East Bay Vintners Alliance is hosting the 9th Annual Urban Wine Xperience. I went last year with a friend and even though it was kind of overwhelming, we had a great time. We made a few rookie mistakes, so I came up with some suggestions for this year:
Get there early. The food was pretty much gone by the time we got there last year, so be sure to arrive within the first couple hours. That way you can take your time and enjoy the afternoon.
Ask about the pairings. There was one wine that was specifically chosen to pair with the chef’s dish, but it wasn’t always obvious. Find out about the featured pairing, taste the food and wine separately, then take a sip and bite together.
Taste anything that looks interesting. There were more than 20 local wineries pouring white, rosé, red and dessert wines so it was kind of hard to try everything. Instead, you should taste the wines that interest you and be sure to ask questions. I really learned a lot this way.
Write down your favorites. Last year, my favorite wine was the first one I tasted. It was a rosé, but I can’t remember which one. You should definitely keep track of your favorites so you can buy a bottle later. Here’s the list of participating wineries: Aubin Cellars, Campovida, Carica Wines, Cerruti Cellars, Chouinard Vineyard and Winery, Dashe Cellars, Ehrenberg Cellars, Eno Wines, Irish Monkey Cellars, JC Cellars, Lusu Cellars, Mead Kitchen, Paradox Wines, Periscope Cellars, R&B Cellars, Rock Wall Wine Company, Rosenblum Cellars, Stage Left Cellars, Stomping Girl Wines, Two Mile Wines, Urban Legend and Urbano Cellars.
Go to dinner. If you’re not with a designated driver, don’t take the risk of getting behind the wheel right after this event. Last year, we walked over to Lungomare and had a nice dinner.
Like I said, we had a great time last year as rookies, so I’m expecting this experience (or Xperience) to be even better! You can also learn from our mistakes because the organizers set aside two tickets for east bay dish readers. Sign in below to enter.
Jack London Square Ferry Lawn
10 Clay Street, Oakland
Sat, 8/2, 1 – 5pm
$45 in advance, $60 at the door