8 Essentials for Wine Festival Success

What’s up fellow wine addicts?  It’s time for Kelly’s Wine Review link-up!  As I stated in my update earlier this month, I attended my first Linganore Wine Festival in several years.  And by first, I mean probably my 67th time, but truly it has been quite a while.  Here I share my favorite wines from festival, followed by festival check-list for anyone planning on attending a wine festival of their own, Linganore or elsewhere.  

Find it in Frederick

Because it has been several years, I wanted to do a full tasting of the wines they had available at the festival, and let me tell you, my tastes have certainly changed.  I used to love all of that sweet sh*t.... Rasberry, Blueberry, and Skipjack were always some of my staples.  If you’re a sweet wine person, I still swear that Skipjack is one of the best.

Apparently I don’t really do sweet anymore though and was looking for a drier option.  These are the bottles we settled on:

Black Raven.  This was my fiance’s favorite, which actually surprised me because the wine is not actually all that dry.  It has a hint of sweet cherry for sure, but he didn’t get sick of it and downed 2 bottles that very day.  

Terrapin White.  I chose this one because I like white as well and I wanted something similar, but not quite as sweet as the Skipjack.  This seemed to be the best fit. Apparently it was the winner of the 2013 Governor's Cup Silver Medal AND the 2013 Wine Master's Choice Silver Medal.  Whatever the heck that means.   

Red Skins.  (Do you see the Maryland theme going on here?)  This was by far my favorite and also the driest wine there.  By driest, it still was not entirely dry.  I have come to the conclusion that Linganore Wines definitely err on the sweet side every time.  But for them, it was definitely dry.  It is also a Wine Master's Choice GOLD medal winner and can only be bought at the winery.

Thinking of attending a wine festival yourself?  Don’t just show up.  After much experience, I am a firm believer that the secret to wine fest success is in the preparation! 

Pack a cooler with all of these essentials:

  1. Cheese! [Duh!] I like to buy the big blocks and pre slice it ahead of time so you are not fumbling with a knife at the event.  Get a variety to suit everyone in your party.... pepper jack, cheddar, and colby jack are usually a good mix.  
  2. Crackers... to go with the cheese.  Preferably big ones.
  3. Pepperoni slices so you can stack it all up Lunchable style. 
  4. Water!!!! This is so important especially at a summer festival because you do not realize how dehydrated you are becoming drinking wine in the sun all day until you are basically crawling up the hill because you are so utterly exhausted.  
  5. Other non-alcoholic drinks to use as mixers.  I know this totally goes against the experience of the wine, but I’ve been known to mix it with Ginger Ale or Sprite to make it more of a spritzer and slow the sober-to-drunk progression.  
  6. Frozen fruit.  Buy the fruit and throw it in the freezer the night before.  I like grapes, strawberries, and blueberries best.  They act as ice cubes for your wine without watering it down.  When you finish your glass, you have a scrumptious, wine logged fruit bite. 
  7. Sunscreen.  I didn’t pack it this time because it was October and I was fully covered, but if you’re going in the summer, you don’t want to risk being baked to a crisp all afternoon.   
  8. Tailgate chairs.  (Not in the cooler, naturally.)  Trust me, a blanket is not going to cut it when you’re in it for the long haul.  Your butt will start hurting, you won’t be able to see, you won’t have a cup holder for your glass...  and if it’s a really hot day,  you absolutely must come with a pop-up tent unless you want to stare at everyone else that has one with angered envy.

Let me know if there is anything I missed, or perhaps a super awesome idea I’d never even heard of yet!  Enjoy the festival!

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Petite Ramblings - Wine Reviews


  1. I love this post!! I work for a beer and wine distributor in Montana and I just put on huge wine festival about a month and half ago!! I totally packed snacks in my bag and people were making fun of me, I'm happy to hear that someone else does this as well.
    Like you I am a white wine drinker but I do have a few reds that I love (Bogle Essential Red), I don't know if you like sparkling wines but a great holiday one is La Marca Prosecco, pretty sure I drank the whole bottle at the Wine Festival.

    1. Love Bogle! I will def have to try that sparkly one too!