Syrah or Shiraz? Shiraz!

You say Syrah, we say Shiraz. This noble grape from Europe has planted its feet around the globe and is known by many names. But no one expresses ‘shiraz’ like the Aussie’s from down under. Join us as we tour the southern coast of Australia through this rich red wine.

Syrah or Shiraz? Shiraz!
Saturday, Sep 9, 2017, 7pm
Hosted by Dogan Comez and Dana Gulaj
2806 1st St N, Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

Please rsvp by Thursday, Sep 7

Txacolina – the wine you’ve never heard of, but really must try

Travel with us to the Basque region of Spain and France where we are going to celebrate August with Txakoli (cha-co-LEE), or Txacolina (cha – co – LEE – na). It is an effervescent primarily white wine from this magical region of Europe. It is high in acid and low in alcohol and is typically served very cold. Also, it is often served with the bottle held high above the glass: The High Pour. It goes well with hot weather and tapas or, as we prefer it, with Paella de Carlos™. Txakoli has been described as “refreshingly bracing and light bodied, with a gentle sparkling effect. Aromas of citrus and white fruits, together with herbal notes, are followed by flavors of lemon, lime, apple, pear, and sometimes pineapple, which combine with a mineral or saline edge leading to a pleasantly zesty finish. Many exhibit a palate cleansing, sherbet-like quality.” This wine was a Basque secret for many years and was even on the decline there until a revival in the 1980s. This wine is now available throughout the wine-drinking world, especially the USA. Txakoli is, generally, low in alcohol, ranging normally from 9.5% to 11.5%, making it a favorite on hot summer days. The cold temps, the high pour, and the bubbles make drinking Txakoli wines an event.

Saturday, August 12 at 7:00 pm
Hosted by Carlos and Lourdes Hawley
1102 10th St S, Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, August 10.

California Pinot

Although the Burgundians (and I) may argue, some of the finest Pinot Noir wines in the world are coming from California. Made famous by the movie Sideways about the Santa Barbara wine region, the delicate and versatile Pinot Noir grape really expresses terroir. And there is an amazing diversity of climates and terrains in California producing amazing wines up and down the coast from Russian River Valley and Carneros, to Santa Barbara. If you love this grape as much as I, this tasting is one you must attend.

California Pinot Noir
Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Kathy Neugebauer
4412 S. River Estates Way, West Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

RSVP by Thursday, May 11

Marilyn Merlot

Merlot, the great grape of Bordeaux, was much maligned after the 2004 movie Sideways character Miles the wine snob soundly criticized it with his now infamous refusal to quaff this grape. However, the blow to the merlot industry has only inspired producers to up their game and the merlots being produced today are truly outstanding. Some of these wines have even generated cult followings such as the Marilyn Merlot from Marilyn Wines and these wines sell out quickly every year. We have assembled a unique world tasting of merlot beginning with ones that, honestly, folks usually hoard away in their cellars and dare not touch. But we will definitely try them! This is a merlot tasting you will not want to miss.

Marilyn Merlot
Saturday, April 8
7:00 pm
Hosted by Rebecca Knutson
1116 8th St S, Fargo

$25 members
$30 non-members

please RSVP by Thursday, April 6

Over the Wall

When you think of wines from the south, thoughts of Argentinian malbecs and Chilean carmeneres come to mind. But there are fantastic wines being made much closer to the United States. Nestled in the valleys of Baja California just south of the border is a vibrant wine industry where top quality producers are growing cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, syrah, tempranillo and many more. So come along with us as we climb over the wall to enjoy these delicious and unique wines. You’ll be over the moon about these wine from over the wall.

Over the Wall
Hosted by Tom and Barb Gravel
Saturday, March 11, 7:00 pm
1242 Cimarron Blvd., West Fargo

$25 members, $30 nonmembers

Please rsvp by Thursday, March 9.

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. Several regions 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.

Pinot Noir 
Saturday, October 8, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Mike and Melanie Carlson
713 5th Ave W, West Fargo
$25 members • $30 nonmembers
rsvp by Thursday, October 6

Tempranillo

tempranilloKnown by many names (see below), the Tempranillo grape has had a long history and impact in Europe – especially in Spain. Today this black grape is being grown in regions all over the world. The name “Tempranillo” stems from the Spanish word Temprano meaning early. The grape ripens several weeks earlier than many other traditional varieties. It often has a rather neutral profile and is thus typically blended with other grapes such as grenache or carignan. However, in some places it expresses more fruit qualities such as plum, berries and aromas of tobacco and leather. They can make exquisitely complex red wines. Join us as we explore the world of Tempranillos and experience what the grape has to offer.

Tempranillo
Saturday, September 10 at 7:00 pm
Hosted by Carlos and Lourdes Hawley
1102 10th St S, Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, September 8.

 

 

Other names for Tempranillo: Albillo Negro, Aldepenas, Aragon, Aragones, Aragonez, Aragonez 51, Aragonez da Ferra, Aragonez de Elvas, Arganda, Arinto Tinto, Cencibel, Cencibera, Chinchillana, Chinchillano, Chinchilyano, Cupani, De Por Aca, Escobera, Garnacho Fono, Grenache de Logrono, Jacibera, Jacibiera, Jacivera, Juan Garcia, Negra de Mesa, Negretto, Ojo de Liebre, Olho de Lebre, Pinuela, Sensibel, Tempranilla, Tempranillo de la Rioja, Tempranillo de Perralta, Tempranillo de Rioja, Tempranillo de Rioza, Tempranillo Rioja, Tinta Aragones, Tinta Corriente, Tinta de Madrid, Tinta de Santiago, Tinta de Toro, Tinta do Inacio, Tinta do Pais, Tinta Fina, Tinta Madrid, Tinta Monteira, Tinta Monteiro, Tinta Roris, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Santiago, Tinto Aragon, Tinto Aragonez, Tinto de la Ribera, Tinto de Madrid, Tinto de Rioja, Tinto de Toro, Tinto del Pais, Tinto del Toro, Tinto Fino, Tinto Madrid, Tinto Pais, Tinto Ribiera, Tinto Riojano, Ull de Liebre, Ull de Llebre, Valdepenas, Verdiell, Vid de Aranda.

Malbec and Carménère

mendoza-malbecIn 1868 the malbec grape was introduced to Argentina by a French agronomist who brought cuttings from Bordeaux. The grape has flourished in South America and Argentina, especially the Mendoza area has become well known for it’s big bold and distinctive malbec wines. While this grape has been present in Bordeaux blends in France, the Cahor region has become famous for it’s malbec dominated wines. Around the same time the Carménère grape was brought from France to the new world where it settled in Chile. Join us for a wine tasting of these delicious and distinctive grapes.

Malbec and Carménère
Saturday, August 13
Hosted by Tom and Barb Gravel
1242 Cimarron Blvd, West Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, August 11

Northern Rhone – Oui

572593129902331There’s something special about the Rhone Valley of France. And in the northern parts the wines are simply incredible. The areas of Cotes Roti and Crozes Hermitage produce some of the finest wines in the world. And it’s no wonder as the vines are grown on steep terraced mountainsides that create unique terroir and flavors. Undoubtedly this will be the most talked about tasting of the year for the Red River Valley American Wine Society and you will kick yourself if you miss this one. The northern Rhone is widely considered the “home terroir” of the syrah grape, and many famous wine writers sing the praises of these celebrated appellations, and state that the finest expression of the syrah varietal is found on the steep slopes above the Rhone. Our opener for the evening, the Celeste by Chave is a blend of 90% Roussanne and 10 % Marsanne; the rest of the wines will feature these famous syrahs from the two AOC’s mentioned above as well as St. Joseph, Hermitage and Cornas. See you on Saturday!

Northern Rhone
Saturday, November 14, 7:00 pm
Hosted by David and Sybil Hopkins
1128 8th St N, Fargo

*Note: Due to the higher prices to source these special wines, we have slightly increased the fee for this tasting.

$30 members, $35 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 12

 

Zinfandel – the great “American” grape

old-zinZinfandel has a long history in America. It was brought to New York in 1820 by a fellow named George Gibbs from cuttings he obtained in Austria. By the 1850’s the grape was being cultivated in nurseries and made it’s way to Napa and Sonoma valleys. It once was the most planted varietal in California and made it’s way into most of the red “jug” wines that dominated in the middle of the 20th century. It has become adopted as an American grape. It is also the same grape as Primativo in Italy and both trace their roots to beginnings in Croatia.

My, how this grape has grown up. California is riddled with century old zinfandel plantings with gnarly trunks that produce some spectacular wines. Please join us for an evening of zinfandels that are true to delight all palates. What better way to celebrate Flag day than with some truly great American sins.

Zinfandel – the great “American” grape
Saturday, June 14, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Rebecca Knutson
1116 8th St S, Fargo

$25 members/$30 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 12.