Wine walk this way

Mama’s back!

I’ve been on the road for almost a week for work. And rather funnily, I drank more wine in that week than I ever could at home, but I didn’t have time to write about any of it.

So rather than try to piece together the miscellaneous wines I sipped over the course of the last six days, I’ll share a tidbit about HOW I tried all those wines. Two words: wine walk.

Those two words spell three hours of wine-soaked fun, and if the wine’s really good, the walk usually ends in a restaurant or bar for many more hours of fun.

For me, the fun started in Reno at the monthly wine walk downtown. Every third Saturday of the month (all year long!) from 2-5 p.m., hoardes of wine-lovers and just plain ol’ winos converge on downtown to part with $20 and pick up a commorative wine glass and map to the participating businesses. On a warm spring day, it’s the perfect way to burn a few hundred calories walking from shop to shop while sipping some wonderful (and not so wonderful) wines.

Just a few days later, I walked through downtown Winnemucca, Nev., (cue Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere”) with a wine glass in hand a map to all the participating businesses. The Winnemucca wine walk was part of a conference I attended there, so I can’t guarantee it’s a regular event, perhaps to the relief of the townsfolk who had to wait at stop signs while crowds of conference-attendees stumbled across the street.

You’ve got to hand it to small towns; they really know how to make the most of a special event. The Winnemucca businesses rolled out the red carpet with appetizers, three or four varieties of both reds and whites, a generous pour on each, and really impressive wine. No Two Buck Chuck here!

I don’t know what they invested to participate, but the businesses must have seen a solid return on investment as the increasingly tipsy walkers browsed their wares and shelled out their dollars. I even bought a pair of sunglasses I could have sworn I really needed… at the time. Hey, I knew I’d need them in the morning when my bloodshot eyes met with the bright desert sun.

Wine walks are a wonderful way to see a town and get shoppers into stores. And the atmosphere is slightly more refined than a pub-crawl, but give a mama a few glasses of wine, three hours with friends, and a sunny afternoon, and well, all bets are off.

Those sunglasses came in very handy the next morning, and I’m already planning next month’s Reno Wine Walk. Cheers!


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