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It’s the time of year when wine enthusiasts are given a rare opportunity to expand their horizons by leaps and bounds, all in the name of a good cause – local fundraising benefits with wine-tasting events.

Large tastings often leave most of us overwhelmed and confused. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of wines or feel compelled to taste each one. Most tasters will be able to explore and differentiate some 20 wines before their taste buds become tired.

There are many ways to take advantage of the wines being offered at one event. Rather than drifting from tasting sample to tasting sample, explore by regions, price or grape varieties. If you enjoy chardonnay, compare this grape in different regions and prices or find your own theme to explore in the sea of wine samples.

Keep track of what you’ve tasted by taking notes on your event program. You are the only person reviewing them, so there’s no need for fancy wine speak. Notes can be as simple as a check mark for favorites, a dollar sign for great values and explanation points beside exceptional wines.

I have said it many times, and it always needs repeating: If you take any words of wine tasting advice, it would be to spit, and spit often. The purpose of large wine events is tasting and not drinking.


  • Wild Wines of the World, 7 p.m. Saturday, Little RockZoo, 1 Jonesboro Drive, Little Rock, (501) 661-7208
  • Art of Wine Festival, multiple events, June 10-12, Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville (479) 443-5600
  • 12th Annual KUAF Wine Tasting, 5:30 p.m. June 17, Second Street Live, 711 Garrison Ave., Fort Smith, (479) 648-3993