Wine adventure planned: Chamber holding international wine tasting event

September 18, 2018

Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Phil Fritsche samples one of the wines that will be part of Wine Tour 2018. The event will be held Oct. 12 from 5:30-9 p.m. at locations in downtown Beaver Dam.

Wine does more than inebriate. It captures the essence of where it is grown and reveals the tastes, textures and soul of the places it is produced.

That’s the reasoning behind the Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce Wine Tour 2018, set for Oct. 12, from 5:30-9 p.m. in downtown Beaver Dam. Planning began about a year ago.

“We’re incorporating the wine walk into our community,” said Chamber Executive Director Phil Fritsche. “This is the first year that it is legal to have a wine walk at multiple locations. This way, we can hold events at places designed to promote our downtown. We want people to walk downtown to see what’s here.”

But the experience is not just local — there will be a global element, too.

“The idea of having different nations’ wines differentiates us from other tours where they focus on all local wines or California wines. The wines we have chosen are probably a little harder to find. It will be a unique opportunity, different from the average wine walk.”

There will be 31 wines from six countries and six continents, paired with seven cheeses chosen to complement them.

Locations include La Mia Boutique, with wines from Italy; Bullfrogs & Butterflies, with wines from Israel; Design Plus Embroidery, with wines from Mexico; McKinstry’s Home Furnishings, with wines from the United States; American Bank, with wines from New Zealand; Twisted Sisters, with wines from Argentina; and the Chamber’s Old Depot, with wines from Morocco.

Licensed bartenders at each location will taste the wines before the event so they will be able to describe each and inform guests of their characteristics and flavors.

“For most of the countries, we’re going to be doing four wines,” Fritsche said. “When it comes to the United State,s we’re going to be doing more than that with wines from the local Edwin Brix Winery. There are also some unusual wines like a jalapeño-infused white wine used instead of vodka in a bloody mary, and a sweet lemon wine.”

Participants in the event will be able to tour the hosting businesses while listening to ethnic music from each country of the wines’ origins. For $30 ($35 on the day), each guest will receive a card for rating the wines and cheeses, a commemorative sample glass, a map showing business locations and a wristband to prove at each location that they have paid. A six-pack of tickets is available for $150 (a $30 savings). Tickets are available at the Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, Rechek’s Food Pride and at Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly.

The tour starts at the Chamber, 127 S. Spring St., and continues in numbered order.

“We’ll start groups at different locations to avoid lines,” Fritsche said. “In the meantime, guests will be able to browse the furniture at McKinstry’s or purchase a nice embroidered shirt at Design Plus, or by a dress at La Mia Boutique. They’ll all be open for business.”

Guests will be urged to try things that might be out of their comfort zones.

“You don’t want to be closed-minded and drink only reds because you like red better than white, or sweet rather than dry,” Fritsche said. “The whole idea of this is to try a lot of them and to expand your boundaries. We’re encouraging people to be a little adventurous and explore. Then after they’ve finished, they can make a dinner reservation at one of our downtown restaurants. It will be a great opportunity to enjoy downtown and many of the things it has to offer.”

For more information, call the Chamber at 920-887-8879, visit beaverdamchamber.com or find it on Facebook.

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