This weekend, we have our first Food & Wine Show for 2016. This year, I wanted to equip you with some tools to help make the most out of it.
Firstly, you pay to get in. What are you paying for? You are paying for the privilege to try some pretty special wines from some pretty awesome producers and importers. Now, this does not mean you are entitled to try EVERY SINGLE WINE on each stand. To be honest, this is a rookie error anyway. Have you ever noticed the wines just get better and better as you swig along during the day? Then the last wine you try is "JUST THE BEST" so you buy a dozen....only to realise you were just drunk and your tongue had no idea what it was trying anymore? Nup, that was a complete waste of money wasn't it?
So, first rule. Drink SLOWLY and SPIT when you can. Try not to mix either. If you are drinking sparkling, maybe spit the red and white. I know it's not 'classy' but it will help you make better decisions and help you save money for better wines by the end of the day.
Second rule; yes, you have paid to get in so you can try some wine...the suppliers are there to sell and offer amazing show specials so why not BUY it? You can't go into Dan Murphy's after the show and ask them to open up a bottle to taste before you buy it do you? A lot of people say "oh, I don't feel like carrying anything..."...well, bring a bag! There are amazing little trolley bags you can purchase or just bring a small suitcase. No one is judging you trust me. You might as well buy a couple of bottles of something that you have tasted and enjoyed!
On that note, the suppliers are definitely there was amazing specials for case deals so why not buy a case to save you time down the line? Who needs to waste time heading to a bottle shop when you always have a couple of cases under the stairs or in the garage? We and many other suppliers even offer free shipping. You've tasted the wine, you like the wine, why not enjoy it all year round?
My next tip would be to eat something substantial before you head to the show. You don't want that first sip of wine to go straight to your head and you don't want to eat some kind of garbage chips/burgers/deep fried ickiness during the day as it just destroys your palate when it comes to al the beautiful food and wine that's around.
On that note, as you would have already eaten something substantial before you arrive, I would start on the wine stands first. It will give you an opportunity to have some proper conversations with the producers and wine makers. This enhancing the wine tasting experience in my opinion. When you hear stories behind certain wines, it changes your feeling towards it. If you head to the wine stands later in the afternoon, you will notice they are packed 5 deep of people just wanting to drink something...it's an awful experience for the people having to pour it...trust me on that one.
Finally, ask a lot of questions and if you have time, look up who will be exhibiting at the show to help you plan your day and your budget a little better.
So they are my little insider tips to help you make the most of your Food & Wine Experience. All we ask as exhibitors is that you have a little respect for yourself and the wine/food that we are sampling so we ALL enjoy ourselves during the show. The more fun we are having on our side of the table, the better your experience will be...trust me on that one!