Enjoying fine wine, beer, and spirits in the shadow of prehistoric fossils isn't exactly your standard Friday night fare. The annual Savor Dallas wine stroll was held in the Dallas Arts District last year, but this year the organizers moved the event to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Proceeds from last night's sold-out event benefited the museum's Campaign for Excellence, and the selling out was apparent: from the long lines from the entrance to nearly every beverage and limited food table throughout the two hour event, there was no mistaking the crowd for, well, a crowd.
The lines seemed to have some vendors frazzled. Many were attempting to pour as quickly as possible to minimize waits at their table, although the longer lines at many of the popular vendors such as Knob Creek and Maker's Mark were justified by the vendors taking extra time with each patron to explain their wares. Careful explanations on what to notice when tasting, how and where their spirits were distilled, and what mixers to use made the experience worth the lengthy waits. Notable at the Knob Creek booth was the Rye Whiskey, which was remarkably smooth, yet evenly spicy, with an almost comfortable aroma of aged oak, evocative of an antique roll-top desk. Also notable was the appearance by Leffe Blond, a delightful pale malt brew with fruity aromas and a sweet citrus taste, and a rich, velvety apple ice wine from Quebec by Neige.
Some patrons we met enjoyed the wine and beverages, but noted the lack of more substantial food and the long waits. Attendee Shawn-Marie Menton of Arlington observed the wine stroll felt like a "free-for-all, instead of a well-planned event", noting that she "spent two hours standing in line jockeying for position and wondering what I was missing" although and others agreed the Perot Museum itself was "visually stunning".
Logistics aside, there's always something to be said for encouraging public interest in food and beverage, and the opportunity to try new wines, beers, and spirits in the unique atmosphere of an interactive science museum may well be worth the price of admission. Attendees were offered a discount on membership to the museum for signing up that evening, and the light fare at the event undoubtedly gave a boost to local eateries after the museum closed.
The Takeaway: Although the key notes of the evening were broad rather than deep, and the execution needed polish, the wine stroll provides a beverage experience that is, for Dallas, not easily matched.