Wine Fest Survival Guide: 5 Tips
The arrival of harvest time means an unofficial uptick in wine festivals happening around the country. These celebratory events offer a fantastic opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines in one place – not to mention hear live music, attend seminars and sample endless culinary temptations.
Navigating it all can all be a little overwhelming. You don’t want to miss the good stuff, but how are you possibly supposed to taste all that wine – and keep your wits about you?
First, do your research so you can plan your day(s) around any can’t-miss events. Find out which wineries will be there and hit your favorites first, before you max out on tastings.
Once you’re there, pace yourself. It’s generally best to start with white and light and move on to red and full bodied so that none of the nuances are lost in the wake of heavier flavors.
Opt for dry before sweet, as the long aftertaste of sweet wines may cause dry varieties to taste sour. For this reason, it’s not a bad idea to sample sweeter white wines after dryer reds.
Drink water … a lot of water. In addition to cleansing your palette, drinking a glass of water for every glass of wine will help you avoid a dehydration headache. If you remember one thing, make it this: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Remember to eat plenty during the festivals. Take advantage of the local culinary offerings and snack liberally between tastings. Keep an eye out for artisan breads and cheeses (ask what pairs well with your latest taste) and palette cleansers like refreshing sorbet.
Never be afraid to spit! That’s what those buckets are there for, after all. A swirl, sniff and quick wash over your taste buds are all you need to fully experience a wine. And the more you spit, the more you can sample.
As with any event where you’ll be imbibing, assign a designated driver or a car service to make sure everyone gets home safely.