Sammons discusses wines at Rotary Club

By: Jeannine Lejeune
CROWLEY - When Steve Sammons of Ambassador Wine & Spirits opened up his talk saying there was a lot to talk about with wine and that he would only be covering the basics, he wasn’t kidding.

The bare minimum of basics took the entire talking time.

Sammons discussed what wine was and how different regions affect wine taste and naming.

According to Sammons, wine is fermented fruit juice and any fruit juice can become a wine, just by adding yeast. However, the most commonly used fruit is grapes, and most grapes in the U.S. come from California.

He also explained how everything involved in the growing of grapes affects not only the grapes, but the taste of the wine as well; including amount of rain and when the grape vines receive it, geographical location and if the vines grow on land that has a slope.

Wine comes from five main countries, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.S. Each country has their own way of naming wines, but each name can tell you which grapes are the predominant one in the drink.

And as far as vintages go, Sammons says that each country has their own way of dealing with them.

“Italy only declares vintages in really good years for the crop like 2002 is the latest vintage for Dom Pérignon. In short, vintage sometimes matter, and sometimes it doesn’t,” he explained.

Sammons reiterated that there is much more to learn about wine and invites everyone to do so.

“Sip on some wine while you learn,” he joked.

He also confirmed that wine can actually be good for you. The “French Paradox” as it is known states that if a person drinks a glass or two of red wine with dinner, they are less likely to experience heart disease. It is called the French Paradox because Frenchmen experience a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats. The keys, Sammons reminded Rotarians, are drinking the wine with dinner and drinking in moderation.

Sammons ended his talk welcoming everyone to come learn more at their store, which has various tasting events every Friday and features an interactive wine kiosk that has information from almost every wine in the store.

The tasting events occur from 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, for more information, including store hours, visit their website at

The vocational speaker at today’s meeting was new member Peggy Sandidge. She explained how the tax business led her and her late husband and former Rotarian, Travis, to Crowley and how excited she was to be a member of the club herself.

“I’m delighted to be a member of Rotary,” she said.

This year’s installation banquet was also dedicated to memory of Travis Sandidge, something that did not go unnoticed by Sandidge.

During the meeting, President Isabella delaHoussaye presented a check donation to Crowley Christian Care Center, represented by Marilyn Lawson.

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