The tickets for one of my favorite events of the year are now available, and I’m a little conflicted. The Virginia Wine Expo is by far one of the best days of the year. Cory and I have gone with friends for the past several years annnd it never disappoints. But the fact that it takes place roughly one month before my due date gives me a new, unfamiliar pang of parental sacrifice. So close, yet so far.
Damn it, guys, I love wine.
I’ll be the DD this year, which seems like it may be the most masochistic thing I could do to myself, but Cory is filled with glee, because he’s always the driver. (He knew he was marrying a lightweight, so I carry no guilt.)
Here are some of my quick tips for enjoying the Virginia Wine Expo
1. The main-event: walk around grand tastings is the only ticket you really need. It’s on Saturday and Sunday (February 21 – 22) and I feel like it goes without saying, but: go on Saturday. You will, without a doubt, be hungover that evening and/or the following day.
2. Get there early. I know brunching is very popular in Richmond, but guys, doors open at noon. I’ve normally had at least 2 and a half meals by then (important for any day drinker.) The longer you wait to get there, the longer the tasting lines. I like to play the game “let’s see how many tastings we can do in the first hour” and Cory normally ends up hating me 40 minutes in. I LOVE WINE.
3. Go with a small-ish group. There is a time and place for going out with a group of 10 friends, but this wine expo isn’t it. Remember – you’re there to do tastings. The bigger your group, the more difficult it will be for you to all get into a tasting at once. Time to get selective with your friends, people.
4. Taste them all(ish), then purchase. Unless you have an unlimited wine budget (can we be friends?) you can’t afford to buy your favorite bottle at each winery you visit (because you’d be picking from approximately 450 bottles.) My first year, I made the mistake of buying bottles at the first three wineries we sampled. An hour or so later, when I’d tried other wines I liked better, I was
5. Look up the vendors list beforehand. This is something I do because it’s not possible for me to taste every winery there; I’d end up in the hospital getting my stomach pumped. I like to have an idea of which of my favorites will be attending, so I can make sure to visit them. The rest of the time, it’s a fun free-for-all!
I’m obviously not a wine connoisseur, but the Virginia Wine Expo combines my love of day drinking and discovering new Virginia wineries (but mostly day drinking.) I want you to go this year and enjoy it for me. I’ll be the lady trailing behind her drunk husband, eight month pregnant and asking to smell the wine samples. I’ll probably be eating fries out of my purse that I smuggled in, but that’s neither here nor there.
just FYI: I was compensated by the event for writing this post, but clearly, all
borderline alcoholic wine-loving opinions are my own.