Napa Cabernet revisited

If you haven’t figured it out yet, 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, May 14 for round five of our tour of Napa cabernets. It will be just as delicious and informative as always.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Hosted by Rupak and Britney Gandhi and 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

Red Blends

Once again, we are going to be revisiting red blends and I couldn’t be happier. Blending is done to bring qualities of different varieties together in a marriage of textures and flavors. If a particular grape is thin skinned and lacks tannin structure, blending in some wine made from a more tannic grape variety will round it out. Have a flabby grape? Mix in some grapes with more vibrant acidity to lift it up. We know that Bordeaux is famous for blending red grapes to make great wine. But this process of bringing the best of the best qualities together is not limited to France. Join us for a tasting of some of the best robust red blends we can find.

*This tasting will start at 6:00 pm.

Saturday, April 9, 2022 – 6:00 pm
Hosted by Tom and Barb Gravel
1242 Cimarron Blvd., West Fargo

$25 members, $35 non-members

Port – the quintessential fortified wine

You may have heard the old adage, ‘any port in a storm’. Well, I’m here to tell you that just isn’t right. Port wines are something special and have a deep rich history, and frankly, some are certainly worth seeking out for sipping in front of the fire during a storm! Dating from the 17th century, port wines are named after the seaport city of Porto in the Duoro region of Portugal. Port is made through traditional techniques of foot treading the grapes as they ferment. Then the fermentation is arrested by the addition of high proof brandy spirits to raise the alcohol level to the point where the yeast dies. This leaves behind residual sweetness. Ports are made in a variety of styles and may be vintages or blends of decades old ports. Ruby ports are most common and are typically younger, aged in steel to retain its fruit and vibrant red colors. Tawny ports are aged for years in oak barrels and the color turns golden brown like caramel. They achieve deep rich flavors. A sommelier once told me that aged tawny ports pair well with chocolate, caramel and nuts. So, it is the perfect accompaniment to a snickers bar! Join us for a port tasting unrivaled in our regions. We will be featuring twelve different ports in a variety of styles for our next tasting of the Red River Valley chapter of the American Wine Society.

Port – the quintessential fortified wine
Saturday, March 12, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook
1338 10th St S
Fargo, ND 58103

$25 members, $35 non-members

Bordeaux Blends Plus

You know you love Bordeaux blends, and you love Syrah. How about a tasting of red blends made from traditional Bordeaux grapes PLUS Syrah? That is the theme of this week’s AWS tasting. Let’s break some French rules and enjoy some truly unique red blends. Join us Saturday, Feb 12 for a taste of Bordeaux Plus!

Bordeaux Blends Plus Syrah
Saturday, February 12, 2022, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Ann Meisch
219 10th Avenue West, West Fargo

$25 members
$30 non-members*

*non-member guests may attend up to three wine tasting events. After that, we ask that you join the Red River Valley chapter of the American Wine Society. You won’t regret it!

Washington Syrah

To say that Syrah is a success story in Washington State is an understatement. The grape was planted for the first time only as early as 1986 in the foothills of Mount Adams. It has spread across the state’s wine growing regions and in 2017, they produced over 20,000 tons of Syrah grapes. Needless to say, the quality of the wines made from Washington Syrah are world class. Join us as we traverse the pacific NW and taste our way through the world of Washington Syrahs.

Washington Syrah
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 – 7:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook
1338 10th St S, Fargo, ND 58103

$25 members, $35 non-members

Tin City Wines

Nestled in an industrial park along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail in Paso Robles, California, lies a wine tasters paradise. With a local farm to table type of vibe, Tin City serves up an eclectic array of craft beverages and local foods. It is certainly a place to put on your destination cards if you haven’t been there already. Twenty one wine producers in Tin City have been gathering accolades for their fantastic Paso Robles wines. And we will get to taste some! Join us on Saturday, October 9 as we focus our wine tasting on wines from Tin City. And, since Bev is hosting and this is October, you may just want to show up in your most outlandish Halloween costume! See you in Tin City!

Tin City Wines
Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Bev Ellenbecker
438 4th Ave E, West Fargo

$25 members, $35 non-members

Bordeaux Style Blends

Bordeaux is famous for their quality blends of classic grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a few others. But they are not the only place in the world that makes astonishingly good blends in the style of Bordeaux.  Join us for a tour of Bordeaux style blends that starts in France, wanders around the US and ends up in South America. You will not want to miss this incredible tasting of classic grapes in a new world style.

Bordeaux Style Blends
Saturday, September 11, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Greg and Lisa Cook @4e Winery
3766 156th Ave SE, Mapleton, ND

$25 members, $35 non-members

Spanish Cava and Paella

Nothing says summer in Spain like Cava and Paella! Cava is the Spanish equivalent of Champagne – equally delicious and affordable! This delightful bubbly is typically made from Spanish grape varieties like Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo, but they can also include some of the more familiar Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Monastrell. However you sparkle it, they are the perfect summer wine to go with hearty Spanish food. Join us for a cava tasting you won’t soon forget. Carlos will be preparing his famous Paella de Carlos to go along with the wine. Bring along a dish to share and if it has a Spanish flair, even better!

REMEMBER this tasting will be on FRIDAY, August 13.

Spanish Cava and Paella
*Friday, August 13, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Carlos and Lourdes Hawley
1102 10th St S, Fargo

$25 members, $35 nonmembers


Yes it is July and that means we celebrate Zinfandels in all their glory. Why July? Because, Lisa’s birthday is in July and zinfandel is her favorite grape. So, yeah. Zin! And I say, why not? Just like Lisa is mine, this black skinned grape is America’s sweetheart. The grape originates from Croatia where it is know by the name, Crljenak Kastelanski. It is the same grape that is also called Primativo in Italy. These grapes have been grown in California for more than a century and there are still amazing old vines that are 100 years old producing out there. They grow gnarly and thick, like those pictured here from Lodi, California. And the wines they produce are robust and ripe with blackberry, anise and pepper. Join us as we rejoice in the flavors that are zinfandel.

Zinfandel, of course
Saturday, July 17 – 7:00 pm
Hosted by 4e Winery
3766 156th Ave, SE, Mapleton

$25 members, $35 non-members

Home on the Grange – Aussie 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 in Oz. This tasting is extra special because we will be featuring the 2001 Penfolds Grange 100% shiraz. The first vintage of this iconic wine was in 1951 and by the 1980’s has earned its status as a highly collectable wine. A bottle of the original 1951 vintage sold at auction in 2004 for a whopping $50,000 AUD! These wines of exceptional quality are meant to be aged for at least 15 years and we were fortunate to obtain some well cellared Grange from the 2001 vintage to share with all of you. If there is one tasting you cannot miss this year, it would be this one. Along with the Grange, we will have 11 other Australian shiraz’s for sampling. So, join us down on the Grange for this truly unique experience!

HOME ON THE GRANGE – Aussie Shiraz
Saturday, June 12 – 7:00 pm
Hosted by Dakota Vines Vineyard & Winery
17355 County Road 4, Colfax, ND

$25 members, $35 non-members