On Safari in South Africa


Wine has been made in South Africa at least since the 17th century when Jan van Riebeeck from the Dutch East India Company was first tasked with planting vineyards at the Cape of Good Hope. After the phylloxera epidemic of the 1800’s, many vineyards were replanted with with varieties such as Cinsaut.  While they are well known for their distinctive Pinotage and Chenin Blanc grapes, their wine industry is blossoming with other varietals as well. With over 60 viticultural areas, mostly in the southwest, the country is producing stellar wines from Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and others. Join us on safari through South Africa as we learn about the wines and the colonial history that spurred their growth.

On Safari in South Africa
Saturday, October 14, 7:00 pm
hosted by Scott and Lori Wood
1922 E Rosecreek Pkwy S, Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

please RSVP by Thursday, Oct 12

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.

Summer Zins

Zinfandel 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.

This tasting will be hosted at 4e Winery. Please note that we will be starting one hour earlier than normal.

Summer Zins
Saturday, July 8, 6:00 pm
hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook @ 4e Winery
3766 156th Ave SE, Mapleton (just southeast of the Casselton exit)

$25 members/$30 non-members

Please RSVP by Thursday, July 6

Fruit of the North

Growing grapes in northern tiers presents many challenges. There are thousands of grape varieties that have been cultivated for wine across the globe. Most of us have only had a chance to taste a small handful of vinifera grapes that grow in moderate climates. These, of course, are the Merlots, the Cabernets, and the Chardonnays, etc. But grapes are indigenous to almost every part of the world, including the frozen north. A great deal of research has gone in to breeding grapes with exceptional wine qualities that can withstand harsher climates and ripen well. And wine grapes are being grown successfully in northern Europe and across the Northern US and Canada. Join us as we explore some of the delicious wines that the northern latitudes have to offer.

Fruit of the North
Saturday, June 10, 7:00-10:00 pm
Hosted by Bob and Deb Grosz
2000 E. Rose Creek Parkway S, Fargo

$25 members, $30 non-members

Please rsvp by Thursday, June 8

 

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.

tiny bubbles – NOT SO TINY TASTE

The 2017 Red River Valley American Wine Society tastings will kick off with an effervescent evening of wine and education. Our theme is all about bubbles. We will have twelve different wines for you to sample. And I do mean different. Not a one of them is champagne. You’ll be able to sip some delicious and interesting wines from regions you might never have have imagined could produce sparkling wines. And, yes, you can make delicious bubbly wines from big bold red grapes that will cause you to rethink your notions of what comes out of the bottle after popping the cork.

tiny bubbles – NOT SO TINY TASTE
Red River Valley AWS tasting
Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook
1338 10th St S, Fargo

members $25
non-members $30

If you can rsvp by Thursday, Feb 9, that would be great.

Marvelous Meritage

meritage-wine-blendMeritage is America’s answer to Bordeaux. To avoid stepping on those French toes, wineries outside of Bordeaux, France have turned to the word Meritage to distinguish their “Bordeaux Blends”. These are wines blended with classic grapes from the region including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. There’s a lot more to the story of Meritage that you will learn about at our next tasting. So, please join us for some education and some fantastic red blends.

Marvelous Meritage
Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Hosted by Rebecca Knutson
1116 8th St S, Fargo

RSVP by Thursday, Nov 10