Monday, September 28, 2015

The Wines and Food of The Republic of Turkey

Only ONE day left to RSVP!

When you think ‘great wine’, what springs to mind? Perhaps you think of a French Merlot, a Spanish Tempranillo, or an Australian Shiraz.  How about a Turkish Narince or Bo─čazkere?

Turkey is a paradox. Vineyards have thrived in this land of grace, hospitality and commerce for millennia. There are hundreds of indigenous vine grape varieties. There is evidence of viticulture and winemaking from pre-history. Yet, the average per capita consumption of wine in Turkey is less than one liter per year. 

The wines, with their exuberance and vitality, capture the essence and flavor of Turkey’s culture and cuisine. Yet life isn’t easy for Turkey’s winemakers, and export markets have become increasingly vital to them. With this export mentality comes increased aspiration, and despite (and because of) the challenges, the quality and diversity of Turkish wine has soared in the last ten years. Turkish wines are now listed in Michelin starred restaurants in New York, Seattle, Rome, and London. Come and taste for yourself.

Join us on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 for our annual Nationality Dinner featuring the Wines and Food of The Republic of Turkey.  We will sample four wines made from indigenous grapes, and food typical of Turkish cuisine.

Our presenters are Thom Harding, Raconteur for Fattoria Due Cane, and Emma Schockner, Tasting Room Manager for Hector Wine Company in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.  Emma is a regular visitor to Turkey, and will be available to discuss the culture, traditions and ambience of this exciting country.

Our host, and chef, for the evening is Gonca Teker. Gonca came to the States seven years ago, and has been enjoying the beauty of Pittsburgh and its friendly, warm people since then. She has always found it fascinating to learn about different cultures, and tonight she will give you just a little sample of the wide variety of the Turkish "sofra", or table.

The evening promises to be fun and entertaining, with some special surprises.  Make your reservations EARLY!  We will limit attendance to 40 people.  Members will have the first opportunity to reserve, and we will open the reservations to guest if there is room.


The cost for members is $30.  The cost for guests is $35.

Please reply before October 9 to:

Or you may reply to Kathleen Simpson at 412-657-1861
Mail your check, payable to AWS to:
Dr. Dennis Trumble
1302 Arch St
Pittsburgh PA  15212

Don’t forget to visit the website for directions, useful tips, and recipes at 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Call for Board Nominations

Often, in our haste to meet a deadline for nominating board members, we dash through the process, relying on what we know about individuals through other connections or information about them.

Even when we do a give this some thought, we tend to focus only on the obvious—expertise, experience, interest in serving on the board. We don't dig deep enough into areas that in the long run are far better indicators of successful board service.  We hope that you will give some consideration to your selections.

We are, again, soliciting nominations for the Board of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Wine Society.  We are listing the duties of each of the Board positions so that you may make a more informed nomination.  You may nominate any member in good standing for any of the Board positions.  You may nominate more than one person for any position.

Please remember that you are making a nomination.  This is not a vote for that member.  The vote will be conducted in person at the November tasting.  If more than one member of the household uses the same email address, be sure to log out after each member is finished with their selections.

The Duties of the Chairperson

1.      Meeting Facilitator
a.      Create agenda
b.      Preside at board meetings
c.       Communicate Board decisions to membership
2.      Oversee Committees
a.      Strategic planning of all committees
b.      Ensure that all activities meet the Association guidelines
3.      Community Relations
a.      As the primary public figure, the chair represents the Association
b.      Must be comfortable networking with other organizations
4.      Internal Mediation
a.      Resolve issues arising within the Association
b.      Find common ground to solve difficulties
5.      Blogspot Posting
a.      Regular posting of “Notes From the Chair”, “Wine Tips” and “Recipes” to update membership on events, tastings, and other news concerning the Chapter
6.      Relay communications from AWS National to appropriate parties
a.      Include communications from RVP

The Duties of the Vice Chairperson
1.      Wine Procurement
a.      Obtain list of required wines from speaker
b.      Purchase and store wines until the meeting
c.       Bring to meetings ready to pour (e.g. cooled whites)

2.      Manage wine-related items (bottle openers, pourers, blind-tasting bags, etc.)
a.      Clean after use
b.      Store
c.       Bring to meetings

3.      Wine Pouring
a.      Determine the correct number of bottles to open based on attendance
b.      Determine size of pours based on attendance, number of bottles available and number of wines being tasted
c.       Pour wines in correct order, as specified by speaker
4.      Update tasting notes on website after tasting
a.      Post the tasting notes (which wines were tasted, who were the hosts, what food was served, etc.)
5.      ‘Manage’ leftover wine
a.      Drink it up! Open bottles are yours to take home and enjoy!
b.      Keep the unopened bottles that didn’t sell for future use as auction items for fund raising.

The Duties of the Secretary
1.      Take notes during meetings/tastings
2.      Present report during meetings/tasting re: minutes; business matters
3.      Send a welcome email explaining the use of the website and how to enroll for email updates

The Duties of the Treasurer
4.      Keep records of monthly revenues and expenditures
5.      Present report during business meetings re: income, expenditures, and balance
6.      Maintain checking account
a.             Make deposits
b.Write checks
c.              Track balance & verify with bank statements
7.      Pay all bills in a timely manner (< 1 month from date of receipt)
a.             Reimbursement of purchases for monthly
b.Payment of rental fees and permits
c.              Catering for special events
d.Speaker fees/gifts
e.              AWS Education Fund

The Duties of the Program Chair

1.      Plan and coordinate the 8 events per year
a.      6 regular meetings, including National Tasting and 2 special events
                                                              i.      Nationality dinner (May or October) and Winter dinner (restaurant January)
2.      Advise Vice Chair of wines to be procured and served
3.      Choose a presenter for each event
a.      Checklist for presentations
4.      Choose hosts for each meeting
a.      Advise hosts of wines being served, number of attendees
b.      Provide input for table decorations and other sundries
5.      Provide wine costs to Chapter Chair three weeks prior to tasting

The Duties of the Membership Director
1.      Maintain list of current members
2.      Maintain record of guests and guests that become members
3.      Prepare name badges for monthly meetings
4.      Present report during business meetings re: membership levels & new members
5.      Cross-check lists of national and chapter members to ensure all Pittsburgh chapter members have also paid national dues (for insurance purposes)
The Duties of the Procurement Director
1.      Procure and maintain ample supply of wine glasses for tastings
a.      Manage distribution of wine glasses and carry bags to members
b.      Provide spare wineglasses for tastings
c.       Keep record of glasses out for cleaning or on loan
2.       Maintain supply of serving items, plates, napkins, table covers for tastings

Please click on the link below to make your nominations.

Monday, September 14, 2015

With Great Sadness

We received an email from the Underwoods recently.  I am saddened to post this, but we'd like you to keep them in your thoughts.

Dear Friends,

 I wanted you to know that our son , Geoff, died instantly from a brain aneurysm while driving to work Sept 2. 

Millard and I had been traveling the Baltic Capitols, then Scotland  and we had just arrived in England's Lake District when we received the tragic and terrible news.  The British trains and Delta Air quickly got us to Atlanta without any new charges.

His obituary  can be read by Googling Geoff Underwood Obituary at the H.M.Patterson & Son Funeral Home, Atlanta Ga.

The link below will take you to the website.


The Underwood's address is:

170 Mowhawk Dr
Pittsburgh  PA  15228

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Date change for November Tasting

Date Change for the
November Tasting.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the Evergreen Community Center, the date for the November tasting has changed.  The new date is:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Please be sure to mark your calendars, or to let your Social Secretary know.

The date for the October Nationality Dinner has NOT changed.  It will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. 

We look forward to seeing you at both!

Don't forget to check the website often! 

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Lauri Boettcher has confirmed the dates of October 9 and 10 for the tour and tasting at Arundel on Friday afternoon and a catered meal Friday evening at Arundel.  On Saturday, Lauri will arrange for some wine stops in the area.

Lauri has arranged a group rate at the Holiday Inn Express for Friday night of $119 for a king room.  When we get a number, the hotel manager will set it up so each couple can make their own reservations and the discount rate will be applied.  If you would like to stay an additional night, that would be no problem.

Lauri needs a rough number within the next few weeks to get prices for the Friday night meal and arrange for the Saturday tastings, as well as the hotel.

Please reply if you want to attend.  Reply by September 8 at the latest.

Thanks for your cooperation.  Looking forward to a wonderful weekend with all our AWS Western PA chapters.

Rosalie Kupec
Alle-Kiski Chair