By Adam Arlen
Club Sommelier, The Peninsula Club

Wine tasting at a big event: I go to trade shows quite often where there is a lot of wine open. There is no possible way to taste everything and still be able to walk out of the event. Here are my methods to maximize your time at the tasting while minimizing the hangover the next day.

Eat before you arrive

I know this sounds like a foregone conclusion but eat before you arrive. It will slow down the absorption of alcohol into your system.

Have a plan

If possible, get the list of what wines will be open before you arrive and have a plan of attack. If you get the list on arrival, grab a glass of bubbles, sit down and go through the book. Find the tables you want to hit first. Go through them methodically. Once you have visited all the tables you were interested in, feel free to roam around and try new things.

Take notes

Take detailed notes. You will not remember everything you taste. Review your notes the next day to make informed buying decisions. Don’t buy anything on the spot. The last thing you want is to taste something at the end of the event when you are tipsy, only to get it home and realize that it wasn’t that good of a bottle.



That is what the buckets at each table are for. It is not being rude. You can always revisit the wine after you have tasted everything else. This is hangover prevention.


Be sure to drink lots of water before, during and after the event. Wine will dry out your mouth and alcohol is a diuretic. It will dehydrate you quickly.

Most importantly:  Get a ride home!!

The average cost of a DWI charge is about $15,000. With Uber and Lyft, there is no excuse to get a DWI. Spend the $20 round trip fare and be responsible.

The Next Day

The day after, you can review your notes and place your order. Only then you can make a sound judgement. I never buy anything on the spot. Consider your budget and storage conditions when you place your order. You can always reorder your favorites.

These are my liver- and wallet-friendly tips for happy wine shopping!


Adam Arlen, Sommelier


Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”