Omnivore - Battling our way to Wine South

When I went to the Wine South website this morning, there was a notice saying, "If you have Saturday tickets and were unable to attend on 9/29 due to the Atlanta Football Classic Parades and road closures, your tickets are still valid on Sunday!"

A lot of good that did me. I had convinced our intrepid See & Do editor Debbie Michaud to accompany me to the wine-tasting festival, and as we neared the Georgia World Congress Center, which is a new location for Wine South, we realized we were in trouble. Cops were refusing to let cars even turn onto the streets surrounding the Georgia Dome, where the Football Classic was taking place. Parking lots were charging $40 and getting it. It took us 40 minutes to drive from the corner of Northside and MLK to the far end of the World Congress Center, three blocks away.

Finally we decided to park at the Creative Loafing office, which is about a half-mile's walk from the Congress Center, but didn't cost us $40 at least. This was my first foray into the vast weirdness that is the Georgia World Congress Center, and at least half of our 45-minute walk was through the labyrinth of massive GWCC buildings. When we finally arrived at exhibit hall A2, I needed a drink.

The hall was a little overwhelming, with hundreds of booths, most of them inhabited by wine importers or specific wine brands. We hightailed it to France (I wish), or rather, the section of the hall dedicated to French wines. After tasting a few nice wines at the Cotes du Rhone table, we were a little disappointed with the rest of the French selections. I don't trust French wines that have "chardonnay" and "pinot grigio" emblazoned on their labels. It was mainly cheaper labels aimed at the American market.

And so it went. A few very nice wines from Spain, Italy and Australia, and a lot of cheap swill. At the "Wines of Germany" table, the young man in a suit behind the table literally refused to look at us after giving us one taste of Riesling. I assume we didn't look wealthy enough, neither did we appear as if we might own a restaurant. "Excuse me ..." Debbie said, as the man looked off into the distance, refusing to meet her gaze. No response. It's a pity, I really did want to try some of the Rieslings they had. So in case you were wondering, wine snobbery is indeed alive and well and living in Atlanta.

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