The SF Vintners Market: A Train Wreck?
» posted by Rich on 2011-04-11 16:18:06
Some wine events have become all day drunk fests that are more frat party than wine tasting. I've already done my ranting and raving about wristband weekends that can be the equivalent to bar crawls, complete with despicable behavior by disrespectful drunk fools. I've gotten in trouble for saying this stuff because sometimes I know the organizers, but I'm here to present my readers with content that portrays the truth, what they will experience if they went to these events. My reputation is also on the line. If I say that the Vintners Market in SF is a relaxed, educational wine tasting experience, and then I hear from my readers that it was an disastrous train wreck, my credibility goes out the window. I don't want to take away from the effort that the organizers put into these events. It's not their fault... but something needs to be done.
I didn't attend the recent Vintners Market, but I was nearby when it let out. As I stood waiting for a bus I watched a couple stagger up the street, barely keeping it together. When the woman stopped for a second to put down her wine that she carried in a cardboard bottle carrier, she fell flat on her face. Another guy lost his grip on his souvenir wine glass, which also made him drop his wine carrier - both smashing on the ground. I saw photos posted on Facebook showing attendees in the parking lot slumped out of their car windows, sick and incoherent. One winery that poured at the event posted on FB, "Good GAWD!! A room full of Train Wreck". That winery will no doubt skip the next Vintners Market.
I attended the first SF Vintners Market, (see: SF Vintners Market - The WT Review), and it was crowded, but not that bad. The trouble is that people treat these events as a pay one price all-you-can-drink booze fest. What can be done about this? It is because of these drunken fools that wineries first began charging exorbitant tasting fees in Napa, now the norm in most wine country regions in the United States. The wine industry has spent years trying to play down its snobby image to gain a larger market share, now it may be sorry for what it wished for.
I'm just a knucklehead who likes wine. But I respect the winemakers and appreciate the art of making wine. When I visit a winery, or stop at a table during a big tasting event, I'm interested in learning about the winery and it's wine. Yes, I may get a nice buzz on throughout the day, but that's not why I'm there. If I want to get drunk and loud, I can do that anytime at a pub, or at home. Please, people, get a fuckin' grip or stay home. Your behavior validates the wine snob's image of the masses, and darn near makes me want to be a snob, too.
Did you attend the Vintners Market? What did you think?
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