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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Get ready for a Wine Riot

Do you get papaya in the nose? No? The wine tasting event Wine Riot comes to DAR this month with a mission to end some of the mysteries about wine for 20-somethings and 30-somethings. The event is Oct. 21 and 22 at DAR Constitution Hall.
You know the utter panic you feel when you crack open the wine list at a restaurant and most of it looks like a foreign language?

Do you order what you can pronounce, whatever’s in your price range, or order the Pinot Noir (even though “Sideways” came out in 2004)?

Tyler Balliet knows that anxiety. The co-founder of Second Glass, which creates online wine tools, launched Wine Riot, a wine-tasting event aimed at neophyte wine drinkers in their 20s and 30s.

The event, which began in Boston a few years ago, lands at DAR Constitution Hall on Oct. 21-22 with a DJ, photo booths and a decidedly unpretentious attitude.

“I went to all these wine events and no one was having fun,” says Balliet, a former wine writer. “Vendors were pouring all these wines, but no one remembered what they were drinking.”

Balliet stresses that Wine Riot is a more lighthearted event. With 20-minute “Crash Courses” on wines and a focus on education (roaming wine experts answer your questions), it’s also your chance to become a more knowledgeable drinker.

“We did a lot of research and found that 68 percent of people use our events to find which wine they’ll be drinking in the next 6 to 9 months,” he says.

A screengrab of the iPhone Second Glass app, which allows wine drinkers to rate wines they taste at Wine Riot.
And technology will play a big part in the event. Download the free Second Glass app and find all of the booths at the event; once you visit them, you can mark each wine you taste with two thumbs up, one thumb up, or “meh” — all so you can remember later, perhaps when you’re caught off guard by a huge wine list.

For those who have no idea where to start, Balliet suggests this: “Grab a glass, get oriented, and pick a theme: “Let’s start with Italy, or let’s start with older wines, let’s start with roses.” You won’t ever be able to taste all of 250 wines, he says, but you can look for wines you won’t normally find in the area or don’t know well — a Portuguese porto, or an Argentinian Malbec, for example — and start there.

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Categories:  Events

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