In an effort to remember what you drink and why you like it, Wine Riot D.C., premiered on May 5, 2012 at DAR Constitution Hall. A wine tasting show specifically targeted toward young adults, Wine Riot aims to increase knowledge about diverse types of wine for aficionados who love the taste but lack the facts.
Second Glass, the producer of Wine Riot events across the country, bridges the information gap between wineries and wine fans. Second Glass targets their events towards college students and young professionals that enjoy wine but don’t know which type works best with them.
Filippo Lapides, national brand ambassador for Giorgio & Gianni Lambrusco, recommends that the best way for an individual to choose what wine is best for them is to pour a little bit into a cup and take note of the smell and color.
“Color can tell you a lot of whether the wine is filtered or unfiltered,” Lapides said. “Filtering is part of the fermentation process to make sure there isn't any sediment and this affects the middle palate where a lot of the flavors occur.”
Based on the flavor of the wine that can be sweet, dry, heavy, etc., patrons can figure out which taste appeals to their particular taste buds.
Appearing in Boston, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, Wine Riot aims to made wine education a recreational activity. Besides the wine, the event is all inclusive with a DJ, opportunities for on-site informational wine classes and a free photo booth to memorialize the night.
From 7 p.m.-11 p.m., attendees are given a cup that can be taken to one of the 30+ wine distributor tables in order to sample wine. Wine Riot participants can try any or all of the wines provided at each table while wine educators explain where the wine is from and what foods go best with it.
There are two general types of wines based on location: old world and new world. Old world wines are from European countries whereas new world wines were produced at a later date from California, South America, South Africa and New Zealand.
Megan Wiig, Bordeaux wine educator, says that she believes that old world wine has the most credibility regarding good taste, since the wine has been produced in the same way for a long time. Bordeaux, a wine company from the biggest wine-producing region in France, has been creating wine since 1152.
“When you deal with a region in France, the style is always consistent,” Wiig said. “They always work with the same grapes so you know what to expect.”
How wine companies treat their production process is also an important aspect for wine patrons, especially regarding sustainability practices.
Mary Michael Barber, national sales representative for California Steele Wines, says that her company’s vineyards are organic. The grapes put into their wines are not enhanced by chemicals or picked by mechanical machinery. “We use ladybugs to get rid of pesticides, which is a very resourceful way of creating wine,” Barber said.
Yellow and Blue Wines, another sustainable wine company, uses it’s name to show that when you combine the colors of yellow and blue, you get green! Neil Deininger, regional sales manager, says that his company cuts their carbon footprint in half by not using glass bottles for their wines. “We use 100% organic grapes and reduce packaging by 90% compared to typical glass bottles,” Deininger said.
One of the best ways to remember all of these wines, whether sustainable, global or dessert oriented, is to use Second Glass’ smartphone app. It lists all of the tables with their corresponding company names with a brief description. It also gives the user the opportunity to check off which tables they’ve been to, mark their favorites, and write notes on the wines they want to buy in the future.
Wine Riot attendee Shelagh Sitterson, director of internal audit at the Fannie Mae foundation, raves about the Second Glass smartphone app. “I think the app is super useful because it lists all the wines that each table has and I can make notes,” Sitterson said. “I liked one pinot that was light and peppery at the same time. It would go really well with steak.”
Racquel Segall, a senior environmental science and policy member at the University of Maryland, recommends attending Wine Riot events because she says it’s smart to have a target age for learning about wine.
“When you’re young, you think solely about wine as an alcoholic beverage versus an enjoyable drink to have with friends,” Segall said. “Even if you’re not a big fan of wine, you get to have lots of samples and you don’t have to finish them all.”
Wine Riot aims to prove that while there are many different types of wine out there, the most essential fact to learn about wine is that it’s fun to experiment and find a wine that fits your current mood or meal. Wiig suggests, “When picking a wine, think "What am I eating, what's the moment? And then decide what to drink."
Prices for Wine Riot are $50-$60 and are all-inclusive with unlimited wines to sample. For tickets and more information, visit http://secondglass.com/wineriot/.