AWS News – August 2022

Jul 28, 2022

Your vote really does matter!

Ballots are out for you to select members for open positions on the Board of Directors and to update the AWS bylaws. We need more than 1,200 votes! Be sure to fill out yours.

Preparations are in full swing for the 2022 National Conference

Registration remains open, a session brochure is available, session selection will occur this month —and more!

Introducing the 2022 AWS Educational Foundation Scholarship recipients

Read about the 7 scholarship recipients, including information about the specific research they are each doing.

Winemakers’ Corner: Let’s get wild

Kevin Kourofsky examines a quiet revolution of alternative yeasts going on that may very well change how we make wine.

Spreading the word about the Amateur Wine Competition

As we search for opportunities to grow our competition and AWS, we’d like your help in finding businesses, clubs, or organizations with whom we can partner.

Government affairs

AWS News is looking for someone who can compile our standard feature that rounds up government actions affecting the wine industry and consumers.

Get back to what you love

Executive Director David Falchek sees a revitalized membership following the pandemic and highlights membership opportunities offered by AWS.

Regional happenings

Regional vice presidents have been active during the past few months; read what several had on their plates.

Chapter events

Summer may be a slow time in some places, but not for AWS chapters. Read what your fellow members have been up to.

Your vote really does matter!

At about this time each year, all AWS members receive ballots to cast their vote for any open board positions. This year, in addition to voting for a Vice President and Director of Competitions, the organization’s bylaws have been updated and membership must vote upon the amendments to the current text.

Your vote matters in every balloting, but this year we need to have an extraordinary response from the membership. While a simple majority of votes cast is needed to determine board elections, we need at least 20% of the membership to cast votes to amend the bylaws. For comparison, last year only about 12.5% of membership voted.

As is the case with board member voting, the amended bylaws need a majority of those voting to determine acceptance.

The Governance Committee worked diligently on these changes for well over a year — including several rigorous reviews by the Board and a legal review — to ensure that the bylaws reflect current best practices in the not-for-profit world, keep the text current, and meet any updated legal requirements.

When you review your ballot, you will find a link to both the current AWS bylaws (from 2015) and the proposed amended AWS bylaws (from 2022) for your reference and use. In addition, you’ll receive a summary of the salient changes to assist your review.

If you haven’t received a ballot, then email us at, and the committee will make sure you do get one.

So, when you get your ballot, review the candidates who are up for election, assess the changes to the bylaws, and VOTE! It really does matter!

Jim Beckman
Chair, Governance Committee

Preparations are in full swing for the National Conference

American Wine Society 2022 National ConferenceIf you haven’t registered yet for our 55th Annual AWS National Conference in Bellevue, Washington, you still have time: We have extended registration until we achieve a sell-out.

Your $530 registration fee for the conference from October 27–29 includes choices from among 49 different sit-down, classroom-style sessions, as well as wine-paired meals and receptions. You can make your hotel arrangements online at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency.

The conference is a benefit of AWS membership, but if you’re not a member, you can easily join here.

For registered attendees

A session brochure is now available, and look for conference session selection to follow later this month.

In addition, we will have pre-conference trips. Join us for Woodinville wine tours on Wednesday, October 26, or Thursday, October 27. Watch your email and the AWS website for details!

Allen Shoup to receive Award of Merit

The American Wine Society will confer the Award of Merit to Allen Shoup at the National Conference.

Allen ShoupThis is the highest honor that the organization confers on wine industry practitioners, recognizing contributions that have strengthened the wine industry and improved the wine consumer experience.

Shoup, forefather of the Washington wine industry, revived interest in Riesling and fostered the careers of numerous wine industry luminaries. With a reach that benefited the consumer and strengthened the wine industry, he helped create foundational organizations that continue to serve in the industry in Washington and nationally. Today, he continues to create and innovate.

Award of Merit recipients through the generations include Robert Mondavi, Gina Gallo, André Tchelistcheff, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, among many others.

Join us at the conference to meet Allen Shoup in person.

Introducing the 2022 AWS Educational Foundation Scholarship Recipients

We are pleased to announce the 2022 AWS Educational Foundation scholarship recipients! A future newsletter will include photos and information about the research of these very talented and hard-working students, each of whose scholarships total $3,500.

Scholarship Recipient Degree sought University
AWSEF/Banfi Auction Amanda Fleming M.S. University of Arkansas
Cleveland, OH Hannah Charnock Ph.D. Brock University, Ontario
North Alabama, AL Alex Gunn M.S. Brock University, Ontario
Carroll County Chapter,
G. Hamilton Mowbray Memorial Scholarship
Bernadette Gagnier Ph.D. Washington State University
Central Pennsylvania Region Jared Hrycan Ph.D. University of British Columbia Okanagan
AWSEF April Mahovlic M.S. University of British Columbia Okanagan
Bucks County, PA, Chapter Meredith Persico Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University


In a subsequent newsletter, you’ll find more information regarding the specific research each of the 7 scholarship recipients is doing. If you’d like more detailed information in the meantime about any of this research, please contact Kristen Lindelow (, and she’ll be glad to forward their application essay with much more detail.

Winemakers’ corner: Let’s get wild

There is a quiet revolution going on in winemaking that may very well change how we make wine. It’s really a re-evolution of wine’s most essential element of creation, harkening back to pre-modern winemaking without ignoring the past 70 years of increased technology. It’s how we ferment wine.

Kevin Kourofsky

Kevin Kourofsky

The difference between grape juice and wine is yeast and how we manage that process. Though it is often said that wine is made in the vineyard, it comes to life in the vat.

What our ancestors believed to be magic we now know is the action of yeast changing sugar into alcohol. In the modern age, protocols and beliefs about how we approach fermentation were created and only in small ways did the approaches vary, essentially with a “new” yeast strand mostly derived from the same family of yeasts. Abandoned were methods that allowed for a greater diversity of yeasts. Beyond here “there be dragons.”

Read more here.

Spreading the word about the Amateur Wine Competition

We always look for opportunities to grow our competition and our organization.

Some of you may have joined us for the “Yeast Nutrition and Health” webinar with Tom Payette. While most of our webinars are members-only, we shared this event with those who could benefit from it and also support AWS. In this case, that included previous registrants to the AWS Amateur Wine Competition.

In that vein, if you have ways to increase the number of entrants in the competition, please let me know.

Right now, I’m reaching out to businesses that cater to home winemakers so that they might include our competition in their advertisements. My next project will be to contact clubs and state organizations. If you have businesses, clubs, or organizations that I need to make contact with, please let me know.

Also, we would love to see the AWS Winemakers group on our website be very active. Come on out and join us. (While our group requires approval to join, we’re quick to grant it.)

Vince Williams

Government affairs

After 10 years handling this feature, Tom Cobett has had to back away for other pressing obligations. The American Wine Society and AWS News deeply appreciate his tireless work during his run.

Tom Cobett

Tom Cobett

Because of Tom’s departure, AWS News is looking for someone who can compile our standard feature that summarizes government actions affecting the wine industry and consumers.

Candidates should be interested in public policy, passionate about consumer choice and wine access, and interested in politics but not partisanship. The contributor may also serve on the AWS’s Advocacy Working Group, which seeks areas where the AWS may work with other groups to advance consumer choice and wine access.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy, please send an email outlining your background to David Falchek at

Get back to what you love

This past year marked a re-emergence for the AWS and for all of us. We got back together with our family and friends. We resumed backyard gatherings and dinner parties. We returned to the joy of sharing wine and being part of the AWS community.

David Falchek, Executive Director

David Falchek, Executive Director

Over the last 12 months, I had the privilege of participating in AWS regional events both in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Recently, I met with AWS leaders in Ohio on a backyard deck. In the last 6 months, I was honored to present in real life to one of the largest chapters and one of the newest.

At every meeting of our local chapter, I see familiar faces trickling back, returning. Seeing them healthy and catching up on their lives is exhilarating. It all feels wonderfully normal.

Local and regional AWS visits for me are a welcome respite from the monitor screen, cloud computing, and national-level challenges; a reconnection with the purpose and mission of the organization and how the work of the national office manifests in the field through individual experiences.

This Spring, we urged lapsed members to re-join with half-year memberships in a campaign called “We Want You Back.” Typically, only new members can take advantage of the half-year membership. However, because of the tumult from the pandemic, we saw this as a fitting one-time offer for those who had cut back or stayed away during the last 2 years.

Despite the hit that overall membership took last year, we are trending back to double-digit growth. In 2022, we have nearly 1,000 new members, which more than makes up for non-renewing members and results in a net membership gain.

Starting October 1, we will run a “win back” campaign for the 2023 membership year, again targeting lapsed members. We’ll provide an update of what’s happening in our organization with the bonus offer of a 15-month membership. We are calling the campaign “Get Back to What You Love,” based upon the reconnections and revitalization I see at the chapters and at the National Conference.

Let’s continue getting back to what we love: family and friends, gatherings, health, and the joy of wine exploration with the AWS community.

Regional happenings

Regional vice presidents were active during the past few months; here’s a recap of what several had on their plates.

Renewal of Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Picnic

(Compiled by Donna Lombardo Fisher)

Sixty-four AWS members from 9 chapters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey came together on July 9 to celebrate the revival of the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Picnic. A decades-old tradition that was on hiatus in recent years, the event was held in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, at the home of long-time hosts Terry and Patricia Green.

Organized under a “neighborhood gathering” theme by two Regional Vice Presidents, Jennifer Perry (Southeastern PA) and Bob Hale (Northeastern PA), the day offered many opportunities to mingle with fellow wine enthusiasts.

Under shade canopies on the Green’s spacious north pasture, members across chapters, regions and states reunited, made new wine friends and shared ideas for chapter tastings and activities. Regional Vice President Danny Klein brought along a lively contingent from New Jersey, while Executive Director David Falcheck and Member Service Manager Colleen Reardon traveled from the AWS National Office to join in the festivities.

The morning started with a fresh take on the Regional Amateur Wine Competition. Everyone sampled and scored 18 homemade wines donated by our local talented winemakers. “Best of Show” was awarded to Jeffrey Fisher for his “Dark Shadows” red blend.

Following a catered buffet lunch, guest speaker Frank Paredes, President of NOW Wine Imports from New York City, presented a fun and educational session on Portuguese wines. Members explored the history, regions and diverse wine styles of Portugal while tasting 6 unique wines made from native varieties.

Then, everyone enjoyed dessert during a fundraising event organized by host Patricia Green, the newest trustee for the American Wine Society Educational Foundation (AWSEF). AWS members and supporters, including Reustle Vineyards and Frank Paredes, donated wines and accessories for a silent auction. Along with a 50/50 raffle, the event raised $1,245, almost one-third of the amount needed to fund a scholarship.

At the end of the day, members left with a renewed feeling of community and plans for more multi-chapter events in the future. As David Falcheck observed, the spirit of AWS will always live in Eastern Pennsylvania!

Western Pennsylvania Region welcomes the new City of Pittsburgh Chapter

Charter presentation

Charter presentation

Regional Vice President Kevin Ostrowski welcomed and recognized the new AWS City of Pittsburgh Chapter to the Western Pennsylvania Region with a charter presentation on June 5.

New Chapter Chair Ricardo Llovet received the charter, along with a welcome gift and a celebratory sparkling bottle of Blanc de Blanc from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, which was established by the founder of AWS.

Pittsburgh chapter members

Inaugural chapter members

In spite of beginning its formation in July 2021, amid all the challenges that Covid-19 presented, the new chapter successfully met regularly — including visits to local wineries throughout the past months.

The charter was presented during a chapter meeting, in a lovely outdoor setting, that featured members of the Louw family and included some family history and a tasting of excellent wines from the family’s relatives’ winery in South Africa, Diemersdal Wine Estate, which included an unoaked Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, and red Bordeaux blend.

Congratulations and welcome to Ricardo and all the members of our new City of Pittsburgh Chapter!

Chapter events

Fifty Shades of Grape (NJ) Chapter held their tasting at the Mills residence. Greg calls dinner at his place the GEM restaurant (stands for Greg, Erica Mills), was an amazing 7-course affair!Fifth Shades of Grape Chapter

The theme was Old World (France) vs. New World (California). Greg selected wines from his cellar, the same vintages to compare and score (top 3 ranked in parentheses).

Old world New world
Billecart-Salmon Reserve NV (2) 2018 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc
2019 Joseph Drouhin Meursault 2019 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay
2019 Domaine Chevrot Bourgogne 2019 Lyric Pinot Noir
1998 Cos d’Estournel – (had some Brett apparent) 1998 Opus One (3)
2013 Chateau d’Yquem – 16.7 (had some VA apparent) 2013 Dolce (1)


In May, the members of the Hammonton (NJ) Chapter gathered at the home of Linda Orthner, who hosted along with Jaki Giberson for a Grape Wines of Japan tasting. Linda and Jaki were inspired to host the tasting after attending a session at the 2021 AWS Conference in Atlantic City. To accompany the wines, Linda and Jaki prepared some delicious Japanese street food for us. In addition to tasting the wines members tasted a sparkling sake, sake nigori and two sake-based cocktails. The top 3 wines were:

  • Chateau Merican Momorio Rose, $36 (1)
  • Chateau Merican Aiakane, $36 (2)
  • Kurambon Kohsu, $42 (3)


Thirty members and guests of King George Wine Society (VA) wore masks as part of the presentation that Tom Burckell led March 11 at the American Legion. His goal was to demonstrate that the sense of sight can significantly influence the other senses when tasting wine. The masks allowed the group to taste a wine before they analyzed with their sight.

Instead of a classic wine tasting, attendees tasted a 1-ounce pour with the masks on and assessed the flavors. After 6 wines were experienced in this manner, masks were removed, and the tasting started over with commentary from Tom explaining the varietals and producers. This unique approach highlighted the sense of taste, and allowed us to enjoy wines made from Grignolino, Gamay Noir, Mencía, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, and Petit Verdot.

The featured wines were selected from vineyards in Spain, Italy, France, Australia and California. The clever presentation enhanced the group’s wine education and was very well received

  • Crivelli- Grignolino D’Asti, $19
  • Domaine de la Grosse Pierre, $27
  • Domaine de la Chanteleuserie, $23
  • Descendientes de José Palacios, $28 (3)
  • Ladies who Shoot Their Lunch, $37 (2)
  • Zanon Family Vineyards, $24 (1)


On April 2, 80 members and guests from Berks, Lehigh Valley (PA) and Northampton Chapters (PA) joined together to learn about wines from Folino Estates. Dean and Bonnie Scott hosted this event, and their son and Folino winemaker, Darrin, led the tasting. AWS Executive Director Dave Falcheck and his wife, Rosemary, joined the tasting. Members tasted and scored 6 wines, ending with a delicious dinner served with 2 glasses of self-selected wines. An incredible event!!!Berks, Lehigh Valley (PA) and Northampton Chapters

  • 2020 Chardonnay, $24, (3)
  • 2021 Pinot Grigio, $19, (1)
  • 2020 Traminette, $19
  • 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, $24
  • 2018 Lorenzo Forte, $32
  • 2020 Bianco Dolce $17, (2)


Four chapters were represented at a special tasting held April 14 at the Pavilion venue at one of the oldest wineries in Virginia, Ingleside Vineyards, to experience another opportunity to learn about the Wines of Illyria.

Seventy-four attendees from the Northern Neck Uncorked (Tappahannock, VA) Chapter and King George (VA) Chapter heard from Indira Bayer, who was a featured speaker at the 2021 National Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, and whose wines were selected for 2021 NTP.

Indira is an engaging speaker who shared many pictures of vineyards from her home as she highlighted characteristics of the grapes used in producing the 9 wines we sampled. She compared two different winemakers and two different styles of making wine from the same grape.

For many, this was the first time being exposed to an American Wine Society educational tasting, and feedback was extremely positive. The wines were:

  • 2019 Stone Cuvee White, $14
  • 2019 Tamjanika White, $15
  • 2019 Carski Blatina Rose, $14
  • 2016 Blatina, $16
  • 2016 Emporia Blatina, $16
  • 2018 Vranac Red, $14
  • 2016 Emporia Vranac, $16
  • 2015 Trnjak Red, $25
  • 2016 Carski Emporia Deep Red Cuvee, $48


The Lone Star/DFW (TX) Chapter held a tasting at the home of members David and Cristy Russum on June 25.

The hosts, along with Educational Director Debbie Gerbo, presented the National Tasting Project – Wines of Sicily alongside a culinary tour of the Mediterranean region. They paired each of the 8 wines with a complementary small bite including homemade meatballs, Southern Italian cheese, a shrimp dish, and Arancini — a Sicilian staple consisting of stuffed rice balls coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

Following the tasting, the group enjoyed a Southern Italian feast centered around a main course of grilled Italian sausages with peppers and onions. To complete the evening, guests tasted an array of Italian desserts and Limoncello.

  • Donnafugata Sur Grillo, $23.99 (2)
  • Baglio di Grisi Grillo, $17.99
  • Tornatore Etna Bianco, $27.99
  • Fessina Etna Bianco, $29.99
  • Passopisciaro Etna Rosso Passorosso, $44.99
  • Planeta Cerasuolo Di Vittoria, $19.99 (1-tie)
  • Acate Neo d’Avola, $21.99, (1-tie)
  • Tasca Nero d’Avola, $19.99 (3)


Myrtle Beach (SC) Chapter met June 16 for ‘Aloha! Wines for a luau.’ Chair and co-chair Richard and Mary Berezinsky and 34 members/guests tasted wines that pair well with foods found at a luau — Kalua pig, Teriyaki chicken, macadamia nuts, and Maui onion potato chips. The main teaching point was no preference for heavily oaked or high tannin wines. Sparklers are great, dry rosé, and crisp acidic white wines are best. Red wines should be light.

  • 2021 King Maui Sauvignon Blanc, $11
  • 2020 Martin Códax Albariño, $14
  • 2020 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés, $12
  • 2020 Chateâu de Nages Héritage Rosé, $19
  • 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, $14
  • 2018 J. Navascues Cutio Garnacha-Carinena, $15
  • 2020 Prototype Zinfandel, $10
  • 2021 Cara Mello Pineapple Moscato, $10


The Northampton (PA) Chapter held a tasting featuring Bonarda, the ‘other red grape’ that is associated with Argentina.

Attendees sampled several Bonardas and a couple Charbonos, which is the same grape that made its way to California. Because these grapes were unknown to the group, the tasting was an excellent opportunity to learn and expand their varietal knowledge. Judi did her usual thorough research and presentation to guide the 13 attendees through the tasting.

The scores were generally high with several in the ‘excellent’ category.Many thanks to Judi and Tom for hosting an excellent tasting.

  • 2020 Altos “Colonia Las Liebres” Bonarda, $11 (1)
  • 2019 Tilia Bonarda, $12
  • 2019 Durigutti Bonarda, $19
  • 2017 Zuccardi Emma Bonarda, $48
  • 2017 Castello Luzzano Carlino Oltrepo Pavese Bonarda, $21
  • 2018 Tikal Patriota Bonarda Malbec, $16 (3)
  • 2020 Folk Machine Charbono, $23
  • 2020 Folk Machine Charbono (decanted 24 hrs.), $23
  • 2017 Robert Foley Charbono, $42 (1)
  • 2017 Robert Foley Charbono (decanted 24 hrs.), $42 (2)


On July 26, the North Wake (NC) Chapter held a meeting and tasting at the home of Jim and Linda Kropp in Raleigh. Thirty-one members attended and tasted six “summer wines”—two whites, two rosés, and two reds—presented by Jim.

For each pair, one wine was French and one was American. The Kropps, along with Ken and Peggy Wesp, provided food pairings with each pair of wines. Members discussed the various methods employed by French and American winemakers in producing whites, rosés, and reds.

For four of the wines we compared our scores with ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Members had an identical score for one wine, very close on another, and for the other two missed by a point. Everyone enjoyed a very pleasant summer afternoon of wines.

  • 2020 Patient Cottat Sancerre, Loire Valley, $35 (2)
  • 2021 LePetit Coquerel Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, $25 (5-tie)
  • 2021 Michel Vattan “rosé,” Loire Valley, $30 (5-tie)
  • 2021 Wölffer Estate “Summer in a Bottle,” Long Island, $24 (4)
  • 2017 Chateau Larose Perganson, Bordeaux, Haut-Médoc, $30 (3)
  • 2020 Le P’tit Paysan, Cabernet Sauvignon, San Benito County, CA, $23 (1)


The Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter experienced southern Italy at its May meeting, exploring ‘The Wines of Abruzzo.’ Chapter Chair Stan Barwikowski was the guide as attendees traversed 4 provinces bordering the Adriatic Sea, which benefits wine production with two distinct climates. The area boasts two principal grapes, Trebbiano for white wine and Montalcino for red wine.Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter

Sixty-eight attendees were delighted to sample 7 wines with a nice selection of cheese, salami, pasta, crackers and chocolate pairings. Wines sampled were:

  • 2020 Umani Ronchi Terre di Chieti Vellodoro Pecorino ($18.99), served with Pecorino cheese.
  • 2019 Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($11.99); this wine is sold in more than 50 countries.
  • 2019 Fantini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($12.99).
  • Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($15.99); some referred to this as “stick wine” for its unique bottle presentation.
  • Pietra Majella Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($17.99) this is a blend of 85% Montepulciano and 15% Merlot.
  • Barba i Vasari Old Vine Montepulciano ($18.99).
  • 2017 Miglianico Il Fondatore Montepulciano Riserva ($21.99); named after the founder of the winery.

The Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter returned to its roots and welcomed winemaker Steve Sheppard from RayLen Vineyards & Winery at its June meeting. RayLen was one of the featured wineries at the chapter’s RayLen vineyards wineinaugural wine tasting event 10 years ago.

Steve shared a short history of the winery, which functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century until 1998. During the tasting, he discussed his process of growing grapes, the various grapes grown at the vineyard and use of grape varieties in blends.

Eight wines were poured for the tasting pleasure of the 60 guests. Each wine was a medal winner in various California wine competitions.

  • 2020 Barrell Fermented Chardonnay, $16.99
  • 2020 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, $18.99
  • 2019 Carolinius (blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc), $14.99
  • 2020 Cabernet Franc, $16.99
  • 2019 BB Select (Bourbon-barrel Cabernet Sauvignon), $18.99
  • 2020 Category 5 (their flagship wine named for a category 5 hurricane that was barreling down on the North Carolina coast), $19.99
  • 2017 Eagle Select Meritage Bordeaux blend, $24.99


The Southport (NC) Chapter met on Friday evening, June 10, 2022, at the St. James Plantation Wood-lands Park Pavilion hosted by Dave & Vicki Caruso (co-chairs). The meeting had 50 members in attendance. The theme of the party had the attending members bring wines that would pair well with the multiple types of pizza (cheese, white, pepperoni, veggie, meat lovers, etc.).

A Rhone Valley Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre (GSM) blend was provided on every table by the chairs, and the members brought additional wines: Rosé, Grenache, Chianti, Vouvray, Montepulciano, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Nero d’Avola, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, or a Cabernet Sauvignon to share with their table mates. Everyone enjoyed pairing the different kinds of wine with the assorted pizzas. A Rhone Valley Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre (GSM) blend was provided on every table by the Chairs, and the members brought additional wines: rosé, Grenache, Chianti, Vouvray, Montepulciano, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Nero d’Avola, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, or a Cabernet Sauvignon to share with their table mates. Everyone enjoyed pairing the different kinds of wine with the assorted pizzas. The wine provided by the chair was a 2018 Domaine Lafage Tessellae Old Vines GSM ($19 and rated 93 points), which matched perfectly with the pizzas.


On June 10, the Winosaurs (NJ) Chapter had a very successful tasting titled “A Tour of America.” The group was able to acquire wines from small wineries all over the United States. Each tasting was paired with a food specifically selected for each wine. The tasting was held at the home of Jodi and Karl Schwarzl, the chapter’s secretary. Below is the list of wines we tasted in the order members tasted them. Also included is the name of the winery and the state in which they are located.

  • Rose’- (Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery – Kasota, Minnesota). This Rose’ offers a burst of sour starburst flavors in your mouth with hints of banana, watermelon and strawberry. (ABV 12.5%).
  • Viognier (Philip Carter Winery of Virginia – Hume, Virginia). The 2020 Sabine Hall Viognier was made entirely in stainless steel. A fresh, citrusy nose gives way to a very juicy wine on the palate. The palate is dominated by tropical fruit flavors. This is a white wine that can be paired with heavier dishes like pork, chicken, and rich creamy sauces. It also pairs extremely well with seafood. (ABV 13.5).
  • Sauvignon Blanc (Black Star Farms – Traverse City, Michigan). This is dry white wine with a hint of passion fruit in the aroma. It has flavors of lemon zest and grapefruit with undertones of herbs. This wine is great with savory appetizers along with lighter main courses. We recommend shellfish (mussels, oysters, etc.) grilled chicken, fish, Caesar or Greek salads, sushi and pesto-based dishes. (ABV 13%).
  • Red Fox Blend (Arrington Vineyards – Arrington, Tennessee). The wine has aromas of wild berries and black tea followed by flavors of red plum, red berries and baking spices with a touch of oak on the finish. The wine is a medium-bodied red wine. Red Fox Red pairs well with tomato-based dishes such a spaghetti and meatballs, recipes with marinara sauce, grilled steaks, lamb chops, pizza, cured meats like Prosciutto, most Italian cheeses, roasted veggies, recipes with oregano, thyme, basil, and sage. (ABV 14.5%).
  • Bold Red (Cellar 426 Winery – Ashland, Nebraska). Medium-dry red wine bursting with bold flavors. Aged with oak, it has bold aromas of cherry and blackberry to complement its big red color. Savor the flavor and your palate will enjoy a bold red wine with hints of pepper and black cherry. Great with steak, ribs, or even a burger. (ABV 13.5%).
  • Norton (Noboleis Vineyards – Augusta, Missouri). Dry red wine. Oak aged, it has aromas of cherry, nutmeg, anise and dark chocolate. Flavors of black currant and plum with hints of cola and black pepper. (ABV 13%).
  • Chambourcin (Poca Terra Winery – Bently, Kentucky). Great on its own, but also pairs well with grilled steaks and pork chops, roasted red meats and Italian dishes, whether roasted or grilled like Northern Italy or with spicy, flavorful red sauces from Southern Italy. (ABV not listed).
  • Port (Merritt Winery – Forestville, NJ). Aged in wood barrels, the wine is a dark red and rich with berry and cherry flavors. (ABV 18%)


Twelve members of the Keuka (Finger Lakes, NY) Chapter gathered on June 12 at the home of Dean & Linda Schuler to try the wines of the Levant. Lebanon and Israel are a part of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea called the Levant. We had wines from both countries. What were native grapes have mostly given way to the French varietals but in interesting combinations.

It seems as though you can’t research Israeli wines without the question, “What wine was served at the Last Supper?” Our research indicated it was most likely one similar to those of Amarone, Italy, so we finished our excursion into Levant wines with that.

The wine voted best was Shvo Vineyards, with Clos St. Thomas & Tzora Vineyards tied for second.

  • 2015 Cremisan Winery Baladi; West Bank (Israel); $22
  • 2014 Agur Karka Oseleta; Judean Hills (Israel); $37
  • 2011 Clos St. Thomas blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah; Bekaa Valley (Lebanon); $17
  • 2018 Massaya le Colombiel blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Tempranillo; Bekaa Valley (Lebanon); $15
  • 2014 Shvo Vineyards blend of Syrah, Barbera, Grenache, and Mourvedre; Upper Galilee (Israel); $33
  • 2017 Tzora Vineyards blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Petit Verdot; Judean Hills (Israel); $30
  • 2018 Antiche Terre Amarone; Italy; $30


Adrienne Turner

Adreienne Turner, Chapter Events Editor

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
Mike Blake
Kevin Kourofsky
Kristen Lindelow
Diane Meyer Diane@AmericanWineSociety