Venice Wine Walk 4/12/19
Venice Main Street has been holding a Wine Walk for the past three years. It’s a way of increasing retail traffic downtown as well as introducing new customers to the retail options available. Erin Silk is the C.E.O. of Venice Main Street and, in an interview, came across as a committed individual. The organization is a 501c3 corporation and has the ability to obtain up to twelve event liquor licenses per year. The sale of the wristbands allows her to provide the wine to the establishments as well as adding to the operating funds of Venice Main Street. About fifteen hundred people attended last year and she expects about the same Thursday. Each establishment is made aware of inebriation policies and at only one ounce per serving, its unlikely to present a problem.
Last night I took the Wine Walk with my wife and friends. While the participating stores were well identified, with window signage, and a list and map were provided, it was unfortunate that West Venice Avenue was blocked off by construction on Nokomis Avenue. It made for a more difficult stroll to many of the venues. However we were able to visit a number of stores, out of the thirty-two listed, and sample wines. Like so many “wine tastings” this is more about the event than the wine. It was a great opportunity for people to enjoy a beautiful evening out and converse with proprietors they had not met before, (but not so much about the wine). The quality of wine varied dramatically. Some retailers had one selection and others had two. With only one ounce served (Muse was self-serve), it was difficult to make a proper evaluation. However, here are my findings:
Bonnell’s Boutique – Canyon Road ( 4 selections) I tried Chardonnay. This is a low-end wine found in many restaurants in Venice. Decent quality but no complexity. Spice & Tea Exchange – Robertson’s Cabernet Sauvignon – Pleasant wine from South Africa. The Muse – AVA Rose’- Unpalatable. Charles Shaw Pinot Noir -Also unpalatable. Island Coffee – Borsao Rose’ – Pleasant Spanish wine. DP Fitness – Chateau Souverain Merlot – Excellent wine. Very full and complex. Mothers’ Cupboard Spice – Chateau Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon – Also full-bodied and excellent. Luxurious Interiors – Sangria- Pleasant sweet wine.
The take away is that this experience should be enjoyed for what it is, an opportunity to increase foot traffic downtown, however it would be more enjoyable for wine lovers if greater thought was put into the wine selections. There must be a few wine gems out there to discover this way. I found the proprietors to be genuinely nice people with whom I will probably do business. In fact Glen Gordon of the Spice & Tea Echange was on top of it by serving meatballs with the appropriate spice packet to buy nearby. It worked on us and we bought. So, the event works. A sidelight is that it was easy to literally bump into the many other attendees. Conversations were started and conviviality reigned.