The Washington Wine Academy, in partnership with the Crystal City BID and Vornado/Charles E. Smith, has been organizing for the past three years the most unique and fun wine and beer tasting event in the Washington DC, NoVA (Northern Virginia) area, the Vintage 1K Wine (or Beer) Walk. This event has been become wildly popular and one of the largest tasting events in the area, with over 3000 attendees over the course of two days.
How it works: the event is spread over two days (weekend). In order to avoid congestion, there are heats every half hour and walkers have to sign up for a specific heat of their choosing. As racers walk the course, they stop at hydration stations along the way. Except that instead of Gatorade or energy drinks, they get to sample selected wines or beers. Racers can also taste food from various Crystal City area Restaurants – all included in their purchase. And, of course, water. You won’t find fans and coaches cheering and motivating from the sidelines, but there’s quite of bit of cheering from teammates. At the finish line racers bodies’ will start to shake – not from exhaustion but from the music played by our DJ!
In the past, we used to organize two events a year, both around January but on different weekends: one weekend it was all wine, and the other all beer. Many of the racers participate in teams (even dressed in custom-made uniforms!); some just friends, old college friends reunions (class reunion, anyone?), sorority sisters, etc. – although we haven’t had yet a Bachelor/ette Party (now that’s a great idea – and you’re welcome!). We have received feedback from these participants that they would be even happier, and be able to bring in more of their friends if there were both wine and beer tastings available during their race because some friends like one or the other.
Make it more fun, you say? Well, that has been arranged. Starting this November, we are changing the format of the 1K Walk. Instead of having a weekend just for wine, and one just for beer, we’ll have the opportunity for people to taste either wine or beer during the same weekend! But wait, there’s more! Our staff at the Washington Wine Academy believe a healthy lifestyle is very important and shouldn’t be limited to just one weekend a year. Therefore, our 1K Wine & Beer Walk will happen now twice a year! We anticipate the schedule each year to be March and November.
We care deeply about our friends. Please don’t drink and drive. The Shops at Crystal City were selected as the optimal race course because there’s a Metro station there served by the Blue and Yellow METRO Lines.
So I am one of the largest proponents out there of “unusual” varieties- I was that 21 year old, just discovering wine and draining my local wine shop of new, crazy bottles that I had never heard of. Of course, at that point, I considered Tempranillo and Torrontes to be exotic and, to many, that is certainly still the case. But in WSET level 2 world, at least the way WWA teaches it, students certainly taste those grapes and many more because they are so historically/economically/socially/etc important to their regions.
NOT to say that the following grapes aren’t important to their respective areas- conversely they usually are- but in the limited amount of time we have to teach and, more importantly, the limited number of wines we can taste, these wines might not otherwise make the cut. So, I hope you enjoyed them, new WSET students- that is, once you overcame the intimidation of the Systematic Approach to Tasting.
Castelo Verdejo 2010/Rueda, Spain
Elena Walch Pinot Bianco 2010/Alto Adige, Italy
Le Rocher des Violettes Chenin Blanc 2008/Loire Valley, France
Saint Cosme Viogner/Roussanne/Marsanne/Picpoul de Pinet 2010/ Cotes du Rhone, France
Averoldi Groppello 2009/ Lombardy, Italy
Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2009/ Monticello, VA
Altano Tinta Roriz/Touriga Franca 2008/ Douro, Portugal
Valckenberg Dornfelder 2009/ Rheinhessen, Germany
Washington Wine Academy is Washington's DC leader in professional wine, beer and spirits education.