Yesterday, I participated in the race to end all races.
1K, 1 glass, dozens of wines to taste. I know, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.
At times, I didn’t think we’d be able to make it.
But when the going got tough, we simply drank more wine, rallied, and were inevitably able to (drunkenly) cross that finish line! Huzzah!
The premise, as you can imagine, was really cute. You signed up for a specific “heat”, got 20 (!) wine tasting tickets, a bib, t-shirt, and wine glass, then wound your way through the Shops at Crystal City (I was grateful that it was indoor!) to hit up the Wine Stations that had various samplings of vino and food.
The event was on both Saturday and Sunday, with heats starting every half-hour throughout the entire day. We had chosen a thoroughly un-busy 4:30 heat, which made getting to the starting and t-shirt area a little bit confusing at first. Once we figured things out, however, it was nice not having to deal with tons of people (I’m sure Saturday was much crazier — which can also be tons of fun though!)
All of the “wine stations” were set up in various empty shop spaces, so they were out of the way of the main walkway. Most of the Crystal City Shops seemed to be closed on Sunday (not sure if they’re closed on the weekends in general?) so there weren’t too many pedestrians being mowed over by thirsty winos, haha. I found quite a few wines that were really delightful, and enjoyed sampling them. My only complaint is that a lot of the wine stations seemed to have run out of several of their wines, which seemed a little unfair since we signed up for our heat times in advance. I still got sufficiently tipsy though, so I guess that all’s well that ends well, haha.
A few of the stations were sponsored by restaurants so there was a small spread of food available too. I was admittedly a little disappointed that there wasn’t more available though (most of the stations just had big bowls of white baguette slices). One of the sponsoring restaurants was Jaleo, so I did get to try a little egg tostada type thing from there (delicious!) and there was also a station set-up by Cabot Cheese, which you know I destroyed.
While the food and wine on the actual “race” course may not have been plentiful, the final wine station that you got to once you crossed the finish line was hopping with both. There were 10 wine tasting stations there, as well as a buffet line of cheese, grapes, nuts, and candy. There was also a DJ pumping out tunes (Party ROCK!) and lots of red-faced “racers” getting down on the dance floor. A really fun way to end the event!
Despite having a few complaints, I still really loved this event. It was a fun, creative spin on a traditional wine tasting, and given my love for wine and my, er, masochistic interest in racing, it felt like it was made specifically for me! The $40 entry fee seemed a little high at first, but given that I received a t-shirt, wine glass, and TWENTY wine tasting tickets (I definitely wasn’t able to use all of them), I’d say it was well worth it. I would definitely do this event again, although next time I’d probably want to pick an earlier and more popular/bustling heat, and go on Saturday instead of Sunday.
Have any of you ever participated in an event like this? They are also doing a 1K Beer Walk this coming weekend (the 21st and 22nd) if you’re interested!