Happy Hour! If you don’t like happy hour, you are a robot who needs to step off. For a while, happy hour became my favorite outing because it starts at around 6 and ends by 9. Perfect for tired adults! Then, I had a child who doesn’t have an ID and would prefer to be bathed and sleeping by 7. I really miss happy hour.

It occurred to me that I’ve gotten into a nasty little rut where I buy the same 3 bottles of wine, every single booze trip. It’s unfair to my palette! Sad! I need to find a means of trying new wines, but like my frequent search for the perfect piece of fiction, I usually choose poorly and go right back to my trusted 3. What’s a thirsty girl to do?

Option 1 – Recommendations

This is the most personal option, and the most fun because if you buy a bottle of wine that a friend suggested and it sucks, you can make sure they hear about it. Or you can quietly cut them from your life, forever. A friend at work recently gave me a hefty list of his favorite wines at every price point, and I’m super excited to try them all and potentially hate him silently.

Option 2 – Wine Club

I recently saw that a friend had posted his experience with The Tasting Room on Instagram, and raved about it. The concept is- you fill out a questionnaire based on your wine preferences and TTR sends you some small bottles of wine to sample. You then update your online profile based on what they sent you, and they’ll send you only what you like in the future. I like the idea of someone selecting wine for me and sending it directly to my mouth. I’ve also heard negative reviews about similar wine clubs that sent all “horrible wine,” so sign up at your own risk.

Option 3 – Local Wine Tastings

This option has a few branches. I highly recommend exploring your local liquor stores and grocery stores because often, they’ll feature wine tasting events that are (!) free (!) and allow you to dig into a variety of colors, bodies, and textures you might not have otherwise sampled. Wine tasting hosts are also sometimes experts who can recommend pairings if you’re food + wine pairing illiterate, like myself.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are lucky enough to live near a crop of excellent wineries- GO TO THEM. RIGHT NOW. In Buffalo, I am surrounded by wineries in the Niagara region, the Niagara on the Lake region in Canada, the Chautauqua wineries and if you go just a little further down 90 East, the Finger Lakes Wineries. These are my favorite, and I would support you taking a trip, ASAP. Get touristy and if you mean business, get yourself a limo or another convenient ride. You won’t remember a lot that night, but will be pleased with all of your new home bar additions come morning.


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