Calling all winos: Wine Riot returns to Boston this weekend to tickle your palate, quench your thirst, and, if renowned sommelier and creative director Jason Tesauro gets his way, you just might fall in love — and not just with rosé. Here’s just a few reasons why you shouldn’t miss the annual tasting event.
Sip and learn
Wine Riot offers more than your classic tasting. Tesauro has organized four educational sessions ranging from summer whites to natural wines, even wine cocktails and a primer on up-and-coming regions. But while this sounds very high-brow, Tesauro’s approach is decidedly chill. “Does wine make me want to put a tie on or take a tie off?” he asks. “A great wine event shouldn’t be about a bunch of egos. It’s about discovery and stumbling. We want people to be challenged in their palate, but we also want them to have confidence. I want people to feel comfortable saying, ‘I don’t know.’”
It’s like taking a mini-vacay
Presenting wines from 12 different regions, Tesauro plans to whisk attendees to places far-flung and as near as Virginia. “Drinking wine is like getting a passport stamp. It takes me to another place,” he says. This weekend, Tesauro is most excited to introduce attendees to his favorites from Virginia, dry wines from Portugal and even sweet varieties from South American. “I don’t think anyone should ever apologize for liking sweet wines,” he says. “It’s ok to raise a glass and say, ‘I like moscato!’”
It’s a great date idea. Or, if you’re single… 
Wine Riot is both drinking and an activity — it’s the best date you could possibly ask for. “And if no one’s dancing, I just might have to start that,” Tesauro says. One of the joys of Wine Riot, he confessed, is tracking the #WineRiot hashtag on Instgram and “watching the cliques form and the romances that spin off when people connect over wine. The next think you know, they’re at Alden & Harlow making out.” 
The Bubbly Bar
Yes, you read it right — free-flowing champagne. “It’s the dynamic hub of it all,” says Tesauro. “Yes, you’re going to walk around the room, but if you want to fill your cup, enjoy the energy and get belly-up to the bar with a bunch of laughing strangers, go to the bar and get champagne.”
You’ll be in the hands of a true expert
Tesauro has written about wine for The New York Times, Esquire, Travel + Leisure, he’s written two books on this stuff and his passion for wine is palpable. “I like changing people’s minds,” he says. “When someone says to me, ‘Oh, I don’t like riesling,’ I’m like ‘Come with me.’ I like to find that burly beer-belly dude who says ‘I don’t drink pink wine,’ and when he walks out he’s like, ‘Tell me the name of that rosé again.’”
If You Go
Wine Riot
April 21 and 22 
The Castle at Park Plaza
Tickets are $65 and attendees must be 21
​wineriot.com​