This weekend, I was lucky to attend the Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel.  My bestie signed up for entry to the pre-event trade show hours (11:00 – 1:00 for people in the industry) through A Twist and A Shake, and once she was approved she invited me to go with her as a guest.  Of course when I heard about the Wine Expo I was interested, but when I heard I could go with the lovely Miss Slesh to the trade show too, well… I was definitely in.

The night before the event, we stayed in to plan our outfits.  The website said business casual – we didn’t want to be too casual but also didn’t want to look overdone.  We also stayed in to rest up because we knew we had a long day ahead of us.  Slesh did some preliminary research on how to taste wine without looking like royal idiots.  Even before the “research,” I knew Slesh would know way more about this kind of thing than me, so I’m glad she found a good website with some tips to help us out.  We “prepared” for the Expo by practicing on our own with a glass of Pinot Noir (and lots of giggling) before we went to bed.  For Slesh’s 3 basic steps on how to taste wine, click over to this post.

We woke up to a big snowstorm, but that didn’t stop us.  We bundled up, looked up the train schedules (way safer than driving!) and began our trek.  Wine was sure to warm us up when we got there, right?

When we arrived, there were tons of booths set up.  People were already starting to walk around and mingle.

The registration process was a bit stressful.  Apparently we didn’t register my guest pass correctly, and we ended up needing to pay for one pre-trade show ticket.  Split between the two of us, it was $35 each – so still not bad compared to the normal price you need to pay to attend the event (around $100 I think).  Still, I think the website could have been a little more clear in their directions and their printouts on how to register a second attendee.  After dealing with a bit of attitude and confusion, we definitely needed a glass of wine.

Good thing we were in the right place!

We tried all sorts of wines and drinks all day long.  During the trade hours, we were able to get a bit more specialized attention and discuss the different products in more depth with the vendors.  That was really fun.  But once the event opened to the public (1:00-5:00) it got a little more crowded and was really more of a request, pour, and sip (gulp?) kind of deal.

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

The tables were broken out into wines by region.  I loved trying all the Greek products!  Duh.

And how fun / perfect is this sign?

Did we do a good job with our outfits?!

Fashionistas, clearly.

There were also a ton of tables and booths with vendors promoting their restaurants and businesses.  Mostly local companies with free food samples!  Lots of cheese and crackers and snacks.  Is it bad I was more excited about the food samples than I was about the wine?

I guess that’s why this blog is called Fitness & Feta instead of Biceps & Booze, or Planks & Pino, or Workouts & Wine.  Hmm, maybe I’m onto something?

There were also a few cooking demonstrations.  This part was neat because we got to meet Billy Costa!  If you aren’t sure who Billy is, he’s the co-host of the Matty in the Morning Radio talk show and does that tv show, TV Diner.  A brush with fame!  Of course after a “few” glasses of wine, we had no problem marching ourselves right up to Billy and requesting a picture.  And then trying to make conversation.  Not awkward at all!

Around 4 o’clock I started to realize why you are supposed to spit the wine out into the provided buckets during the tasting…

Some pictures on the way out before the (long) trek home, that I won’t get into detail about here:

To summarize my lessons learned:

  • Verify registration before arrival.
  • Bring business cards.
  • Get a better camera!
  • Spitting the wine out is actually probably a good idea.
  • Do not put your purse down to take a picture with Billy Costa.  Rude men will move it.
  • If you are a newbie, stick to the “less classy” companies.
  • Do not forget to finish your glass before asking a vendor to pour you a sample of a new one.
  • Wearing a wine glass holder around your neck is a phenomenal invention, it prevents awkward fumbling while trying to sample food, shake people’s hands, and gather paraphernalia.

Speaking of paraphernalia, we collected so much of it!  Pamphlets, goodies, coupons (!), recipes, free samples, and more.  Which I didn’t have the brain capacity to organize until the next day:


From left to right:  Random stuff (yes that is an olive oil mouse pad), coupons, potential blog contacts, and recipes.

Unfeatured:  Food samples.  They were either in my belly or in the kitchen.

Slesh is planning on doing a more detailed write-up of some of the specifics of the wines we tasted, so make sure to tune into A Twist and A Shake over the next few days for more info!

With that, I leave you with one last thought:

What about you guys?  Ever been to a wine tasting before?  Any experiences you feel like sharing?  What’s your favorite type of wine?  If you don’t like wine, I feel sorry for you why not? 

Have a great Wednesday!