My Valentine’s Day Wine Alternative


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My Valentine’s Day Wine Alternative Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate. My wife and I agreed long ago that this holiday would never be a huge deal in our world. After all, we already have two wedding anniversaries. (Ask me about that some time!) Instead, we’ve got travel on our minds. And late winter/early spring is a great time of year for domestic wine events. These are nice little trips you can take to get a real crash course on most any region. 

I love the excitement of large consumer events. Wine lovers of all stripes enjoy these big, bombastic wine and food experiences. The chaotic crowds can be off-putting for some, but there are some ways to game the system. Most of them are obvious.

For starters, pick the off-hours and arrive early. Sundays are usually a good bet, especially first thing. Some events allow you to purchase early-entry tickets, too.

When you’re on the tasting floor don’t waste time waiting for pours. It’s easy to conclude that a big crowd around a table means great wine. That is not always true. Name recognition and higher price points create crowds too. And remember - a higher price point may just mean more overhead. It does not necessarily indicate great wine. Stop by the quiet tables. Start conversations. Find a hidden gem. 

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing up most of the time.

Be sure to wear clothes you don’t care about too much. You’ll be eating while standing up, too.

And please, don't drink too much. Pace yourself over multiple hours, and sample wisely. Designated drivers are implied.

Here are a few events I'm excited to see on the roster this year.

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