Article & Photos By: Esther Rubio-Sheffrey
The words wine and rave typically do not go together, but if you love wine and dancing, you are going to love Wine Rave on Nov. 16th. Created for the up-and-coming wine consumers of the millennial generation of 21 to 35-year-olds, this unique tasting experience takes traditional wine tasting and turns it upside down by combining the energizing spirit of a nightclub with the ambience of a tasting room.
In addition to the pulsating musical beats, attendees enjoy appetizers and generous samples of specialty wines, craft beers, and premium spirits. It is what Wine Rave organizers refer to as paying homage to the art of all beverages, whether it is the art of brewing beer, mixology, or winemaking.
Over 25 purveyors take part in the event, many of which have a specific interest in a younger, more experimental wine demographic. Non-traditional wines, like those from California Fruit Wine, which was previously featured in NUG for producing wines from everything but grapes, are the type of companies interested in finding those wine consumers who do not have a lot of pre-conceived notions about what wine â€œshouldâ€ or â€œshould notâ€ be. â€“That tends to be true of the millennial generation, which is why they are a crucial marketing target for wineries and distributors alike.
Event producers tell NUG Magazine that the first Wine Rave took place six years ago, as part of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festivalâ€™s series of events. While it remains an intricate part of the festival, Wine Rave branched out as its own event in June due to its high demand and popularity. The dates are yet to be determined, but expect several Wine Raves in 2012.
Juneâ€™s Wine Rave was held at FLUXX. Recently named the 2011 Best New Nightclub in the nation by Nightclub & Bar, FLUXX was the perfect venue. Its setting, with its ever-revolving theme, upscale modern design, and playful nightlife motif is the ideal merging of sophistication and nightlife, and it caters to the same demographic as Wine Rave.
Having attended the Wine Rave held at FLUXX, I can honestly say it lived up to its reputation. Once you check-in, you receive a souvenir wine glass, a friendly greeting, and are free to sample at your leisure from the different vendors that line the dance floor. Each purveyor is eager to tell you about their product, and many hand out discounts and special offers. The best part is that many of the winemakers and distributors bring several different products for you to sample, so be prepared to spend up to 20 minutes at some tables.
The dress code adheres to the FLUXX standards, and youâ€™ll definitely see the millennial generation out in full force along with a few who are young at heart. While most people tend to spend their time tasting rather than dancing, the DJ keeps the beats spinning throughout the night. The tray passed hors d’oeuvres are delicious, but become scarce as the crowd grows into the night. I highly recommend eating something before your arrival. A cab ride home or a designated driver is also a good idea.
You will not be able to purchase any of the products at the event, but each purveyor is happy to tell you how you can do so, or which local establishment is carrying their product. Budget wise, there is something for everyone. All of the participating wineries feature wines that range from $10 to $40 a bottle.
Attend Wine Rave
Misconceptions about wine being pretentious are starting to fade, thanks in-part to the emergence and popularity of wine bars that make wine accessible to everyone. If you are a wine lover seeking to enjoy a night out on the town, Wine Rave is an event you do not want to miss.
Wine Rave kicks off the 8th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival series of events on Wednesday, Nov. 16th, between 7 and 10pm. The festival will continue through Nov. 20th with several wine and gourmet food events, including classes, a celebrity chef luncheon, and a grand tasting event on Saturday, Nov. 19th.
Purchase Wine Rave tickets online for $45 in advance or pay $65 at the door. Other individual festival tickets can also be purchased online and range between $45 and $175.Â If you cannot attend this month, be sure to check out WineRaveSD.com for the 2012 event schedule.