^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4
| Lists |

Five Tips for GrapeFest-goers

GrapeFest is underway, which means the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic - billed as the nation's largest consumer judged wine contest - is back. We asked Jeff Siegel, a Dallas wine educator who blogs as The Wine Curmudgeon, to offer first-timers a few tips for making the most of their chance to play wine pro.

"Pace yourself"

There are 32 Texas wineries participating in this year's edition of the Classic, and they're bringing with them 114 different wines. That means even samplers who make liberal use of their spit cups are likely to get a buzz. Siegel suggests moving at a leisurely pace (or as leisurely a pace as the crowd allows).

"Don't be afraid to pass stuff up"

Rare and unusual wines almost always show up at the Classic. So do the wines that every self-respecting Texas grocery store stocks. Rather than taste the same wine "for the 3000th time," Siegel gravitates toward wines he hasn't tried.

"Go out of your comfort zone"

"If you have no idea what a Blanc du Bois is, you might as well try it," says Siegel, who's a proponent of using the Classic to explore unfamiliar wineries and varietals. Since a $20 ticket buys all the wine you can drink, there's no monetary risk associated with accepting a pour of something new and different.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

"Ask anything you want"

Even critics-for-a-day struggle with how to rate the wines they taste. Does it matter if they like a wine? Or should they score it according to objective standards? "When I taste wine, I ask whether the winemaker succeeded in doing what he or she tried to do," Siegel says. Fortunately, the winemakers are manning their own tables at the Classic, so you can ask them to explain their intentions.

Go

It's worth fighting the heat and the crowds to experience Grapefest, Siegel promises. "It's something everyone should see once," he says. "It's one of the most important events on the Texas wine calendar."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.