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WineSleuth 3: The Rise & Rise of Tastings

a perfect tasting glassFor centuries, wine tasting has been the domain of wine connoisseurs. In recent years, it has become popular across the globe with casual wine drinkers. Sip, Sip…Hurray?

Experts and amateurs alike are nosing up to the goblet to try their hand at assessing the more intricate qualities of the luscious liquor for education, for fun and for personal profit too.

Wine festivals emerged to promote the attributes of wines to eagerly growing audiences; not only to embrace flavours but also its ambiance, decadence, romance, intricacies and mythologies.

Events like the Annual International Wine Challenge, the small scale private or public re-enactments of the ground-breaking, yet flawed ‘Judgement of Paris’ or even the underground car park ‘stall-crawl‘ at Carrefour are just a few examples of the dynamism that festivals embrace that’s going on across cities and wine-lands everywhere, every year. In just about any month of the year there is a wine tasting festival to be found somewhere.

Yadda Yadda YodaMany of these festivals are quite spectacular events with lashings of great food and and live entertainment with a local flair. But a key focus of these events is the opportunity for attendees to have exposure to a lot of different wines from wineries around the world (and to hopefully find some that they like well enough to purchase?).

It’s all great fun, yet after enough tiny sips of many different wines you may well find yourself disorientated; are you in any condition to make rational buying choices now?

Tasting with friends movieIf you want to get the most out of these events, I suggest you just go with the flow taking only a little money and concentrating instead on having fun and being nice to the promoters.

I used to do free tastings but stopped now. They weren’t working for me or the attendees how I had envisaged. Back in my home town they were a celebration with camaraderie and joy. What I often felt here was that I was being pre-judged as a trashy salesman (which I loathe), out to trick them or something. Also, often those same attendees were there just to drink as much as they could with an almost confrontational swagger suggesting “I will drink your free stuff but you’re getting nothing from me mate!” It was like they wanted to beat my sneaky plan to try to sell them wine. I found it quite rude, uninspiring and tacky. ‘Free wine Tastings’ simply demean the product, in my eyes.” Jane

I can echo those feelings completely. There’s a value disconnect that ensues when things come for free. Similar to the knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing scenario. Shame really.

For those that do want to know about the wine world and I guess that’s you because you are reading this: there is a way to learn how to do an authentic wine tasting (without any negativity).

If you are interested in making better choices, learning the basics of wine tasting before you attend a festival might be extremely helpful. You can go to the events knowing that you will purchase a few bottles of the most interesting wines and bring them home to appreciate in the quiet and calm of your home, perhaps hosting your own wine tasting party.

And, if you are not yet a wine expert, there are certain techniques that you can learn to fully appreciate and coax the best flavour from a wine, in which you’ve invested good money.

Check out my wine evenings here. Contact me and I’ll tell you about venues and courses near you that are getting good feedback. I started this years crop of our events at the end of February and for those with staying power, they will run right through to June, some fortnightly and some monthly.

Already, we have hosted a Californian evening, and an are in the midst of an Italian themed Month (March).

2 venues have opened their warm hearts with cheery friendliness and a certain amount of excitement. I am always looking for great new venues across town.

Dates for the public space evenings from March to June, between 7 & 9pm;

  • 1st Wednesday of the month at Jugend Art Space in Tai Kang Terrace, Luwan.
  • 3rd Wednesday of each monthat Café Du Village, in Baole Lu, Minhang.
  1. March, Italian
  2. April/Spanish
  3. May/ New World
  4. June/French.

Want to run your own tasting at your place? No Problem. See here, or complete an enquiry via the contact tab.

The Wine Man

March 2012

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