Finding Lincoln Financial Field is hardly a struggle; you can see it from I-95, and the exit for the sports complex is clearly marked. Parking, however, was a little confusing. It took a few minutes longer than usual to figure out where to park for the event. Thankfully, parking was free… so that was one less thing to worry about.
Once I found a place to park that was reasonably close to the appropriate entrance, I walked over, and there was a line going out of the door. Though it was a long line, the wait wasn’t long. Groups of 10-15 people at a time were being ushered up the escalators to the check-in desk. Before even getting in line for check-in, there was a desk where the maps were laid out. It was nice and efficient; once you got up the first set of escalators, there was hardly a wait. Checking in was easy, even if you didn’t have a paper ticket. I checked in using my mobile device. It was as simple as downloading the ticket that was sent to me by email when I purchased my ticket.
Now is where the fun begins!
Up the second set of escalators, the floor spread out, and from one end to another, there were some 150+ vendors representing various wineries around the globe! Upon reaching that second floor, a round table held the wine glasses that were for tasting. I cautiously picked one up, and chose to head to my right, not really knowing where to start first.
If you’re any kind of wine enthusiast, a foodie, or a cooking student (whether a current one or a former student, like me), this is a good place to become familiar with what the world of wine has to offer. Wines from Pennsylvania were among the purveyors, of course… but there were also plenty of west coast offerings, wines from Italy and France, and even a vendor from New Zealand!
A couple of my personal favourites were:
- Veuve Cliquot. I had to visit that table. I’ve been to the winery in Champagne in France, and it’s the first champagne I’ve ever tried. Granted, I didn’t care for it at the time; I wasn’t used to drinking wine at all then! However, now, after having tasted what is good, I was able to recognize cheap champagne by smelling it. For this, I am grateful.
- Elk Cove Vineyard also had some nice offerings. Their wines, specifically the reds, had a fruity nose, were full-bodied, and not too tannic. If the tannins have ever steered you away from red wine, I recommend this. I enjoyed the whites also that they had for sample. All the vintages for the wines I tasted were recent; nothing bore a year older than 2010.
- Subarashimi Kudamono. All that they had to sample were white wines, but they were all pretty sweet; even the ones that weren’t dessert wine. They did offer a dessert wine, and I loved the taste of that! It was very sweet, and tasted much like white grapes, pears, and had a bit of a floral note. It was like having the best juice ever! Despite the Japanese name, these wines are produced in Pennsylvania! Go figure!
There were also a couple of foods that were there for tasting but, of course, the wine was the star of this festival! If you love wine (or at least like what happens when you drink too much of it), don’t mind a business or business casual dress code, or love food, you should attend a wine festival. This was the first one I’ve ever attended, and I look forward to attending another such event.
Plus, it was a very cool to get to sit inside of a sports car! What does that have to do with wine, you ask? Well, nothing… unless the event sponsor is a car maker, which was the case here. Lexus sponsored this event. And the sports car was pretty sweet. Just saying. There were also raffles and giveaways for dinner at my alma mater, subscriptions to Philadelphia Magazine (since this was their event), and a chance to win something shiny from Lagos. There was a little something for everyone.
I look forward to attending other such events in the future.