Have you ever witnessed someone spit wine during the Food & Wine Classic and wondered what was going through his or her head at that moment?
So did we.
What we found, however, is that some spitters know a lot more — especially about wine — than the rest of us.
“I spit everything,” Food & Wine participant (and spitter) Matthew Lyons, of Washington, D.C., said Friday. “I learned that a long time ago.”
A wine connoisseur, Lyons discovered this trick at a wine festival eight years ago.
Two tables into the event, Lyons said his eyes grew glassy. While he attended the event to learn about different wines and expand his palate, he made it to eight of the 300 total vendors.
From that moment onward, Lyons adjusted his festival strategy — sip, sample, spit. And repeat.
“So now what I do is I go around, look at a map and hunt for certain varietals,” Lyons said.
As of about noon at the Grand Tasting on Friday, Lyons speculated that he had sampled about 40 different wines, exactly zero of which he swallowed. Lyons noted that his wife — famous American chef and TV personality Carla Hall — also isn’t a drinker herself.
“It’s not even lunchtime yet and my palate is already getting fatigued.”
His quest on Friday was for rosés and “crisp whites.”
Lyons “really got into wine” eight years ago and has since partaken in about 50 wine festivals. The only exception to his rule? He recalled a seminar this week in which he sampled a $900 bottle of wine.
“I wanted to spit,” Lyons said, “but I felt like I couldn’t because it was going to offend the venue.”
— Erica Robbie
Ah, baby’s first Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. At Saturday’s morning Grand Tasting, we spoke with a handful of first-time Food & Wine-rs, some of whom live in Aspen year-round and others who are visiting.
Below is a compilation of their thoughts and first impressions.
“I thought there would be more … food.”
“I always thought it was a very hoity-toity thing, but it was actually a lot of fun.”
“It’s a great place to run into people in the industry (who) you hadn’t seen in a long time.”
“It’s sensory overload, but in the best way possible.”
“I love the CBD-infusions. It’s not just food and wine.”
“A lot of wine … questionable on the food front.”
“Love the take-home swag.”
“It was interesting being involved in a world-renowned event that was also so low-key.”
“The food was [amazing], but I had thought it would be bougier.”
“It was a fun mix of locals and such who volunteered and high-class rollers.”
“You could definitely overdo it with drinking.”
“I thought they did a great job with recycling, but there could be more trash cans.”
— Erica Robbie