s song titled Champagne Problems was paired with a Louis Bouillot Vigne Brut, and Roy Orbison’s My Beaujolais was offered with a Debeaune Special Set Beaujolais Villages. The afternoon’s selections ended with a Cabernet Sauvignon and the song Hole in the Bottle by Kelsea Ballerini.

With such a positive response to the event, the chapter plans on Part 2 of Wine and Song. With hundreds of wine-related songs from which to choose, all present wondered if their favorite song would be included… (Tiny Bubbles???) Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter met August 17 for Elyse Winery wines with chair and co-chair Richard & Mary Berezinsky and 50 members/guests. Josh Peeples, owner of the Elyse Winery in the Napa Valley, presented several of his highly rated wines.

The Director of winemaking at Elyse Winery is Russell Bevan, who during his career has had 15 of his wines receive 100 points. In 2005 he founded Bevan Cellars, and in 2015 he was The Wine Advocate winemaker of the year. In 2018 he joined Elyse. All of the wines were outstanding:

  • 2020 L’Ingenue Viognier White Blend, $ 45
  • 2020 Sonoma Chardonnay , $45
  • 2022 Rosé, $25
  • 2020 C’est si Bon Rhone Red Blend, $35
  • 2019 Morisoli Vineyard Rutherford Zinfandel, $55
  • 2020 Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel, $70
  • 2019 Dry Creek Zinfandel, $55
  • 2019 Holbrook Mitchell Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $65

The August 18 tasting of the San Luis Obispo (CA) Chapter featured an assortment of Sauvignon Blanc varietal wines from the Central Coast, France, and Chile. Our guest speaker was David Parrish, owner, and winemaker at Parrish Family Vineyard in Paso Robles.

Generally speaking, the wines produced in the coolest regions had more herbal flavors; the French wines were more restrained with some fruit and herbal character. The New Zealand wines tended to fall in-between, with  both fruit and herbal flavor notes.

The Riverland (FL) Chapter in Port St Lucie hosted a wonderful tasting of wines from France on August 27. Twenty members enjoyed a well-planned presentation of wines from a number of wine-producing regions of France. Attendees brought numerous French cuisine dishes to pair with the wines.

Members enjoyed tasting and evaluating the following wines:Riverland, FL, August tasting

  • Nicolas Feuillatte (NV) Champagne, $36
  • 2021 Madison Wilm Reisling, Alsace, $17
  • 2022 Jean Max Roger Sancere, Loire Valley, $30
  • 2021 M.Chapoutier Viognier, Rhône Valley, $29
  • 2022 Macon Uchhizy White Burgundy, Burgundy, $18
  • 2020 Louis Latour Red Burgundy, Burgundy, $30
  • 2020 LaFage Grenache, Roussillon, $19
  • 2015 Chateau du Taillan Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, $24
  • 2021 Vincent Paris Syrah, Rhone Valley

The Emerald Coast (FL) Chapter met on August 20 at the home of Pam Davey to discover a world of Zinfandel through a blind tasting. We welcomed 2 new national member and 5 guests.

Tari Wyant presented, with the support of Pam Davey. The Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) say that Zinfandel is America’s spirit captured in a bottle. This grape is roughly 6,000 years old and originated in Croatia, making its way to the United States via Italy and Vienna.

We had the pleasure of tasting 7 wines of various notoriety, vintage, and price point. Many of us were surprised to find something new in a wine that had been an old friend.

  • 2020 Sobon Estate Fiddletown Zinfandel, $24
  • 2021 Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel from Benito Duis Ranch, $35
  • 2018 Murphy-Goode Liars Dice, $25 (1)
  • 2021 Roosevelt Riding a Moose, $17 (2-tie)
  • 2021 Bogle old Vine Zinfandel, $10
  • 2019 Klinker Brick old Vine Zinfandel, $22 (2-tie)
  • 2021 Oak Ridge Ancient Vine Zinfandel, $17

The Keuka (NY) Chapter met on Sunday, August 13, at the Rushville Fire Hall. Hosts Bill and Jo Farnham welcomed eight members to “take a deep dive into a varietal you’ve probably hardly ever experienced without the light or heavy tones of an oak finish.”

We tasted 6 unoaked Chardonnays from 4 foreign countries and 2 regions of the United States.

The formal tasting was preceded by a social gathering with appetizers and various wines brought by guests, and followed by a Beef Stroganoff dinner.

The wines tasted were:

  • 2022 Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay, France, $14
  • 2020 Yalumba Chardonnay Unwooded, Australia, $12
  • 2021 Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Unoaked, South Africa, $10
  • 2021 Domaine Bousquet Unoaked Chardonnay, Argentina, $9
  • 2020 Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay, California, $17
  • 2021 Weis Unoaked Chardonnay, Finger Lakes, $17

The French and the Finger Lakes wines tied for first place in our voting.

The Venice (FL) Vinos Chapter held a tasting on Sunday, August 13, at the home of Vinnie and Theresa Petilli. The theme was premium whites and was attended by 19 members who shared wonderful food items to go with a pasta main dish prepared by Vinnie and Theresa. The wines were:

  • 2021 LePre Vanjour Sancere, $35
  • 2020 Chateau de Chantegrive Caroline Blanc, $30 (best value)
  • 2022 Rockview Chardonnay Reserve Mendocino, $28
  • 2020 Patrick Javillier Bourgogne Cote d’ Or, $35
  • 2020 Luquet Pouilly Fuisse Bois Seguin, $35
  • 2020 Ropiteau Puligny-Montrachet, $100 (best wine)


The Emerald Coast (FL) Chapter met on September 10 at the Total Wine in Pensacola to celebrate the group’s fifth anniversary. Crystal and Alyssa prepared for us a special tasting of unique Italian wines, which were paired with beautiful charcuterie boards and Pam’s famous Tiramisu.Emerald Coast FL tasting in SeptemberEmerald Coast FL tasting in SeptemberEmerald Coard FL tasting in September

  • Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut Imperi, $38
  • 2022 Ca Rugate Soave San Michele, $19
  • 2020 Gambino Vini Tifeo Etna Rosato, $29
  • 2019 Cortese Organic Selezione Sabuci, $24
  • 2019 Vernice Piedirosso Flapper Girl, $24 (1)
  • Mauro Sebaste Dolcetto d’Alba, $19
  • Jess and Jules Toscana IGT, $26
  • 2016 Renieri Brunello di Montalcino, $79

The Piedmont (SC) Wine and Vine Chapter met on September 17 at the Bond Street Wine Store for a tasting of 6 wines made by women winemakers. Mike and Janna Trammell organized the tasting with the wine store to taste 2 whites, 1 rose and 3 reds. We had 18 people who sampled the wines.

We had some snacks provided by the owners, which complemented the tasting — cucumbers with salmon, apple flat bread, and meat pastry. The rose tasted is only available in this one store and in Japan! We were lucky to have some bottles of the rose before the allotment was sold out.

  • 2022 Carboniste, California, Sparkling Albarino $30
  • 2021 Christina, Austria, Gruner Veltliner, $27
  • 2022, Materra, California, Rose of Malbec, $30
  • 2019 Lecci e Brocchi, Italy, Chianti Classico, $30
  • 2021 Ultraviolet, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, $20
  • 2019 Materra, California, Right Bank (Red Blend), $30

In recognition of the kickoff of football season, the Lake Washington (WA) Chapter chose a tailgate theme for its chapter meeting held September 10, 2023.Lake Washington tasting in September

Wines with a tie to football were featured along with a potluck of tailgate foods and live coverage of the Seattle Seahawks season opening game against the Los Angeles Rams. The all-star lineup included wines from Washington and California :

  • 2020 Passing Time Red Wine, Columbia Valley
  • 2017 Vermeil Wines XXXIV Red Wine Blend, Frediani Vineyard, Calistoga, Napa Valley
  • 2017 Charles Woodson’s Intercept, Paso Robles
  • 2021 Charles Woodson’s Intercept Chardonnay, Monterey County
  • 2018 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Wall Valley
  • 2019 Dossier Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
  • 2021 Dossier Rosé, Columbia Valley
  • 2021 Dossier Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley

The wines have a link to football greats such as Dan Marino, Damon Huard, (Passing Time) Charles Woodson (Intercept), Drew Bledsoe (Doubleback), Sideny Rice (Dossier) and coach Dick Vermeil (Vermeil Wines).

Although the final score had the Hawks in a losing position, the Lake Washington chapter members had some winning wines!

The September meeting of the Shallotte (NC) Chapter was titled “Affordable Cabernet Sauvignon,” which included 7 wines (2 from Washington State, 1 from California, 1 from Argentina, 1 from Chile, 1 from Margaret River (Australia) and 1 from France’s Languedoc region. We had 21 members attending.

Shallotte NC chapter tasting in SeptemberWe learned about why grapes are harvested at night: When it’s cooler, grapes are all same temperature, and it’s easier on workers. In addition, we discussed how pyrazine can influence the taste of a wine. Originally it was considered a fault, but now it has been recognized as adding complexity to a wine. It was also understood that cooler region wines tend to exhibit vegetative tastes.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly planted grape in the world. It can grow in cool, warm, and hot regions. The climate will play a significant role in the characteristics.

AWS wine evaluation ratings resulted in the following, in order of ranking:

  • 2018 Drumheller Wines, Washington, Columbia Valley, $11
  • 2020 Byron & Harold, Rose & Thorns, Margaret River, $14
  • 2021 One Stone, California, Paso Robles, $20
  • 2020 Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, Columbia Valley, $19
  • 2021 Escudo Rojo Reserva, Chile, $18
  • 2021 Vellas Père et Fils, Sombrero, France, Languedoc, $13
  • 2021 Bodega Tapiz, Argentina, $14

All the wines were purchased at local wine stores and Costco. The members were surprised that no wine was more than $20.

The Dayton and Springfield (OH) Chapters held their ~45th annual Pig Roast on Friday and Saturday Sept 15–16.Dayton-Springfield OH pig roast

Dayton-Springfield OH pig roast The festivities begin on Friday evening with the annual pizza party and pig stuffing social. A group of ~ 20 folks gathered at the home of Peter and Sally Oberbeck to prepare the guest of honor.

Cooking began on Saturday morning and lasted all day, creating the slow smoked flavor of the locally grown pig. A total of 40+ AWS members and guests reconvened on Saturday evening to share wine, food, piggy, and friendship. The evening started with bubblies and appetizers on the deck, before moving to the garden for dinner. Everyone brought wines and side dishes to share.

The conversations continued into the evening around the fire. Additionally, we had a gift basket raffle basket that raised $865 for the Dayton/Springfield AWSEF scholarship fund. Next year will be the ~50th year (no one can remember the exact date) for the Dayton & Springfield Chapters; we are planning to do a special event to celebrate our golden anniversaries.

Also on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass over the Dayton and Springfield area. We are beginning the planning for an eclipse party and tasting.

In September, the John Marshall (VA) Chapter, which meets at Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, Virginia, was privileged to have an excellent presentation on Burgundy wines led by Thibaut Marquis, the head of North American Exports for the Maison Louis Jadot winery.John Marshall VA chapter in September

Thibaut shared a wide variety of Louis Jadot wines, including their well-known Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnays, several Pinot Noirs, a Rosé and a Beaujolais. These wines are just a small part of the portfolio of over 150 wines that Louis Jadot creates every year.

Thibaut also shared some details on the history of Maison Louis Jadot. The winery was founded in 1859 in the city of Beaune, and today sells more wine in the United States than any other French winery.

In addition to the 670 acres of vineyards that it owns or controls, Louis Jadot also is an owner of the Cadus cooperage, which manufactures premium quality French oak barrels made in the Burgundian tradition. Thibaut is no stranger to AWS, and we are pleased to welcome him to our area as he is in the process of moving his family from New York City to the Northern Virginia area this Fall.

On Saturday, September 23, the Napa/Solano (CA) Chapter held a Portuguese wine tasting at the home of Cynthia and Perry Kerson, which happens to also be the site of their vineyards, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It was a perfect Napa day with temperatures in the mid-70s and lovely sunshine.

We sampled 9 Portuguese wines, starting with 2 Alvarhinos, 1 from Joao Ramos Alvarhino from the Vinho Verde region of northern Portugal. This region is known for wines with bright acidity and lower alcohol. We greatly enjoyed this wine, and compared it with a Quinta da Raza Alvarhino — also located in Vinho Verde, but in the more southern, Basto region, enabling members to taste the difference of temperature impact on the wines. This wine had more stone fruit while Joao Ramos was more citric.

The tasting then moved on to 5 reds and finished with 2 ports

  • 2021 Sogrape Silk & Spice red blend, (35% Touriga Nacional, 35% Alicante Bouschet, 15% Baga, 10% Syrah, and 5% Tinta Roriz), $10
  • Joao Ramos Alejento red blend, $12
  • 2019Casa da Passarella red blend, $16–$19
  • 2021 Filipa Pato red blend, $16–$19
  • 2019 Aplanta red blend, $16–$19
  • Kopke Colheita White Port (1)
  • Sandeman 30-Year-Old Tawny Port (2)

These ports were truly exceptional, and the group sends its thanks to the kind donors of them.

The stage was set for Lehigh Valley (PA) Chapter’s September wine tasting in the beautiful Rodale Room at Miller Symphony Hall. Wine importer Rob Panzer spoke with great knowledge and humor to an audience of more than 60 members and guests about the Burgundian culture.

The headliners were 10 Burgundy wines and Rob’s knowledge of the vineyards, the people, terroir and food of Burgundy. The main act was Matt Green, who prepared a meal of beef stew, French bread, tossed salad and homemade cookies. Standing ovations to Matt and Ann Vlot for hosting this wonderful tasting.

The first 4 wines were white, and the last 6 were red. The top scoring white wine was 2021 Jean Javillier Meursault Villages. The top scoring red wine was 2021 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet 1er Clos Saint Jean. There was a tie for the next best red between 2020 Maxime Cheurlin Hautes Cote de Nuits and 2021 Jean Javillier Pommard 1er Cru.

About 35 members and guests gathered on the front patio of Ristorante Italiano Café Roma in San Luis Obispo on September 28 for the Annual Dinner of the San Luis Obispo (CA) Chapter.

It was a perfect evening for wine, food, and friends. Each course was paired with wine carefully selected by Mike Botwin. We started our meal with assorted antipasto including prosciutto, Calabrian salami, caprese, pecorino cheese, bruschetta, roasted peppers, eggplant and olives. This was paired with Martinsancho 2021 Verdejo from DO Rueda/Spain.

After we had all settled-in, we were served our choice of entrees with appropriate wines.

  • Osso Buco Milanese style paired with Longavi Carignan from BioBio region of Chile.
  • Salmone alla Griglia paired with Antoine Sunier Regnie–AOC Cru Beaujolais.
  • Ravioli di Spinaci ai Funghi also paired with Antoine Sunier Regnie–AOC Cru Beaujolais.

In the Italian tradition, we finish our meal with Tiramisu for dessert. This was paired with Sanchez Romate Cream Sherry/Spain.

Special thanks to Laura Tremblay who worked with the restaurant to select the menu and make arrangements for this dinner.

On September 10, 2023, 22 Northampton (PA) Chapter members gathered at the home of John and Ann Koempel to taste a vertical of Chateau Gloria, St. Julien Bordeaux wines.

This was a very special tasting, thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the those attending. It’s a rare opportunity to have the chance to taste a vertical of this type — a world famous wine region, a highly regarded Bordeaux chateau and a vertical lineup ranging from vintage 1966 to 2011.

Another highlight was John’s excellent presentation of some important information about the history of the Bordeaux wine region including the Medoc classification system. Many kudos and thanks to John for sharing these wines as well as his knowledge.

Chateau Gloria was formed nearly 100 years after the origin of the Bordeaux Classification of 1855 through the acquisition of numerous plots. Therefore, it Is not among the recognized Bordeaux Crus. Wine critics, however, would place the chateau among them based on the quality and consistency of the wine.

Chateau Gloria carries an average price in the $60 range for current vintages, making it an economical selection for a quality Bordeaux.

Tasters commented that the younger wines (only 20 to 30 years old) had some unexpected tannins. Most of the wines seemed to hold up well. Tasting order, with 3 favorites identified, was:

  • 1966
  • 1978
  • 1980
  • 1983
  • 1989 (3)
  • 2003 (2)
  • 2000 (1)
  • 2011

50 Shades of Grape tasting in SeptemberThe 50 Shades of Grapes (NJ) Chapter held its September tasting event at the lovely home of Brett and Emily Buonadonna. A reception of Prosecco with a selection of cheese and crackers was followed by a tasting of Italian wines, and ended with a delightful catered Italian dinner.

The wines featured were:

  • Isotta Manzoni Prosecco DOC
  • 2022 Vietto Roero Arneis
  • 2021 Comm. GB Burlotto Barbera d’Alba
  • 2020 Mascarello Guiseppe E. Figlio Langhe Nebbiolo
  • 2016 San Giacomo Brunello di Montalcino

A packed house was on hand for the September meeting of the Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter, with anticipation of traveling around the world in 7 glasses of wine! Seven chapter members led our expedition with challenges at each stop along the tour. After hearing clues, including music related to the wine being tasted, guests were tasked with guessing the country of origin and the wine varietal. Let the brown bag wrapped pouring begin!

  • New Zealand: 2022 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, $13
  • Uruguay: 2021 Bodego Garzon Albarino Reserve, $19
  • France: 2014 TrimbachGewurztraminer, $27
  • USA: 2017 Rockbridge Chambourcin, $21
  • Italy: 2019 Montresor Capitel della Crosara, $20
  • South Africa:2021 Neethlingshof Pinotage, $17
  • Portugal: Porto Morgado 10-year-old Tawny Port, $12

The challenge was great, and while none identified all 7 destinations, 3 members demonstrated their tasting expertise identifying multiple blind pours. Members stepped up with creative ideas and presented an extremely fun and educational tasting.

North Wake NC Chapter in SeptemberOn September 24, 2023, the North Wake (NC) Chapter held a meeting at Lynch Creek Farm in Kittrell, NC, featuring pizza by Bob Radcliffe of Lynch Creek Farm. It was a BYO wine event, and several members discussed the wines they chose to pair with pizza.

After our business meeting, co-chair Jay Davis presented a blind tasting of 3 white wines. Members were asked to identify whether the wine was made with red or white grapes, then asked to identify the grape varietal, and finally the origin of the wine—country and region.

The results of this tasting were quite interesting as it proved difficult enough to just identify if the source grape was red or white. The white wines from red grapes were indeed mostly colorless and the white grape had just enough tint to confuse most of us into thinking it was a red.


Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter explored haunted wineries at our October meeting and – of course! – sampled concoctions while searching for apparitions. The bravest of brave donned costumes to lure the spirits from hiding. We savored some mighty fine wines in between screams and shrieks. We give a toast to these fearless winemakers who face the spookiest elements to craft their varietals.

Inglenook, Rutherford Napa Valley: Three ghosts of founder Gustave Niebaum are said to inhabit the Chateau.Ocean Isle Beach NC Chapter in October

  • 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, $50

Dry Creek Vineyards, Healdsburg Sonoma County: Indians haunt the vineyards, which were once the site of a Pomo Indian Reservation.

  • 2021 Dry Chenin Blanc, $19
  • 2010 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, $25

Trefethen Winery, Napa Valley: Founded by the Goodman brothers, the winery became a bootleg operation during        Prohibition. One unfortunate young man caught stealing from the bootleggers was hung from the rafters and continues to haunt the grounds.

  • 2022 Dry Riesling, $26
  • 2019 Merlot, $43

Beringer, St Helena Napa Valley: Spirits are reported walking the halls and throwing things in founder Frederick Beringer’s bedroom.Ocean Isle Beach NC Chapter in October

  • 2020 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $33

Valerie Hill Vineyard, Stephens City VA: Subject of the Ghost Hunter Discovery Series because it is said to be the most haunted vineyard.  Benedict Rust, the son of the 1807 owner was declared insane and locked in the attic where he died of dehydration.  He now haunts the property, along with all lost souls who were at the manor house during the Civil War when it was used as a makeshift hospital.

  • 2019 Cabernet Franc, $30

Chateau Buena Vista, Sonoma: Legend has it founder Agoston Haraszthy was eaten by an alligator in Nicaragua. His body was never recovered so it is said he haunts the winery.

  • 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, $40

We slinked, we slurped, we sniffed, we screeched … we had a howling good time!

Lake Washington Chapter tasting in OctTen AWS members and one guest gathered on October 14th for the Lake Washington (WA) Chapter meeting at Airfield Estates tasting room in Woodinville, Washington.

Chapter chair Adrienne Dahlin worked with the winery to select a range of wines from the Yakima Valley AVA. Airfield Estates uses 100% estate-grown fruit to produce its wines. The Yakima Valley AVA, which is on the eastern side of the state, is also Washington’s first established AVA.

Attendees learned about how the vineyard’s climate (high desert with long hot summer days and cool nights), soils (silt loam for drainage capabilities, nutrient contents, and pH range),  and elevation (850-1,250 feet) contribute to fully ripened fruit while retaining natural acidity. The AVA’s latitude is 46° N, similar to the Bordeaux Region of France, which is 45° N.

The group tasted the following wines:

  • 2021 Blanc de Noirs, $42 (1)
  • 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, $17 (6)
  • 2022 Sangiovese Rosé, $18 (3)
  • 2021 Grenache, $40 (7)
  • 2021 Bombshell (Rhone style red), $20 (4)
  • 2021 Hellcat (Rhone style red), $32 (5)
  • 2020 H. Lloyd Miller Founders Series (Bordeaux style red), $50 (2)

Collective rank of wines indicated in parentheses.

The Shallotte (NC) Chapter’s monthly meeting was titled “The Wines of Yadkin Valley NC,” which included 6 wines (2 white and 4 red wines) along with appropriate food pairings by the outstanding cooks in our chapter. Twenty-three members attended this session and enjoyed learning about the Yadkin Valley wine history.

This region of North Carolina was founded in 2003 after the decline in the tobacco industry. It includes land in 7 counties totaling over 1.4 million acres and 44 wineries in a humid sub-tropical climate except in the higher elevations where it is more oceanic. The area currently grows 26 varietals, some are off-beat.

The off-beat varietals we tasted were Traminette (an American-born hybrid, the baby of Gewurztraminer and the French-American varietal, Joannes Seyve) and Petit Manseng, which some say is similar to other white wine grape varieties, such as Sauvignon blanc or Riesling.

All the wines were rated using the AWS Wine Evaluation. The results in order were:

  • 2017 Jones Von Drehle Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Franc, $25
  • 2021 Raffaldini Vineyards Montepulciano Reserva, $35
  • 2021 RayLen Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, $18
  • 2022 Childress Vineyards Cellar Select Traminette, $15
  • 2021 Dobbins Creek Vineyards Cabernet Franc, $31
  • 2020 Jones Von Drehle Vineyards & Winery Petit Manseng, $27

All the wines were purchased at the wineries.

AWS News Staff We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Jack Kraft, Editor
Chapter Events Editor
Mike Blake, NTP Coordinator
Kevin Kourofsky, Winemakers’ Corner
Kristen Lindelow, AWSEF
Diane Meyer, Conference Planner Diane@AmericanWineSociety