Wine shopping can be so intimidating.
All those bottles. All those labels. All those grapes.
Do you take a chance on a wine you’ve never tried and risk hating it? Or do you stick safely to the dozen or so specific ones you’ve already tried?
The 19th annual Midwest Winefest Grand Tasting on Saturday offers assistance to oenophiles grappling with such grape issues. Organizers say the event, which usually draws around 1,500 to the Century II Exhibition Hall, gives wine drinkers the chance to sample from a list of more than 350 wines and decide what they like before spending any money.
“Wine has become so popular that it’s a good place to taste wines that you may have heard about but you don’t know if you really want to go out and spend $15 or $20 on and then maybe have to toss,” said Peggy DiStefano, the Midwest Winefest coordinator.
The following are some tips that will help you enjoy Saturday’s Grand Tasting appropriately.
Attendees will notice a few new trends this year, said Richelle Oades, who helps direct the festival as part of her job with Standard Beverage.
The lineup includes several hues of pink, including pink moscato and pink pinot grigio, Oades said. More wine makers are experimenting with red and white blends that have more of a rose profile.
Bottled sangrias are big this year, too, and the grand tasting will have samples from Yellowtail as well as Eppa Red Sangria and Eppa White Sangria.
“Essentially, rather than having to go through the effort of making your own sangria with fruit and different wines, a couple of different wineries are now bottling sangria ready to drink,” Oades said.
The food samples are included with admission.