Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One event for wine fans, one for beer fans

At least, a blog post for both wine fans and beer fans:

1. For wine fans: The American Wine Society will holds its 2014 conference Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Charlotte and Concord. The AWS is a nonprofit organization with over 4,300 members in 130 chapters that supports the appreciation of wine through education.

The conference, to be held at the Embassy Suites Golf Resort & Spa near Concord Mills, will include wine seminars, wine-pairing dinners, wine excursions and other events. Two competitions, one commercial and one for amateurs, will also be held in conjunction with the conference.

AWS executive director John Hames says the Charlotte area was picked because of its reputation as a wine and food center, and because of growth in the organization in North Carolina. About a half-dozen new chapters have formed in the Carolinas in the past three years.

2. For beer fans, the American Homebrewers Association isn't waiting until the start of N.C. Beer Month in April to hold its own celebration. They're doing it this Saturday, March 29, at Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem. The event is one of a series of rallies being held around the country to bring together people who like to make beer at home with people who like to make beer professionally.

For N.C. beer enthusiasts, there's another reason to attend: Not only do you get to tour the brewery, ask lots of questions and win prizes, you also will have the chance to buy (I'm going to type this really quietly to reduce the risk of hysteria) several vintages of Foothills' insanely popular Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout.

The rally is 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Foothills Production Brewery, 3800 Kimwell Drive, Winston-Salem. It's free for members of American Homebrewers (click here for details), but you do need to RSVP here.