Saturday evening, I attended the Philadelphia Wine Festival 2012, my first big wine event. Prepared with several years of wine study and tips from the wine specialist who runs my weekly tastings, I was ready. Still, as I entered the room of nearly 200 wineries, half a dozen restaurants, and bright lights reflecting from sparkly glassware and bottles, I was dazed.
Taking a moment to compose myself, I made my way to a beguiling Italian Rosé twinkling under the lights (Lunae Mea Rosa Golfo dei Poeti IGT 2011 by Lunae Bosoni Winery). Ignoring, for a moment, professional wine taster rule #1 (always spit and dump), I walked with my rosé while getting my bearings.
Having quickly given up on juggling the floor plan, wine glass, and tasting notebook, I had no idea how the wineries were organized and just made my way toward a few familiar French names. Serendipitously, I’d placed myself in the heart of Old World wines and a very enjoyable evening studying the classics.
In under three minutes, I was meeting new people and enjoying friendly conversation. It was easy once I got started. Afterall, most of the wine people I know are passionate about learning and sharing. I especially enjoyed my conversations with vendors who were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and unpretentious.
Not only did the representatives share wonderful wines, but they also offered insight into opportunities for me as a designer, social media consultant, and brand representative in the wine world.
Overall, it was an excellent first wine festival. I enjoyed some of the best wine I’ve ever tasted, expanded my palate, met passionate wine people, and made professional connections. I didn’t taste the food (there was a whole dessert lounge!) or as many wines as I will next time, but I met new people and took my wine education to a new level, which is exactly why I was there.
Did you attend the festival? What wines do you recommend?