Keifel and I lucked into two free tickets to Wine on the River when CSG and The Carpenter decided they’d had enough out and about for the weekend. The boychick stayed with them and we drove downtown and parked under the Shelby Street bridge (for 7 dollars).
The line to get onto the bridge was long, but we realized there were three lines. One for paying cash at the gate, one for charging at the gate and one for those who had advance tickets. We waited, got stamped and were given our glasses and set off into the throng to taste wines.
The bridge, in being a bridge, is narrow. There were a number of people there all holding a wine glass and clamoring to various tents for tastings. I don’t do crowds very well. The whole cueing for wine thing got to me after a bit. The tents themselves varied in their degrees of organization. Some gave you some info while you were sipping and others just poured in a half a glass of plonk and sent you on your way. Many of the people pouring were obviously volunteers who didn’t know anything about the wines which made asking questions a silly endeavor.
Keifel and I split up the tastings in that I would taste whites and he would taste reds. Several of the whites I tasted were either two cold from sitting on ice for hours or had not been chilled at all. The reds were “bridge temperature” which was about 80 degrees or so and made them all taste kind of fuzzy.
Can you see where I am going with this? I waited a few days to think on it as I really didn’t want to be to harsh on a charity event. We did have a nice evening, but there is definitely some room for improvement. I don’t think the temperature of the wines issue can really be fixed. It’s kind of the nature of the beast. But, CSG had understood that there were to be appetizers to go with the wine. There were — at an additional charge. The lines at those booths were sometimes long enough to block access to tasting tents.
Also, though there were police present, there was no signage encouraging people to drink safely and to not drink and drive. There wasn’t a taxi stand set up that we could see. It just seemed irresponsible to me not to address this issue. Yes, it was a tasting and most people would find it tacky to get sloshed at such an event. That did not stop it from happening. I saw lots of Nashvillians weaving and not just because of the silly spiked heels. We also witnessed one domestic incident that appeared to be acerbated by the alcohol.
I do wish them the best of luck with this event and the other events in the series. There was an earlier Brewers event and Nashville on the Rocks (focusing on spirits) is in October, I think. An odd aside, the VIP area at this wine shindig was run by Jack Daniels Distilleries.