Seasons of the Vine: Jan/Feb 2013


Fermented Follies

Inspired by the book title, “He Said Beer, She Said Wine,” (DK Publishing 2008) and bored with the dark, cold days of winter, I set out to learn if “she” really says wine and “he” really says beer.



Here’s what a few Rochesterites had to say:

“When drinking wine I don’t get filled up; when drinking beer, I don’t have to remember what I paid for that bottle.”— DJS (male, mid-50’s)

“To us, preferences appear to be a generational thing influenced by the part of the country where one lives. In our early married days, living on the East coast, everyone around us drank mixed drinks. Somehow it just happened that we turned to wine after moving to the Midwest.”— anonymous couple in their mid-70’s

“Beer or wine? It’s like listening to music…it depends on my mood.”— anonymous female, mid-40’s

“Beer makes my face scrunch up uncontrollably. Wine never does that.”— Marlene Petersen, editor, RochesterWomen magazine

“Beer is event driven; wine is palate driven.”— PC (female early 50’s)

“If it weren’t for Miller Light, Budweiser and Anheuser Busch, we wouldn’t have sport games broadcast on TV.”— anonymous male, early 50’s

“I used to drink more beer than wine, especially as a young man. In later years, I appreciated the complexity and variety of wines, but I still like a good European beer, as dark as possible.”—anonymous male, early 80’s

“Backaches and menstrual cramps certainly call for a glass of wine!”— Patty Palmersheim

“We have wine for dinner, but you wouldn’t sit around and watch football games all afternoon with a glass of wine.”— Gary Palmersheim


News from Area Wineries

With the 2012 growing season over and snow firmly enveloping dormant grape vines, many area wineries have reduced hours or have closed for the winter. Four Daughters, in Spring Valley and Villa Bellezza in Pepin, Wisc., remain open seven days a week year-round. Be sure to check area wineries’ websites for winter hours.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 19, 12th Annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine
This marvelous event includes a choice of two guest speakers, an opportunity to socialize over wine while enjoying light refreshments and the challenge of outwitting/outbidding each other in the silent auction. The 2012 event raised over $25,000 for the Rochester Public Library. Tickets are $75 per person ($85 per person after January 11).

For more, visit or call 507-328-2309.

Feb. 15, 21st Annual “Wines of the World” Wine Tasting
6:30–9 pm, Ramada Hotel & Conference Center

This Valentine’s Day weekend, treat yourself to a night of wine tasting while supporting Bear Creek Services, a Rochester, non-profit organization that provides housing and support services for people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. Come sample over 150 wines (and various beers and spirits), enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and chocolates from Chocolaterie Stam, learn about wines from distributors and participate in the silent auction. Tickets are $35 if purchased before February 11th ($40 after and at the door). For more information, visit