This weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of our industry’s first major wine tasting events that is working to bridge the gap between wine and technology- Wine Riot, San Francisco. This was just one of six events put on by the techno-savvy team, Second Glass offering thousands of Rioters (attendees) an interactive experience in wine education. Here, the novice drinker could explore the different wine regions of the world while also discovering new favorites. Rioters could also attend crash courses with the winemakers to learn insider tips and tricks for understanding wine.
I had the great pleasure of attending the event at the Concourse Exhibition Center. When I arrived, I was completely taken by the structure of the historic converted railway station, which was previously home to some of San Francisco’s hottest raves in the early 90’s. Almost 20 years later, there I was still hearing the live music courtesy of a house DJ, as I entered the Riot with a complimentary glass in hand to sample over 250 wines from around the world.
Leveraging online and mobile tools, guests were able to take their wine knowledge a step further and instantly rate and keep track of their favorites. This FREE Second Glass app (available for both the iPhone and Android), completely removed the inconvenience of trying to remember what you learned on your own (No more writing in eyeliner on napkins for this girl!). This app instantly creates a personalized wine list that automatically re-categorizes your personal selections into Reds, Whites and Under $15 (I think I found my new paperless wine bible). Viola! Rioters were able free themselves of the stress usually associated with wine tasting. Another benefit of the app is its ability for users to rate the top wines of the evening, so if you didn’t get a chance to try them all you can keep tasting well after the event is over, and have instant access to find the nearest location to buy your top picks.
Along with the sophistication of the mobile app and continued education, there was a laid back atmosphere to the event with FREE pizza, temporary tattoos and a photo booth to help you just enjoy the party.
On November 10th Wine Riot will be visiting Los Angeles, so you can expect to find me “rioting” with LA’s finest and covering some of the industries hottest up and up-and-coming labels. Check out their website here for ticketing information and join me for an evening of wine tasting.