Fall festival season is in full swing and chances are there is a wine festival or trade wine tasting in your future. I’ve been going to and speaking at wine festivals all over winecoach_RGB_for_web_hi_resthe country for years. In fact next week I will be at the Hershey Wine & Food Festival and then at Euphoria Greenville the week after. Over the years, I’ve noticed 7 distinct alter egos that can overtake us at these events and I can no longer be silent. Listen, I’m not perfect and I am sure I’ve been guilty of one or more of these but I want to save you the same fate. Take a look and see if any of this sounds familiar.

Colorist

Do you stick your wine glass out at the wine tasting table and yell “RED” or “WHITE”? Then you might be a colorist, aka a wine drinker that professes to drink only red or only white. Why in the world would you want to limit your choices to just one color? Don’t forget pink—I love dry Rosé. But I digress. I know you probably feel convicted about your ban on other wine colors but studies show that without the visual aspect of the wine’s color you might not even realize whether you are drinking red or white. Consider this; a French study by Gil Morot at the National Institute for Agronomic Research in Montpellier concluded that our perceptions of wine and its flavors or aromas are prejudiced by its color.  It turns out our brains are prone to unconscious synesthesia where our senses become confused.  In this study, participants tasted a white wine and described melons, honey and citrus.  The same wine was then colored red and participants perceived things like berries, leather and tar, which are common aromas in red wine. So give up the ban on whites, reds or pink wines. Instead go to your next wine tasting with an open mind and an empty glass.

Overzealous Cork Dork (OCD)

OK, you’ve been studying wine, collecting a little and maybe even took a wine certification class. I get it, you are REALLY into wine! That’s awesome but when you and your 100 closest friends are waiting in line at a wine tasting table, that is not the time to wax poetic about your theory on the effects of micro-oxygenation or how you prefer the terroir of a French Burgundy over a California Pinot. Do you see the long line forming behind you? Please do take an interest in the wines being poured but be considerate of others waiting their turn. If you want to correspond with the winery in more detail, get their business card or take a picture of the wine bottle so you can follow up.

Camper

The Camper is a lot like the OCD but they don’t really care to talk much about the wines. The Camper just wants to taste every single last solitary wine at the table. They also create long lines of pissed off people but are oblivious to that fact. Maybe they are too young to remember the gas lines of the 1970s or maybe they are just really inconsiderate. Either way, if you encounter a Camper, reverse the order of wine tables you’re visiting to get as far away from this person as possible. Of course you might see them later in the day. They’ll be easy to spot because tasting every wine at a festival is a recipe for a train wreck. I learned this lesson the hard way, so here’s a word of wisdom to help you avoid the same mistake. At each tasting or festival pick a priority – for example, “Today I will taste bubblies and tomorrow I’ll focus on crisp whites.” Without having a plan like this, you will live to regret it. Whatever your strategy, though, drink plenty of water and remember that this is a marathon.

Gadget Crazy

Nerds used to be known for button down shirts with pocket protectors. Wine geeks prefer wine themed t-shirts with a wine glass necklace.  A wine glass necklace is a handy invention to keep your glass out of harm’s way in between tastings. PLEASE remove the glass from the holder when you want a tasting pour! Yes, we love your wine glass holding plate, travel wine aerator and nifty wine chilling sleeve, too. Just like in fashion, though, a little goes a long way. If you are sporting more than 2 wine accessories you just might be gadget crazy.

Money Hungry

Can I taste the most expensive wine you have? This is the most ridiculous question I’ve heard at a wine festival or trade tasting. First off, at many festivals you won’t see high end wines and, even if they are there, that question won’t score you a taste. If you actually take an interest in the winery’s offerings and they enjoy the conversation, you might get to taste something they are keeping under the table. Secondly, price is not the only determination of quality and if that is what you base your wine choices on, then you will be sadly disappointed. In fact, a 2008 study that is outlined in Robin Goldstein’s book The Wine Trials found that the majority of the 6000 people in the study enjoyed the more expensive wines LESS! Try asking which wine the winery is known for or tell them what you normally enjoy so they can suggest something you will probably like.

Grabber

At no point ever are you allowed to grab a bottle off the wine table and pour yourself and your friends a taste! In the same vein, you are never allowed to walk away from a table with a bottle of wine unless instructed to do so by the winery staff. Just because the person working that table had to take a quick bathroom break (with no backup) does not give you the right to steal the wine. Please understand that a ticket to a tasting or festival does not give you license to unlimited wine.  Same goes for decorations, props and wine books on the table.

Complainer

I know you expected more wines to taste or more expensive wines or there just aren’t enough Chardonnays for you. The complainer will find a way to suck the fun out of this amazing tasting by pointing out all the things they feel are wrong. If this is a trade tasting, be thankful for the opportunity to taste many wines under one roof. You are an invited guest so please act accordingly. However, if you paid to be at a festival and your grievances are real, by all means take it up with the ticket office. Understand, though, that the festival is there to showcase wines of all different types and wineries, not just the one style that you happen to love. One of the advantages of these experiences is that you can find new wines to enjoy. Remember, if you can’t pronounce it, you should be drinking it! So think outside your normal Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Cabernet and try tasting only varieties or types of wine you have never heard of.  You will be rewarded with a whole new list of wines that you love!

What do you think? Have I forgotten any alter egos? Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to leave your Comments below…

I’d love to hear your best glasshole stories!!

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Back to School Wines for Mom

by Laurie on August 31, 2016

BTS Fox 5 Pic

Click to watch Laurie’s segment on Good Day DC!

Getting your kids back to school is not easy task! Buying all the supplies, agreeing on the length of your daughters skirt and packing healthy lunches can require the patience of a saint. To help make it through the beginning of the school year it’s important to schedule time for yourself to unwind with a great glass of wine. Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach has the perfect back to school wines to pair with a few of the challenges of back to school!

Messy House – Keeping an organized house is a challenge during the school year but especially at back to school time! New school supplies, new clothes and shopping bags everywhere. Make a pact with your BFFs that when you meet for Girls Night that you will all turn a blind eye to the mess. Instead focus on enjoying an Aperol Spritz one of Italy’s hottest drinks—sparkling Prosecco, Aperol liqueur and seltzer. Forget the clutter and embrace the bubbles!

Fill a glass with ice and 3 oz. La Marca Prosecco $14.99. Add 2 oz. Aperol Liqueur and 1 oz. Club Soda. Garnish with an orange slice.

Mom aka Chauffeur – Running kids to and from school and activities may have you feeling more like an Uber driver than a Mom. When your driving duties are done for the day treat you and your better half to one of the Laurie’s favorite whites Gruner Veltliner. Called GruV (Groovy) for short it’s sure to spark a renewed summer romance that will make you fall in love all over again!

Fred Loimer “Lois” Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria $15.99

Fighting Fractions – Back to School means a New Year of homework…teaching your kids fractions or worse yet common core math can have you pulling your hair out. Once you have all the worksheets and assignments complete, it’s time for a glass of vino. Laurie will introduce you to a great fall red that you need to try…it’s your homework!

Evodia Garnacha 2014 Calatayud, Spain $10.99, 3 red wine glasses

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Chloe Wines – Georgetta Dane

July 30, 2016

Chloe Wine Collection creates affordable wines that are classic, balanced and all wrapped up in a bow. The winemaker behind Chloe Wines in none other than Georgetta Dane. Georgetta’s path to Chloe Wines started in her home country of Romania and involved her husband’s night out at the pub with his buddies. Listen to her […]

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Interview: Rosé for Summer – Wines of Provence

June 18, 2016

Summer is officially here on Monday, so break out the Rosé! Great Rosé wines are wonderful any time of year but especially in the warmer months. If there is a mecca for pink wines than it would be in Provence, France. No other wine region is so tied to the wonderful soft pink hues Rosé […]

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Interview: Jean Trimbach of Maison F.E. Trimbach in Alsace

June 11, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jean Trimbach of Maison F.E. Trimbach in Alsace, France at Bistrot Lepic in Washington, DC. During our interview (audio below) we talked about the history of this famed wine estate, the style of his wines and why he believes these wine should be on your dinner table. Jean […]

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Don’t Miss Out on The Sipping Point Podcast!

June 8, 2016

We are switching platforms for The Sipping Point and in order to continue listening you’ll need to do ONE thing…right now! Go to the iTunes store and find The Sipping Point podcast…click Subscribe. That’s right even if you are already subscribed you’ll need to do it again so you don’t miss any of our great […]

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Interview: Jordan Winery – Lisa Mattson

June 2, 2016

Lisa Mattson is the marketing brains behind Jordan Winery’s award winning BLOG, spirited wine videos and their popular club newsletter. These are just a few of the things she does to keep their winery top of mind when you are shopping for a great Cabernet or Chardonnay. In her spare time Lisa has written a […]

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The Wines of Horse Heaven Hills with Mimi Nye of Chateau Ste Michelle

April 22, 2016
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Mimi Nye from Chateau Ste Michelle

April 21, 2016

Mimi Nye has been growing grapes at Chateau Ste Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Vineyard located in the Horse Heaven Hills wine region in Washington state. Originally a city girl, Mimi’s path to viticulture was a winding one but now she is known as one if its top viticulturists. For over 30 years Mimi has been farming […]

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Head High Wines with Sam Spencer

April 14, 2016

Subscribe to Laurie’s Podcast on iTunes Laurie tastes and talks with Sam Spencer, one of the partners that created Head High Winery in the Sonoma Coast appellation of California. Sam Spencer comes to Head High Wines with a long and distinguished career as a winegrower, wine-industry consultant, and vineyard developer for the past two decades […]

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Tullamore D.E.W. for St. Partrick’s Day

March 11, 2016

Tim Herlihy, US Brand Ambassador at Tullamore D.E.W., joined Laurie for a tasting of 3 of their Irish Whiskeys along with reports from his 50 city Irish Pub Tour of the USA! Learn what makes Tullamore DEW so special, the effects of barrel aging, whiskey tasting tips, how St Patty’s is celebrated in Ireland and […]

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Blind Wine Tasting Party on WJLA

February 19, 2016

Wines we tasted Blind on the Show: Simonnet-Febrve Chablis, Burgundy France $19 Albert Bichot Chablis Premier Cru, Burgundy France $50 Domaine des Peres de L’eglise “Le Calice de Saint Pierre” Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone Valley, France $30 St, Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley, France $15  

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