Find a Wine tasting and…Taste!

Part of what I do in my job is to hold wine tasting events in our stores. We do small, two bottle tastings on the weekends in most of our stores, but the tastings I’m involved with are larger events. These wine tastings are held three times a year in our larger stores and give our guests the chance to try sixty to ninety different wines. We have local restaurants sample food, along with some of the gourmet foods we carry. We held an event last night, we have a smaller forty bottle tasting this evening, I did a small thirty person charity event on Tuesday night  and we are the lead wine vendor at a large 2500 guest charity event on Sunday. Saturday night I will be a guest at another large charity wine event in downtown Jacksonville…busy week! Not all weeks are as filled with events as this week, but there’s almost always something going on.

I certainly recommend you look through your local newspaper or the “what to do” section (check online calendars, such as and find a wine tasting, large or small. These are terrific ways to broaden your wine horizon, test your palate, increase your understanding of the different wines out there and just enjoy an evening with people that share your love of wine.

I always try to have our guests sample wines that they don’t normally drink. I’ll ask them what they usually drink and then find a wine on the table that is everything but that. These tastings give you a chance to try a wine and if you don’t like it, try a different one, no harm, no foul. Look for wines that you may have heard or read about but never had the chance to taste. Many people sample wines by the price tag, the more they cost, the more they taste. Surprisingly, they discover that price and enjoyment are not always equal.

I would also recommend that you make a point to ask questions about the wines. Where are they from? What is the blend? What foods would be the best match with the wine? You can have a great time and also walk away with a little more knowledge about a beverage that offers so much more than just something to drink. So check your local wine websites and newspapers for a wine event and…taste!

Ken Amendola

Wine Supervisor, North Florida

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