500 wines, 30 restaurants, and some nice background music spread out over 5 floors at the War Memorial. It would have been real tough to taste everything, so it’s a good thing I didn’t try. It was a ton of fun just getting to roam around the War Memorial, let alone taste some great wine and eat some delicious food. Overall, what I really liked was that the event was crowded enough so wineries weren’t standing around with no one to talk to, but not too crowded where if you wanted to try something you didn’t have to throw too many elbows. The ability to grab a bite of food and take it over to a table and try it with a wine is not something that happens at every tasting. You could make up your own food and wine pairings or get hints from the people on the other side of the table.
From an Austrian Blaufrankisch to a New Zealand SB on to a Canadian Ice Wine and everything in between, there was lots of variety and quality wines at TOTT. There was a huge range of styles and price points so I had a chance to try some wines I have wanted to try for a while such as the Mionetto line-up and Hall Wines line-up. There were also a lot of familiar brands and new brands I had never seen before. There were also importers, distributors, and trade organizations represented. The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association table was interesting in that they had about 10 Pinots from the appellation so you really got a sense of what makes these wines different. Looking back through the tasting book they handed out I’m noticing a lot of wines I wish I had come across while there. Oh well, next year.
My only complaint about the night was that it was too successful and a handful of the restaurants ran out of food early.
Upcoming events are Atlanta on April 16, Chicago April 30, and NYC on June 15. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.wineenthusiast.com/toast/ Enjoy!