Wine Riot, a three-day wine tasting event, is making its Atlanta debut beginning on Friday, September 7 through Saturday, September 8th at the trendy West Midtown venue The Fairmont. The event founded by Jason Tesauro, head sommelier and creative director of Wine Riot, includes a variety of wines from around the globe and seminars geared to educate millennials on the correct way to enjoy the age-old tradition. Wine Riot takes place in Chicago, Boston and New York, and Tesauro says he’s looking forward to the laid-back vibe of Atlanta.
“Atlanta has a really robust wine market and you have some of the best restaurants scenes in the country,” he says. “ It’s also such a diverse city. When we hit Chicago and then Atlanta, you look around and see so many different faces, colors and outfits.”
The event aims to demystify the art of wine tasting for millennials. Tesauro, the author of “The Modern Gentleman,” got his start as a connoisseur of manners tackling difficult to navigate topics relevant to the younger generation. His popularity and penchant for etiquette prompted him to launch Wine Riot, a fun educational wine experience for those new to wine tasting.
“I think that food and drink are a great entryway into social skills, social graces, manners, savvy and vice of consumption,” Tesauro says. “If I invite this generation into the world that we’ve fallen in love with, maybe it starts with moscato or Cognac in a cocktail, as opposed to a snifter while we’re having cigars. So let’s roll out the red carpet and invite them to participate.”
The event features a photo booth, bubble bar for Champagne lovers, a tattoo booth, dancing, and more. Participating restaurants include American Cut, Revolution Donuts, Ponko Chicken, Xocolatl and Nexto chef Mihoko Obonai will demonstrate how to pair Japanese flavors with American wine.
Master sommelier Robert Jones who presented during the 2017 Wine Riots in Boston and Brooklyn says it’s important to take advantage of the educational opportunities presented at the event. In Atlanta, there will be 20 minute “crash courses” on various topics including a hands on Hennessey class that allows guests to learn about the popular cognac. During Wine 101 attendees can learn their wine preference and different terms like dry vs. sweet, oaked vs. unoaked and more. Jones says he stresses the basics when making an introduction to wine.
“I don’t make any distinction between millennials and any other group I present to,” Jones says. “The first thing I do when I’m talking to somebody is I look at how they’re dressed, how they hold their class and the questions they ask. Based on that quick assessment is how I choose to talk to them about wine. I ask them about wine that they like.”
The brief wine lessons at Wine Riot offer participants the opportunity to learn how different climates affect the taste of wine and which countries or climates produce the best chardonnays or cabernets. As a sommelier, Jones says learning about the different aspects of wine is one of the best features because millennials can then build off that foundation to expand their repertoire.
While it’s important to learn about wine tasting, Tesauro says he wants people to enjoy themselves. At the end of the it’s a party and he wants everyone to have a good time.
“As much as I like to position the education, it’s not a stand around lecture,” Tesauro says. “…. but while you’re there you would be remiss if you spent $65 on a ticket and didn’t engage with a master sommelier.”
For more information go visit wineriot.com/atlanta-information/