I recently attended my first full-fledged, annual super sized food and wine event as an attendee. I volunteered before so technically this is my second wine event and I have to say it’s nice to not have to look for a broom and dust pan when you hear the demise of a wine glass as it meets the floor. Now that spring is here with its slew of wine events, it’s time to share some tips for the first timers from my recent experience.
Have a wine state of mind
Finding your first event should be easy. There are wineries–actual, functioning wineries–in all 50 states of the Union. Hopefully they are good enough to be featured at some local or state-wide festivals and events where you can try them and see what your state has to offer. Some states have so many that you may never get to them all. Washington has over 800; California has over 1,000. While states like Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Texas hold their own as well. After such a brutal winter across the country, make this sunshine season your opportunity to try as many as you can.
Know when to swallow
When you’ve arrived at your first wine event, you may be a little taken aback seeing people take a sip of wine just to spit it out. I hate spitting. I hate the act of spitting. It is disgusting to me. However, the need to keep myself up-right and speaking clearly means I had my spit cup handy and ready to go. There are always a few wines worth swallowing, because they’re just that good. Know that no one will be offended if you spit in order to get home safely without injuring yourself or others. In fact, they’ll love you more if you buy a bottle or two to take down later.
More fun, less notes
Don’t be THAT person. We get it. You know your stuff or you just downloaded the newest, hottest, fasted wine app to keep your “wine list” up to date. You’re taking notes about the wine right in front of God, the vintner and mankind to prove yourself to the aforementioned. Thing is, no one is impressed. Making noises as you swish and spit or worse, holding up the tasting line to tap on your phone is likely what the last three people before you did and the next two will as well. Wine is a unique experience. Make your notes at the event if you must, but chances are you are the only person who believes you’re 100% right about any of the wines you taste.