In the next couple of months wine lovers will have an opportunity to attend a few rather large public tastings. These tastings offer the wine lover an opportunity to view and sample a huge range of wines which may be on their radar. Attending one of these events requires a plan and discipline. One of the up and coming events is January 29th the Zinfandel Advocates Producers annual tasting. This event is centered on Zinfandel produced in California from producers both large and small. As is the case with Zinfandel it has a huge range of styles and flavor profiles.
Cost: most tastings run from $65 prior to the tasting to $80 at the door if tickets are still for sale.
The cost is very fair if you consider the range of wines and their market value. You can expect to find some new wineries to catch your fancy.
Eat something prior to attending the function. Nothing worse than drinking 12%+ on an empty stomach. You will probably see a number of people who have not done this during the length of the tasting.
Arrive early and I mean perhaps a hour or so. The buildings fill up very quickly and you will soon find yourself elbow to elbow with people wanting to taste at the most popular producers. Getting there early will give you anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to get to the people you want to see if you are lucky.
Check out the presenters and pick ten producers you want to taste. If you like a certain winery or style mark them and when you walk by their table be prepared to taste. Look at the email of the event and who is presenting. Most catalogues attempt to be flowing but more often than not the booth is not easy to find.
Sip, spit and pace yourself. There are always food items to compliment the wines. Do not get hung up in trying to taste every winery you see. That philosophy is a no win for you since there is more wine than you will ever consume.
Overall enjoy the experience and keep good notes. Share this time with a friend and exchange notes so that you get input for the huge number of wineries who participate.