As a frequenter of wine tastings, I am always intrigued by new, original ways of presenting wine to the public, particularly when the tasting is on the weekend with a DJ and features a mobile app in place of tasting notebooks. The Wine Riot, coming to New York this week, is an offering of 300+ domestic and international wines that has traveled to 6 cities this year, having originated in Boston in 2009.
The Riot, although welcoming of all wine lovers, does try to fill a void in the marketplace by catering to a younger, social-media reliant crowd that lack a high degree of wine knowledge and are antsy to learn more without reading a 900-page tome or taking a $1200 course.
This newest generation of wine drinkers, or “Millennials” as referenced by the wine industry, should have access to events that are fun, hip and educational; that showcase good, easy to find wines at reasonable prices; or so believe the founders of Wine Riot, Tyler Balliet and Morgan First. With this in mind, Tyler and Morgan are determined to change the landscape of wine events, starting with the Riot:
“Wine Riot will feature over 300 wines from the Loire Valley and Burgundy in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Austria and Australia. Guests can personally chat with vintners from around the world at interactive booths to learn about wines that are mostly under $30 a bottle. Wine Riot also offers 20-minute Crash Courses where guests can sit down with producers to taste their way through Portugal or learn all about German Riesling in the free seminars.”
A mobile app will let guests upload all the wines featured at the event, allowing them to keep track of favorites without having to carry a pen and notebook around, like the old-timey days. Guests will also be able to order favorites post-Riot, should they find a bottle they can’t live without.
Will the crowd embrace the format? Will the wines be good? I will report back next week, but at the very least, it should be a fun party!
Wine Riot, hosted at the 69th Regiment Armory (68 Lexington Ave.) in Manhattan, kicks off with a special opening evening on Friday, September 21 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; tickets are $60 per person. The two Wine Riots on Saturday, September 22 are from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; tickets are $50 per person/per event. All wine is included in ticket price. For tickets and more information visit: http://secondglass.com/wineriot/