Wine Festival 101: Ten Great Tips (Plus a Couple More)
We love to see our customers and friends at wine festivals, and over the years we have collected a few tips from them, and our team, that will help make your next wine festival experience the best it can be. Here are 10 of our favorites.
- Go early in the day if tasting is your main goal. Many wineries run out of their most popular wines by late afternoon – especially on the second day – and lines are shorter in the morning.
- Bring a notebook and pen to keep track of what you like. Refer to it later in the day if you want to go back and buy wines you liked, or if you want to purchase them at retail.
- Start with wines you LIKE. If you can’t determine from the tasting list, tell the host what you do For example, you might ask, “What do you have that is close to Chardonnay?” No one will laugh. We promise.
- It’s OK to spit. Yes, really. It can keep you from ingesting too many different wines. Most winery booths have a place for this.
- Don’t wear fancy shoes. Most wine festivals are on showgrounds or in parks. Heels get stuck, rain makes for mud, and well, after several tastes tripping is possible.
- Be prepared. We’ve seen folks make themselves at home with pop-up tents, umbrellas, chairs, small tables …
- Check the festival website as to whether you can bring those things in – and if you can bring food.
- Don’t wear cologne – it can interfere with your ability to smell and taste the wine.
- Eat. It does not take that many tastes to impact many people. Make sure you have food in your stomach.
- Avoid red teeth (sometimes a side effect of red wine.) Rinse with water and chew gum when you can.
Here’s another great insider tip: One I forgot would be Volunteer! Duh! Volunteering to pour wine for a couple hours gains you free admission to the festival. While most people want the first shift, the last shift works well as it gives you some more time before driving home! Click here to volunteer at the Maryland Wine Festival
One more: There is no excuse to drive after too much wine. If you don’t have a designated driver, let Uber, Lyft or traditional cab company get you home safely and go back for the car in the morning.
If you are headed to the Ocean City (Md.) Wine Fest on September 28-29 (www.winefest.com), or the Autumn Wine Festival (Salisbury, Md.; www.autumnwinefestival.org), please visit us! We would love to see you and share our Show Specials. The Maryland Wine Festival (Westminster, MD; www.marylandwine.org/mwf) October 13.