20 bucks earns you entry and a shitty wine glass. I would've been better off going down the street to NY Deli and buying 10 bottles of PBR, which taste wise, would've rivaled the stuff at the festival. And I did infact end up drinking about 10 bottles of PBR throughout the course of the night, but I'll get to that fiasco in a minute.
My issues with the wine fest:
- The wait. You wait and you wait and you wait at each tent (there were only 5-6 tents) and then you get 4 teeny-tiny squirts of whatever rotgut, sitting out in the sun, cheap ass VA wine the wineries decided to trot out. The exception was the Peaks Of Otter tent, which isn't actually wine, but more like alcoholic fruit juices. Here they give you 15 "squirts" in a row of their fruity concoctions, including the spicy chili pepper wine (which is like taking a shot of tabasco sauce). Also if I remember correctly, Horton winery made their tent the other worthwhile tent due to a quick process and over 11 wines to sample. I'm not saying that either of these tents provided good wine, I'm just saying that their process and number of wines made it somewhat bearable. What usually happens at these things is I get impatient and end up purchasing a bottle, which may be the wineries intent all along; Bore the crowd into a stupor and force them to make a purchase so they don't have to deal with the lines and the people.
- The help. Okay so I may be used to standing for long hours, pouring drinks and forcing a mile wide smile, so maybe it's wrong of me to complain. But c'mon, 90 percent of the "wine volunteers" had all the personality of a brick wall. I understand that I look like I'm 20 years old, but that doesn't mean you have to be a bitch and not explain the wines and the process. I got passed over a few times in favor of some bluehairs behind me. I also got to witness one volunteer be a complete bitch to a young African-American couple because they asked to retaste one of the wines. My suggestion to wineries: When conducting taste tests at a festival where people pay at the gate, find some help who knows what they're doing.
I want my money back. They can have the wine glass. The only cool part of the festival is the Peaks tent and that's only because it's like getting to taste a bunch of magic markers.
I enjoy good wine, I like learning about wines and I like to experience things that I never have before. I even took a job in sales with a small wine distributor in DC before deciding to start bartending full-time. I attended this festival to enjoy my Sunday and to drink some good wine, not to get shit-housed. Well, the Carytown Wine Festival failed me on all counts.My date and I ended up leaving and bouncing to a few bars on Cary, and then I somehow made a complete night of it at numerous other bars in the fan (where my transgressions and drunken phone calls need never be spoken of again). Lucky for my readers you can see me and my full hangover glory in tomorrow's issue of Style Weekly. I won't elaborate on why this is, but they needed a picture on the fly, on Monday, a day I spent in bed nursing the worst hangover I've had in a long time. It's not going to be pretty. Check back tomorrow for more details on the Style piece. I have a feeling that it may be a very embarrassing Wednesday for JGF.