A Night Out with Wine Tour Urbano
You know that feeling when you show up three hours late to the party? Everyone knows each other, having a blast chatting and drinking, and you wonder what an amazing time you’ve just missed out on? That’s how I felt when I heard about Wine Tour Urbano for the very first time. An unconventional independent wine tour that has been in business in Buenos Aires for the last 9 years, WTU has built up a loyal following of Argentine and foreign customers and I needed to know what this party was all about.
Let’s start from the top. The creator of WTU is Sol, a wine love who decided to create a one of a kind, custom experience that was accessible to young people in the city. She drew inspiration from St Patrick’s Day celebrations, where young people hung out in the street drinking beer and enjoying good company. She noticed that there lacked a similar event in the wine world, and wanted to make public the cheese and wine parties she had with her girlfriends. This is how the original concept of WTU was born. Since then it has grown, encouraging women to get involved in the wine industry and bringing friends, family, couples, and colleagues together on a Friday night for a social wine tasting.
Flash forward 9 years and I arrive to the corner of Suipacha and Marcelo T. in Retiro looking for a group of tourists and a tour guide. What I find is a small booth on the street with a crowd of over 20 people chatting with empty wine glasses in hand. I reach the front of the booth and receive my personalized Wine Tour Urbano wine glass. The “guides” explain the route of six locations to stop at within the two block radius and I am off. It’s definitely not a handholding tour, which was refreshing for me after so many tours that act like tourists cannot explore the city on their own (granted it was only two blocks, but still!). I scan the crowd and noticed a group of girls speaking German, an Argentine couple, what appears to be a study abroad group, a group of male friends, and a casual acquaintance I knew from mutual friends- the definition of an eclectic group. I start off on my journey, quickly making friends at each stop.
The wine tastings are held in unusual locations: a café, a leather shop, a cigar store, furniture store with little booths overflowing with wine bottles and a knowledgeable sommelier set up at each spot. Many of the wines were from Mendoza, with a few from Patagonia, and they were all delicious. Some of the stations also have bread, olive oil, fresh jamon serrano, and little picadas to snack on. The event is three hours long and you can stop as many times at each station as you want. As the night goes on, the crowd grows larger and the wine flows freer.
When the clock strikes 10:00 pm and we all have purple teeth, the raffle begins. The crowd gathers and I count over 50 attendees screaming for their name to be called. Some seven winners were picked to win free bottles of wine and the losers groan in good company. The night is officially over, but there is still hope. If you bring your WTU wine glass to the next event, you pay half the price for the tasting. Now I know I’ll never be late to this party again!
The winter season for Wine Tour Urbano begins on June 19 in Palermo. Wine Tour Urbano also offers personalized private wine tasting events.
All photos provided by Wine Tour Urbano Facebook page.