The only thing that could make a weekend with one of my best friends better is a glass of wine.
Last weekend, I visited one of my college friend’s hometowns. As we planned out the trip a few weeks in advance and were looking for things to do, she asked me if I’d be interested in doing a wine tasting with her. Since I just turned 21 in May, I’d never gotten the opportunity to do something like this before, so I said yes of course! We had such an awesome time together – that inspired me to write this article!
We roadtripped to the Arrigoni Winery, located on a farm in Portland, CT. The drive took us over a huge and beautiful bridge crossing the river. It was the perfect precursor and start to our wine-tasting adventure. I later figured out that this winery’s logo resembled the bridge’s two large arches and that they were a landmark for the town surrounding it.
Being a newly legal 20-something myself, I’m always looking for fun things to do that I couldn’t do a year ago, or even a few months ago. Trying a wine tasting was definitely one of them. Here’s a few reasons why you should too. Sip sip hooray!
🍷It’s mad classy.
Blue skies. Vines that stretch for miles. Soft acoustic music coming from the patio. Wine glasses that make that really cool *clink* sound that you see in movies. It’s the setting of a super classy and relaxing afternoon with your friends. You get to dress up and everything too! I wore these really cute patterned shorts from H&M and a black cami (because I wasn’t really sure what to wear) but I saw a lot of other people wear sundresses, blouses and maxi skirts. We all deserve a day to be fancy every now and again.
🍷It’s a great way to broaden your wine palette and experiment.
When you’re in college, unless you can go to a bar, you’re not going to be exposed to a huge variety of wine (or alcohol in general). Sure, you might get suggestions from friends, but you’ll never know what you like for sure until you get the chance to try new things on your own. I know I was always content with a cheap bottle of Barefoot Pink Moscato, but I’d never tried an “oaky” wine before my wine tasting (or had any idea of what it was), and I got a better understand of what a “sweet” and “dry” wine was because I tried them back to back. Those kinds of things will help you buy wine that you’ll better enjoy in the future! And, if you don’t like the wine you’re given, that’s okay. They only give you a small amount that you can get rid of if it’s not your style, so you’re not wasting too much.
🍷It’s perfect when you’re not sure what kinds of wine you like/are out there.
Red, white, or rose? Not sure? You get to try an array of wines from light to dark. The place I went started with a light white wine and made its way down to a deep and sweet red wine, with an apple wine and a rose in between. They provided us with a menu that gave us short descriptions of the wines we were about to experience. We got to try some other eclectic and original wines that I never even knew existed, like a pumpkin wine and a maple wine. So, I may be enjoying some other autumn beverages besides my pumpkin spiced latte in this upcoming fall season. I would have never even known this existed or that I liked it if I hadn’t gone!
🍷It’s a different way to explore new places if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug.
The winery I went to was a part of a statewide “Passport” system that you could get stamped from winery to winery. When I went, I saw that people had brought them and were stamped by the bartenders there. Out of curiosity, I looked to see if NJ had a system like that, and it turns out that we do! (It’s by the Garden State Wine Growers Association – how cute is that?) Although I don’t think I’d be able to hit all 48 of NJ’s wineries in a summer, a statewide wine trail could be a new way to discover a new place. If you’re looking for a fun way to explore your state and document your trip, I feel like this could be a fun way to do that!
🍷You’ll get smarter about the process behind~*adult beverages*~.
Did you know that winemakers make rose by leaving the skin on the grapes for a little longer than a white wine? I know I didn’t! We got to speak to the owner of the winery and asked him questions about how his wine was made. It was a lot of fun as someone who’s definitely a fan of wine, but perhaps isn’t well educated on it.
🍷It won’t break the bank if you do it right.
My friend actually found this for us to do on Groupon! The whole thing cost $16 for the both of us and it included a tasting menu of 5 wines and 2 wine slushies, a cheese and cracker platter, and two souvenir glasses we could take with us at the end. They also let us try other wines that they made that weren’t on the menu for $1 extra each, so we did a few of those, too. At the end, they ask whether you want to purchase anything or not, and I may or may not have bought a few things when we were finished. 😉
🍷It’s a unique way to spend time with friends.
If you’re sick of typical house parties and bars, then this might be a fun change of pace for you and your crew. A lot of the wineries are open year round so you can enjoy them anytime you want! The place I went had an on-site Christmas room in their store and Santa’s Workshop. I’d love to go back there in the winter just to see what it’s like!
🍷It’s a good way to celebrate your 21st (or anything, really)!
Figuring out what you want to do for your 21st birthday can be stressful – I know it was for me! If you’re still searching for something to do, going to a winery is a classy way to shake things up for your birthday. My cousin went to a winery as part of a bachelorette party, but I imagine the possibilities are endless. Just like the list of occasions where you can drink a glass of wine. 😉
Have you been to a wine (or any other adult beverage) tasting before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments!