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Hampton library program offers chance to taste, learn about wine

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Pete Hanowich

Wine specialist Peter Hanowich acquired his vats of know-how the old-fashioned way.

“Consumption,” said Hanowich, 65, of Hampton.

Hanowich will share his expertise during a wine-tasting program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Hampton Community Library.

For $25, people can sample five wines that Hanowich recommends for upcoming holiday dinners.

He plans to introduce two white wines, two red wines and one rosé.

“Everybody is always in a tizzy with regard to what do with Thanksgiving turkey, and what to do if you're going to roast a goose, and what to do for New Year's Eve, and Christmas ham, and stuff like that,” Hanowich said.

“I welcome questions and interruptions,” Hanowich said. “I'll have a handout. It'll have the five wines we're tasting, and the state store codes and a page of the winemakers' notes.”

Pittsburgh's top chefs know Hanowich as head of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Bailliage de Pittsburgh, the local chapter of a global food and wine society founded in the 13th century as a French guild of goose roasters.

Members meet six times a year for black-tie “extraordinary culinary experiences fostering good foods, wonderful wines and camaraderie,” according to the group's online site:

“When I worked at Rockwell, my secretary called it ‘the gluttons' club,” said Hanowich, a retiree from Rockwell International, a former Fortune 500 company.

Chaîne des Rôtisseurs members from downtown Pittsburgh establishments include Keith Coughenour, executive chef of The Duquesne Club and Kevin Joyce, proprietor of The Carlton.

As leader of the local Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Hanowich also organizes “Tastin' Tuesdays,” a series of wine seminars co-produced by the Pittsburgh Wine Festival at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

“Pete is a connoisseur of wine and food. He's quite knowledgeable ... He's traveled all over the world,” said Ed Harrell of Sewickley, president of the Pittsburgh Wine Festival.

“I like his objectivity ... He also has a keen sense of the history of wine,” Harrell said. “He's a good speaker. He's not professorial.”

Hanowich initially learned a lot about wines when his older sister married a diplomat in Washington, D.C.

“He was into wines,” Hanowich said. “He's the one who got me into trouble.”

Business trips for Rockwell also exposed Hanowich to the global wine scene.

“I traveled a lot when I was with Rockwell,” said Hanowich, former business segment manager of electronic products and services for Rockwell.

“If I was going to Spain, I'd buy a book on Spanish wines,” he said. “I'm not a sommelier. I don't aspire to be one, but I can go nose to nose with most of them.”

Advance registration is requested for Hanowich's wine tasting program at Hampton Community Library, 3103 McCully Road. For information, call 412-684-1098.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or

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