There are a few things that one can expect when going to a wine tasting, mainly that they will taste wine…perhaps with a tasty bite. Not that extraordinary, if anything quite elemental. Unfortunately this years Savor Dallas Wine Stroll through the Arts District didn’t deliver this expectation.
The evening was perfect for a stroll through the Arts District, with this being the first time some patrons have visited the Winspear, Meyerson, Nasher or DMA. Patrons had a difficult time enjoying their surroundings as most of their evening consisted of standing in line, some of which were 40-50 people deep. The stroll started at The Meyerson, where guests could pick up with passes enjoy their first glass. Trying to weed through the crowd was unbearable so we moved on to The Nasher, thinking that the first venue was so crowded due to it being the hub of activity. Things were not better there, and though the surroundings in their sculpture garden were beautiful and serene, who could tell when the focus was to stand in a line with dozens of other people waiting for a sip of wine. What was at the end of the line was unknown, the necessity was to be in a line to be able to try something. Seventeen Seventeen at the DMA was one big circle of people going from one tasting station to the next, with patrons exclaiming “they are in line” to anyone trying to join the circle from outside. The Winspear may have been the best, as they spread their tasting stations throughout the lobby, but long lines still prevailed.
A few highlights for the evening included a Bertani Valpolicella and Saletein Malbec, both poured by Palm Bay Imports inside The Winspear; a blood orange cocktail with Dripping Springs Vodkafrom Dripping Springs, Texas that we managed to grab while the guest in line was distracted taking pictures; and an amazing bite of Pork Rillette from Brian Luscher of The Grape that we enjoyed in exchange for bringing the very busy Chef a Stella Artois and Pellegrino.
The problem: Luxury apartment building The Gables Park 17 that leases itself when people see it, but people are too busy to stop by.
The Solution: Throw it open to an after-party at Savor Dallas. Serve Gourmet hors d’oeuvres by Wynnwood Culinary Art Expressions. Mix Ultimat Vodka Cocktails, SavorTini and the Patrón Tequila Perfect Savorita. Add Beer by Stella Artois. Pour Premium wines from Louis M. Martini and Bridlewood. Have Bridlewood wine maker, and all around surfer dude, David Hopkins show up and chat for hours with patrons.
The Result: This was the first Savor Dallas event this year to sell out! “There was lots of interest,” says Gables leasing agent Christy Gomez the morning after the event. Time will tell whether that interest materializes into leases.
The 28th Amendment: The Right To Stand In Line.
That was the story at Savor Dallas’ Friday Arts District Wine Stroll. Lines everywhere. It looked like the organizers sold more tickets this year but didn’t increase the number of food stations. Whatever happened, it made for a frustrating evening. What should have been a stroll through the Arts District turned into a rugby match to get a glass of wine and a plate of food. The shortest wait for wine was 15 minutes. Getting a bite to eat took at least that long and then only 3 minutes to finish it. For most people scoring became a not-so-fun game: they’d get a glass of wine and get straight back in line. It was such a pain that many people, including me, left early.
I think they should have already had the wine poured. Instead, they handed you a glass when you came in so you had to wait for each person to get it filled. I know the intent is for the wine folks to get to talk about their wine, but they didn’t have time to anything but fill, fill, fill, repeat. I’m sure this method would require more glasses but increase the ticket price and eliminate the long waits.11 Comments »