Great wine-filled evenings are within your reach

On January 21 I learned of a group I had never heard of, the American Wine Society, Electric City Chapter. I obtained the typical meeting time and their next event was to be that very day at the Scranton Cultural Center, so on a whim I decided to stop by and see what the gathering would entail. The following day I found myself seriously considering membership because of how entertaining and educational my evening had been.

Being a guest, I was worried that I would be ignored or awkwardly accepted into an established group; instead, I sat down and was immediately welcomed and included by the other seven people at my table. Luckily I was not the only first-time guest at the table and the two of us were able to sleuth out the proper etiquette, even though everyone we sat among were clearly attending for recreation rather than critiquing.

Nadia Zilkha - Laetitia Vineyard & WineryThe wines showcased in the tasting were from Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, actually a pair of wineries from Central California, which were presented by the spritely owner, Nadia Zilkha. I was impressed with Zilkha’s dedication to her grapes, employees, land, and production — all of which contribute to Laetitia’s SIP Certification, that is, Sustainability in Practice, an award which measures not only a company’s environmental impact, but also the quality of treatment their employees receive. I typically take certifications and awards with a grain of salt, but after tasting Zilkha’s wines, I may have to reevaluate my standards.

Although I enjoy wine with a meal, I seldom drink it on its own because I find it hard to nurse a particularly dry or sweet product, but what I sampled that night was uniformly delicious and smooth. Of particular note are the various vintages and grades of Pinot Noir that Laetitia produces, to which the winery dedicates most of its land. Furthermore, those same wines finished in the top 22 out of no fewer than 460 participants at the 11th Annual Pinot Noir Summit. There was heard not a single murmur of discontent among the 50+ tasters as they imbibed the complex fruity flavors of the Estate, Reserve, and Whole Cluster varietals.

Seven regional wines to try before you die

Seven regional wines to try before you die

If you’re at all interested in attending an American Wine Society event in the future, or would like additional information simply visit their website at If you would like to research Laetitia wines for yourself, just browse over to where you can order most of their wines through the Pennsylvania Fine Wine & Good Spirits website.

Happy tasting.

  • Blake Belleman
  • I'm Blake Belleman, a young cook trying to make the best of a beautiful, yet sometimes harsh world. When I'm not trying to learn something new such as knitting, screen printing, or how to prepare a different cuisine, I like to spend my time hearing people's stories and relaxing with good company.

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