Oct 6, 2016 - Partners

Here’s how to do South End Wine Festival right.

via http://southendwinefest.org/

(Note: South End Wine Festival is a Axios Charlotte Partner.)

The first time I attended a wine tasting, I couldn’t believe the swirling and spitting going on in my peripheral. But before the evening was over, I learned the hard way that spitting is less grotesque and more necessity in the world of wine tasting.

ICYMI, South End Wine Festival is happening on October 15. Before you go, here are some tips for enjoying the day down to the last drop:

(1) Eat before you go. There will be plenty of food at the festival courtesy of Papi Queso, The Tin Kitchen, Southern Cake Queen and The Gallery, but a little sustenance beforehand certainly can’t hurt. Thank me later.

(2) Spit or dump. Just in case it wasn’t clear before, it’s okay – and perfectly normal – to taste and spit or dump (buckets provided). If you don’t like a wine, there’s no shame in pouring it out after a sip. Be picky. Tastings are unlimited. 25 different wineries will be there with several varieties. Sip accordingly.

(3) Drink water. Buy some water bottles. The festival’s Designated Driver charge ($10) even includes four free ones. Do whatever you have to do to stay hydrated. Plus, water helps to cleanse the palate in between wines.

(4) Ask questions. The people pouring the wine have a wealth of knowledge to bestow about wine region, characteristics, etc. Wine is good. Knowledge is wealth. Enjoy both. P.S. Don’t be intimidated. There are no stupid questions.

(5) Hold your wine glass correctly. This means by the stem. When you hold a glass by the bowl, your body heat warms the wine. Holding the stem ensures that the wine is kept at its proper temperature, resulting in the best possible taste.

(6) Keep a wine log. There’s more to a wine festival than guzzling down alcoholic grape juice. Keep track of what you like so you can purchase a bottle (or five) for future house parties, dinners out or housewarming gifts.

(7) Be open-minded. Maybe you don’t like rosé or perhaps you typically stick to reds only. Let your preconceived notions go and try some wines you’ve never had. This wine fest features wines from all over the world, from Oregon to Australia. You never know what might surprise you.

(8) Dress accordingly. The event is rain or shine. If showers are on the horizon, pack a poncho. Wear shoes that you can walk in comfortably. Also, white clothing is probably a bad idea. And not because it’s after Labor Day.

(9) Bring a picnic blanket. If you don’t want to stand for 4-5 hours straight, make sure to bring a blanket to sit on. You can also pack coolers (for cheeses, meats, desserts and other accoutrements for pairing). If you choose to go this route, hit up Common Market, Orrman’s Cheese Shop or Rhino Market before you go.

(10) Leave Fido and kiddos at home. The South End Wine Fest is no place for children (even the four-legged ones).

(11) Designate or hire a driver. There are few things better than a wine buzz and nothing worse than a DUI. Have a friend pick you up, hail an Uber or ride the LYNX Blue Line home. (Pro tip: Tickets to the festival are $35. For the DD of the group, it’s only $10).

Fast facts

  • South End Wine Festival, October 15, 2-6 p.m.
  • 308 W. Carson Blvd.
  • $35 = 4 hours of wine tasting, festival tasting cup, access to live music and food trucks
  • $10 = Designated drive entry, includes 4 free water bottles.
  • Proceeds benefit Classroom Central

Ready to get your wine on? Get your tickets here.

(Note: South End Wine Festival is a Axios Charlotte Partner.)


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