For those unacquainted, the Reno Wine Walk takes place one glorious day each month, every third Saturday. For $20, patrons can saunter from one participating location to another, sampling various wines out of 5-liter “Igloo” coolers. I decided to check this out and review wine from the most prestigious establishments around the world’s biggest little city. Full disclosure, I know nothing about wine and don’t particularly like the taste. It reminds me of church.
The Reno Wine Walk is a cavalcade of rapscallions and vagabonds. By that, I mean hipsters who spend hours meticulously perfecting their hair in order to appear that they don’t care what their hair looks like and middle-aged soccer moms escaping the monotony of domesticity.
The Reno Wine Walk is like one giant bachelorette party: the woo girls, the tipsy abandon, the plethora of phallic-shaped miscellaneous objects, older women observing the mayhem with knowing smiles. Also, there were several actual bachelorette parties along the way. Most people were probably unable to notice, but my investigative journalism training gave me the acute instinct to pick up on the clues of one woman’s sash, veil, garter over her jeans and bouquet of plastic pink penises (penisi?).
Without further ado, here is my recounting of the Reno Wine Walk on Sept. 16, 2017. I was accompanied by the incomparable Will Keys. It is subject to inaccuracies for the obvious reasons.
After going to Five-Star Saloon and the Waterfall (which sources confirm is a place that exists) and being turned away because of a shortage of maps, we came to the Jungle. The Jungle is my favorite spot in Reno to get both a frappuccino and a long island iced tea. The Jungle wins for dopest wine glasses. I got one with a Harry Potter design painted on it, reading “Accio Wine.” Thank you for making my alcoholism magical. The wine they gave out was very sweet, with a tropical taste, almost Kool-Aid-esque. It was fruit-forward, fruit-backward and fruit-sideways.
Sierra Tap House
By far the worst part of the wine walk was waiting in line. Unbeknownst to me, the wine walk is a big deal and a lot of people show up. I am an aggressively impatient being, and listening to people’s idiotic conversations while my buzz dissipates is not my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. The wine line design was fine but not what Thyne had in mind. Once inside Sierra Tap House, I got a merlot. It had an aftertaste that makes you say to yourself, “mmm, yep, that certainly tastes like wine.” At Sierra Tap House, I came to the gradual realization that the taste of the previous wines never quite leaves your glass, so each following sample contributes to a sort of mish-mash jungle juice flavor roller coaster.
Duval Film Gallery
I never knew this place existed, but by the grace of God and the Reno Wine Walk, it was introduced into my life. It is a collection of stills by a local photographer and cameraman. Very neat. We got pinot grigio. The pinot was herbaceous but the grigio was not so herbaceous. As we sipped, we watched a street performer tap dance and sing classics like “My Girl” and “Downtown.”
Ole Bridge Pub
This place had sangria, which made me think to myself, “oh heck yeah.” Sangria brings back fond memories of drinking too much of it junior year and blacking out. Good times.
Sierra Kitchen & Cocktails
Now is where things start to get a little fuzzy. This place looks like where the Reno mafia would meet up. I can’t quite recall what type of wine I got, but it was definitely perfumed and robust.
Liberty & Wine Food Exchange
This place gets extra points for pouring their wine out of classy glass carafes. Just as I was being served someone came by and dropped off two full carafes, and I said, “Are those for me?” It was so funny. Everyone laughed. I had difficulty enjoying my off-dry and nouveau wine because the food smelled so dang tasty.
This place gets extra points for serving Franzia boxed wine. Now we’re talking. I decided to go with the chillable red over the sunset blush. There was a group of bros snapchatting themselves screaming “Saturday’s are for the boys.” It was fricken’ rad! While drinking, I perused all of the hilarious merchandise Reno eNVy has to offer. There is a shirt which reads “I’m a 10 (in Reno).” Get it? Because people in Reno are so ugly.
Noble Pie Parlor
After a few hours of walking and wining, Will and I decided to call it a day. Although Noble Pie was a participating location in the wine walk, I ordered food and water. Sidenote: the Noble Pie bathrooms are stupidly complicated to find, especially when you’re drunk at 4 p.m. The bathrooms were certainly aromatic. Noble Pie had actually run out of wine. As I stuffed my face with pizza and garlic fries to soak up the reds and whites battling in my stomach, people would meander in, giddy on the presumption that they would be receiving wine. Once they discovered the contrary, they were shocked, personally offended. Sobriety crept in at the edges of their brain, latent responsibilities and worries which were mutually exclusive from the wine walk began rearing their ugly heads. They rushed out, direly searching for another location who could serve them in the dwindling last half an hour.
After eating, we walked out into the brisk Reno evening. It almost felt like Autumn. There was vomit in the gutters and people imploring strangers for spare cigarettes. We ordered an Uber and we went back to Will’s apartment. While watching college football on television, we both slipped into blissful wine comas. After the Reno Wine Walk, I would definitely consider myself an expert wino: a winoceros, if you will.