Tips For Surviving Your Next Wine Festival

This weekend I’ll be attending the second annual Virgina Wine Expo in Richmond, Virginia (stay tuned for numerous reviews of wines, vineyards, and the event as a whole), and it got me to thinking about first time wine festival attendees. Many of them are overwhelmed by the experience and don’t get to really enjoy their time with all that wine. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of things to keep in mind so that you have an enjoyable wine festival experience.


Eat Before You Go to the Festival

You’re going to be drinking wine all day, and take it from my own personal experience, that mixing differing wines is bad enough, but doing it on an empty stomach is just asking for trouble. Eat something before you leave that will help to counter the effects of the alcohol on you so that you can spend more time enjoying yourself at the festival.


Eat During the Festival

Most wine festivals I’ve attended have some kind of food available. It may be little more than snacks to help clear the palate, or it may be vendors offering everything from burgers and fries to more elaborate food. Whatever it is, make a point of having some food during the event, especially if you’re going to be there for a while.


Go With Friends

Not only does this give you somebody to compare thoughts on wine with, it also gives you a person to let you know if you’re maybe enjoying the festival too much. We all think we know our limits, but having somebody there to let yo know it’s time to head home is always helpful. Also, carpooling to the festival together is a great way to save on gas and parking.


If Possible, Avoid Driving to the Event

Get a cab, take public transportation, have somebody drop you off and pick you up later, anything to avoid having to drive back home after you’ve spent hours drinking wine at the festival. Spending some money on a hotel room near the festival is far preferable to getting a DUI. If the festival is in a larger city, spend some time walking around the city, get some dinner, whatever you need to do until it’s safe to drive your car. Better to waste the rest of your day than spend a night in jail.


Don’t Attempt to Try All the Wine

If the event is more than one day, this should be self-explanatory. However, if the festival is only one day (or if you’re only attending one day of a multi-day festival), keep in mind that you do not in fact have to try them all. Just because a vendor offers you a sample doesn’t mean you have to take it. I’ve seen people take samples of wine that they know they don’t enjoy just because it was free. Why bother? Most festivals will list which vineyards will be attending ahead of time, so take your time and pick out which ones you know you want to hit, try the wines you really want to, and then pick a few more that either look interesting or are clearly popular (or unpopular if you don’t want to wait in line).


Pace Yourself

If the event is five hours long, you don’t have to leave until those five hours are up. Take your time, try some wines, then walk around. Try some more wines, get some lunch. Try some wines, take some purchases out to your car. You don’t have to constantly have a glass of wine in your hand. Pacing yourself helps to prevent you from overindulging and from just exhausting yourself. Wine festivals are all about enjoying yourself, and nobody has fun when they’re stressed out.


Have Fun

Enjoy yourself! You’re drinking wine, mingling with people, eating food, and hopefully spending time with friends or family. This should be a great time, and so long as you take some of the above advice, there’s no reason you can’t have a great and memorable time. So drink up and have some fun.

About George Perry 890 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for Tips For Surviving Your Next Wine Festival | The Good Wine Guru [] on

Comments are closed.