The weather is getting nice and now it’s the beginning of the Wine Fesitival Season.  You purchased tickets to a wine festival.  Whether it is a small local festival, regional festival or a large wine expo, what do you expect for the price of admission? What type of vendors do you want to see?

From my standpoint and this is my opinion, if I go to a wine festival, I like to see wineries pouring a variety of their wines.  Sometimes I find at festivals, wines being poured are just a showcase of a wineries lower end products. But what about people looking for something more unique.  A signature wine. While I realize wine festivals might not be the place to showcase wines like this, I do look for something special.  Perhaps the wine staff should be trained in qualifying the taster at hand and have a hidden selection of a few higher quality wines available.  Remember this is your first impression you are giving to many people.  I believe a nice sampling of all varietals and prices should be represented.

Now lets talk food and water, two basic necessities.  While I don’t expect food to be included in the price of admission, it would be nice if there was a bottle of water included with that souvenir tasting glass.  Not meant for rinsing, meant for drinking.  Many times at festivals, I can’t find a place to purchase a bottle of water.  Restaurants have food, but no soft drinks.  What about the designated driver, they should get a soft drink or water for the price of their admission.  I also like to have some type of variety of food to choose from. There should be some type of ratio out there if you expect a certain number of people there should be a certain number of food vendors. Yes, just like the port-a-potty ratio.  The helpings should be generous tapas serving. I don’t like paying $8 for a skewer of 2 shrimp and a piece of zucchini with a tablespoon of rice.  That’s not going to cut it for me.

How about non wine vendors. As much as I want to taste every single wine there is, realistically my palate needs a break.  A little palate break at a festival is a good time to look for unique gifts for friends and family. Items I am not going to find at a mall.  Whether it’s candles, books, clothing, jewelery or art.  It’s always nice to break up the wine tasting with a visit the other vendors and see the crafts they have created.  I might find a pair of earrings for my sister or a print for a girlfriend and guess what, I can cross that name off the Christmas gift list.

What are your thoughts…what do you expect from a wine festival?