Last night, I had the pleasure of attending my first wine festival, the Wine Riot, thanks to the amazing folks at the Boston-based start-up Second Glass. The Wine Riot featured 250 wines from around the world for tasting, free snacks from Cabot Cheese and Kickass Cupcakes (amazing champagne-frosted cupcakes!), a photo booth with lots of fun props, the opportunity to learn more about wines and tasting, and a whole lot of fun.
I can’t say I had the opportunity to sample all 250 wines, but I certainly tried quite a few of them! Some of my favorites of the night were:
- 2009 Yellow+Blue Torrontes
Cafayate, Salta, Argentina
The Yellow + Blue booth immediately caught our eye when we walked into the Wine Riot because of, well, the yellow + blue. Rather than using typical wine bottles, this winery is completely green and uses colorful carton-type packaging for their wines. This may not be as elegant looking as a bottle, but it’s a great eco-friendly solution and the taste of the wine makes up for it! The Torrontes was a very unique white, with a sweet smell but a slightly dry finish, and a great flavor throughout.
- 2006 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California, USA
- 2007 Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations
Napa Valley, California, USA
The Charles Krug wines were at the top of the ratings list for most of the time we spent at the event, so we were very excited to finally make it to their booth mid-way through the Riot. While the Merlot was getting top ratings, I’m not a huge Merlot fan so I tried two others instead- the Vintage Selection Cab and the Family Reserve Generations, which is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Both of these were among my favorite reds of the night… as primarily a white wine drinker, these really upped the ante for me. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee myself buying them anytime soon due to their $50-$75 price tag!
- 2009 Oh Shist! Riesling
This wine immediately caught my eye simply due to its name, but it did not disappoint. Rieslings are overall my favorite wines, and this one will definitely be added to the list of my go-to brands!
- GAGA Rosé
Here’s another wine that caught my eye at first because of its name (who wouldn’t be drawn to a wine called GAGA these days?!) but it turned out to be a lot more complex and interesting than its namesake (although no less breathtaking!). The Wine Riot was the debut of this brand new wine, so I can unfortunately not share many details about it… except that it was absolutely fantastic! Typical rose wines such as White Zinfandel can tend to be almost sickeningly sweet, but this one had just the right amount of sweet to give it a refreshing taste, but also had a little bit of dryness to make it almost finish like a Sauvignon Blanc. I’ll be eagerly looking out for more information on this wine, and I can’t wait for it to hit shelves!
- 2009 Oveja Negra Reserva Sauvignon Blanc/ Carmenere
When I first visited this booth, it was the first one in which some of the exhibitors weren’t behind the table, and were mingling with guests. I took the opportunity to grab a photo with an exhibitor and his favorite bottle of wine for my blog. Turns out I picked the right one to do this with, as not only was this Sauvignon Blanc one of my personal favorite wines that I tried at the event, but it took home the top prize of the night among votes from guests. Oveja Negra prides itself on making unique blends of 2 varieties of wine that complement each other in order to create more interesting, complex and captivating wines. This Sauvignon Blanc / Carmenere blend did just that… I typically like Sauvignon Blanc, but the addition of the Carmenere gave it a much more compelling and unique flavor that I’d never tried before, but I would will definitely try again!
Huge thanks to Second Glass for organizing this wonderful event and introducing me to my first real wine tasting extravaganza… I can’t wait for this to come around again next year!