Home Page

2011 Wine List

Getting the Most Out Of Your Experience

Your evening of Wine Over Water can be a wonderful learning experience – one that can enhance your knowledge of wines and the pleasure you derive in drinking them. So here are some ways that you can take advantage of your wine tasting experience on the historic Walnut Street Bridge (BTW, the bridge was constructed in 1890 and was saved from demolition by Cornerstones in 1989).

A little Homework
Do some research before you come to the bridge. The Internet is a great way to find out about the world of wines.

    Wine Varietals:
    For example, here are a two links that describe some of the more popular wine varietals:

    How to Taste Wines
    Since the evening’s topic is “tasting wines” here is a link that will let you know how to get the most out of that experience:

    And while you are there, be sure to check out some of the other links on that page

    The Making of a Wine
    And just for fun, find out how wines are made:

On The Bridge
During the Wine Over Water event you will find an almost unending sea of wine tents across the Walnut Street Bridge serving wines from a host of foreign countries and a number of U.S States from California to Tennessee and Georgia. In all - if last year is any indication - you’ll have a chance to select from some 400 different wines!

Choosing in Advance
With so many wines to choose from, it’s clearly impossible to taste them all. Walking the full length of the bridge is, in its self, a challenge. So, rather than starting at one end and seeing how far you get, you may find it more rewarding to choose your wines and testing destinations before you even come to the bridge.

Our web site provides you with the tools to help you do so. When you click on “2011 Wine Program” here or on the home page, you’ll be able to see what types of wines are available, from what country or state the wines are from and what winery produced them. You will also be able to sort by grape varietal, the country where the wine was produced and the number of the tent where the wine is served. The length of our wine lists should certainly convince you that there are more wines being served than you can possibly taste in one evening and that you will have to make some agonizing decisions. But at least with this wine program in hand, your choices will be based on your own criteria rather mere happenstance.

Mixed Drinks
While there are some who would argue to the contrary, many people find that mixing red and white wines leaves them with a headache the next morning (or maybe even that night). So just to be on the safe side, choose one type of wine or the other and stick with it the rest of the night.

Sampling Defined
During the wine tasting event, you’ll be served “samples” of your choices of wines. If you have never been to a tasting, the small amount of wine that is poured may be shocking – and seem almost rude. But don’t be disparaged. There is a method in this madness. The serving is designed for you to see the color and clarity of the wine, to smell it and to taste it. If you don’t particularly like it, pour it out! (In this setting, it’s not impolite to do so). There are small plastic buckets provided by each tent for that purpose. Then ask for your next choice. If you do like what you tasted you may ask for more. But if your wish list is long, you might move on to the next tent and come back to the first later.

Take Notes
As you taste the wines, be sure to record your impressions on a piece of paper. Your printed program provides some space to do so or you can use your own computer printout of the web’s wine listings (if you remembered to bring it). Do not rely on your memory. The wine samples may be small, but two or three hours of sampling will let you remember only the happy times - as it should be. But the notes you take will be invaluable the next time you head to the wine shop.

Water – A good friend
As you sample the wines and begin to consume a modest amount of alcohol, it’s nice to know that water provides a buffer that can slow the rate in which the body absorbs the alcohol. Carry a bottle of water with you or occasionally fill your wine glass with water from the spring water dispensers located across the bridge. Bottled water is also available for sale. In addition to drinking water, try to keep some food in your stomach. Many local restaurants will be represented at the festival and festival goers can sample the fine local and regional dining available in Chattanooga. Also, take advantage of the complimentary fresh-baked breads by Niedlov’s Breadworks and the Bluff View Bakery.

Going Home
The Wine Over Water event is a festive occasion made all the more fun by the great wines that are served. But wines do temporarily impair your judgment and slow your reflexes, making driving extremely dangerous, not only to yourself but also to others. So, even before you leave your house, it’s a good idea to plan an exit strategy and find a safe way to get back home. If you have not already established a designated non-drinking driver, call a cab (phone numbers are provided in your WOW Program booklet) or take advantage of special hotel rates offered by some of the downtown hotels (Click on “Hotel Discounts" here or on the left side-bar of the home page). Alternatively, spend some time away from wine until your body has had a chance to metabolize the alcohol.

Sweet Memories
When all is said and done, the most important aspect of your Wine Over Water experience will hopefully be that you have had a good time. Even if you wrote nothing down or lost your notes, the fond memories of the event will likely spur you on to make wine an important and pleasant part of your life.