North Coast Cabernet

I know our group never tires of cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley, but did you realize there are great cabs to be had just outside of Napa? Don’t believe it? Join us on Saturday, Aug. 8 for a tour of the cabs from the North Coast. The grapes for this month’s wines are grown in the North Coast AVA of California. This area includes counties north of San Francisco such as Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Typically, the North Coast Ava is characterized by cool fog and breezes off of the Pacific Ocean. This produces juicy, lush and medium-bodied mouthfeels with bright fruit and herb aromas.

North Coast Cabernet
Saturday, Aug 8, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Rupak and Britney Gandhi
7499 16th St S, Fargo, ND, 58104

$25 members, $35 non-members

Dry Rieslings

Riesling is a versatile grape now grown all over the world. Its color can range from a light straw to deep yellow. It usually has intense aromas of fruits that rise from the glass and the flavors can range from lemon/lime to pineapple and apricot as it goes from less to more ripe. Traditionally, many rieslings are made in a sweeter style but the largest riesling producing region in the world, Alsace, is famous for their aromatic dry white wines. Join us on Saturday, July 11 as we explore a world of dry rieslings. In my humble opinion, they are the perfect wines to enjoy on a warm summer evening.

Dry Riesling
Saturday, July 11, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook @ 4e Winery
3766 156th Ave SE, Mapleton, ND 58059
$25 members • $35 non-members

Central Italy

The wines of Central Italy. When you think of Italian wine regions, the central regions of Toscana, Umbria, Abruzzo and Lazio, among others, comes to mind. Gentle sun-kissed hills lined with row after row of verdant vines filling the landscapes. And the wines are delicious. Please join us on Saturday, June 13 as we smart restart our monthly wine tastings. We will be gathering at Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery down near Colfax at 7:00 pm. We will have plenty of room to spread out people and spread out the wines so that everyone can be comfortable. We do ask if you are feeling ill not to attend and we encourage robust hand hygiene. We want to make sure there is space for everyone to be at their comfort level. We are looking forward to seeing you next weekend.

Central Italy 
Saturday, June 13, 7:00 om
Hosted by Bob and Deb Grosz
Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery
17355 Co Rd 4, Colfax, ND 58018
$25 members • $35 nonmembers

Napa Cab Again

If the last couple years of AWS tastings haven’t already told you, we just can’t get enough of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. There simply is no getting tired of it. Cabernet Sauvignon, the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, is a classic Bordeaux grape. But, arguably, Napa Valley has become the king of cabernet sauvignon wines. Recent years have produced some truly outstanding vintages in the Napa Valley and we haven’t run out of wines to taste yet. Join us on Saturday, March 14 for round three of our tour of Napa cabernets.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Hosted by James and Tessa Hand @ The Title Company building
35 4th St. N, Fargo, ND 5810
You may park in the lot south of the building.
The event space is on the second level.

$25 members, $30 non-members

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot (“peh-tee vur-doe”), named after its small black berries, has long been used as a blending grape in Bordeaux, France. It used to be difficult to find varietal wines made from this grape. However, as the plantings of this full bodied, dark and tannic grape has spread across the globe, more wines featuring this grape front and center have emerged. Join us for an exquisite and unique tasting of this venerable grape from Italy, to Spain, to Argentina and California. The wines provide aromas of plums, lilacs, violets and sage that complement the gravel minerality that can be present in this grape.

Petite Verdot
Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Rebecca Knutson
3526 1st St N, Fargo

$25 members, $35 non-members

 

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the tasting you’ve been waiting all year for. Cabernet Sauvignon, the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, is a classic Bordeaux grape. But, arguably, Napa Valley has become the king of cabernet sauvignon wines. Recent years have produced some truly outstanding vintages in the Napa Valley. We’ve been collecting the wines for this tasting for several years and they are finally ready for your scrutiny. Join us for an experience you won’t soon forget as we taste our way through some amazing Napa cabernet sauvignon wines.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Hosted by James and Tessa Hand @ Construction Engineers
35 4th St. N, Fargo, ND 5810
You may park in the lot south of the building.
The event space is on the second level.

Note: this tasting is slightly more due to the higher cost of the wines.
$30 members, $40 non-members

Game of Rhones

The Rhone Valley lies in the south eastern area of France and is divided into northern and southern sub-regions. Grapes have been cultivated in this area, steeped in history, from around 600 BC. In the northern part, the most important grapes are Syrah and Viogner while the southern areas boast the famous red blends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Northern Rhone has a continental climate that produces somewhat harsh winters and warm summers while the Mediterranean Sea dominates the climate in the south. The Rhone valley wines can be rich and intense with red blends of the classic Grenach, Syrah and Mourvedre varietals with a few other grapes sprinkled in. Join us as we taste two terrific vintages (2015 and 2016) of wines from this fascinating region of France. We have tried to source outstanding quality wines at affordable prices. Were we successful? You be the judge. We say . . GAME ON for Rhone Valley.

Game of Rhones
Saturday, September 14, 2019 – 6:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook @ 4e Winery
3766 156th Ave SE, Mapleton (Casselton exit 331)

$25 members • $35 nonmembers

Bierzo

Bierzo – Spain’s best kept secret
Saturday, August 10, 2019, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Carlos and Lourdes Hawley
1102 10th St S, Fargo

$25 members, $35 nonmembers

In the northwest corner of Spain in the province of Leon and right next to the famous Galicia lies the area of Bierzo. Vineyards in this area are small and grown on hilly, rocky soil rife with granite and slate. Because of the terrain, grapes can only be handpicked in most of this region. Mencia is the star grape from the region with about 2/3 of the vineyard production but several other varieties are also grown here. The wines can range in intensity from something similar to a light Pinot Noir to a heavy tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines often express a hint of violets with minerality and elegant tannins. This month we will be traveling to Bierzo on our tasting journey. While you will certainly want to come for the wine, you should also come for the Paella de Carlos™.

Pinot Noir

pnMade famous by the movie Sideways about the Santa Barbara wine region, the delicate and versatile Pinot Noir grape calls Burgundy, France home. But now it’s grown across the world and boy does it express terroir and regional differences. Several places around the world have emerged as producers of high quality wine from this finicky grape; Russian River Valley and Carneros in California, Oregon, New Zealand, and even Switzerland and South Africa. Typically grown in cooler regions, this grape is light bodied with low tannins and can express a very wide range of flavors depending on the region and the climate.  Come join us as we explore the world of Pinot Noir.

PLEASE NOTE: We will start this tasting one hour earlier than normal.

Pinot Noir 
Saturday, June 8, 6:00 pm
Hosted by Bob and Deb Grosz
Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery
17355 Co Rd 4, Colfax, ND 58018
$25 members • $35 nonmembers
rsvp by Thursday, June 6

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc, the venerable parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is planted widely across the globe. However, it has rarely been used as a stand alone varietal for wine. It is usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in a Bourdeaux blend style. In recent years this grape has found its footing in areas of the world that express its unique characters and we are seeing more wines featuring this grape as the star. Lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, these grapes produce savory and bright red wines with hint of herbaceousness and bell pepper.  Join us as we taste our way through Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Franc
Saturday, May 11, 7:00 pm
Hosted by James and Tessa Hand
1565 Johnson Drive, Moorhead, MN 56560

$25 members, $35 non-members

Please rsvp by Thursday, May 9