I’m often asked about festival and wine event suggestions; therefore, since the season is near, and there is an exciting winery event next week at the Dulles Expo Center, I have compiled a list of 10 of my top tips to help you make the most of your visit. Now, this is in no particular order, but my # 1 should be your #1 also. Let's go!
9) When attending a wine event or a wine festival, purchase your tickets in advance. Virginia winery events are very popular, so why stand in line when you can be indoors or outdoor enjoying the fun? Besides, tickets are usually $5 - $10 cheaper if you purchase them ahead of time.
7) Speaking of swirling, be sure to swirl each wine you encounter. There is a great deal that can be discerned about a wine just from sniffing it. Really! A youngish wine will have developing aromas; while an aged wine will have a more mature and congealed bouquet. Sniffing a wine is just as important, if not more, than sipping. I know a lot of wine lovers will debate me on that one.
6) Prior to the two-step swirl and sniff ritual, you have to study the color too. Color is just as important as sniffing a wine, and can give you an indication of the wine’s age, maturity, and health, amongst other things. For example, did you know that as white wines age they darken, while this is the exact opposite for red wines? A wine with an attractive and brilliant color is a good indication that that swirl, sniff, and sip will be just as pleasing.
5) Bring a camera! Some of the Virginia wine festivals and events are held in areas with open fields, green rolling hills, and vista views. If you are from the city, these picturesque settings can truly be appreciated. Additionally, at a wine festival you may get some good blackmail pictures!
Sniff the wine !!!
4) When tasting, be courteous and step aside and allow others to taste also. I have seen very long lines because someone wanted to ask questions about malolactic fermentation or chaptalization. Save that for the winery, or grab a book; the people behind you want to swirl, sniff, and sip!
3) Go early and avoid the crowds. Also, bring a notepad or wine journal and jot down which producers you enjoyed the best and the wines that pleased your palate. I have had some great wines in the past that I did not remember a week later. Some wines are deserving of a second date, so get the wines information and put it in your Blackberry!
Time to taste!!!
2) This is an all important one; have a designated driver with you. While I enjoy having friends that enjoy wine, I also enjoy having at least one friend that does not enjoy wine. This friend’s nickname will be “Designated Driver.” Buy this friend a ticket to the event and let them enjoy the live entertainment, tasty food, and arts and crafts. These tickets are usually priced $10 lower than tasting tickets, and for the safety of yourself and others it is worth every penny. A designated driver is a true friend, so be nice to this person; especially when the seasonal warmth starts to creep in.
1) This one is simple friends; promise Dezel that you are going to enjoy yourself and have a good time sipping Virginia wine and meeting other Virginia wine lovers like yourself – be safe, sniff every wine you are poured, and have one heck of a fun-filled time!
Hope these little tid-bits help!!! Stay tuned ...more to come !!!
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