Tastings: Wine lovers gather for conference Sunday

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The American Wine Society is the largest consumer based wine organization in North America. Its motto is "Promoting the appreciation of wine through education."

Dr. Konstantin Frank was the founder and held the first association meeting at his vineyard on Keuka Lake, one of New York's Finger Lakes, in 1967. The 200 founding members were primarily grape growers, winemakers and wine lovers. Today the organization has grown to more than 4,000 members spread among 120 chapters in 45 states. There are three chapters in Western Pennsylvania that meet monthly for educational tastings.

On Sunday, March 3, those Pittsburgh-area chapters will have their annual wine conference and amateur wine competition at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center, 3579 Masonic Way, Ross. (From Downtown, take Interstate 279 North to Exit 5, turn right and cross Route 19 and proceed on Cemetery Lane for .8 miles and turn right on Masonic Way.)

The seminars, tastings and demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. There will be 12 one-hour seminar offerings; you take your choice from three each hour ending at 3:30 p.m. From 4 to 6 p.m., there will be a chance to sample wines from wineries and distributors from throughout the United States.

Seminar leaders include wine luminaries such as Jim Bernau, Ron and Rick Lanza, Eric Miller, Doug Moorhead and Pittsburgh's Alex Sebastian and Dave DeSimone. Amateur winemakers are invited to enter bottles to be judged in the competition.

To see details, go to awspghwineconference.org.

All participants must be over 21. The cost is $60. Arrive a bit early in order to fulfill registration formalities.

libations

Elizabeth Downer: elizabethdowner@gmail.com.


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