Wine Stroll delights patrons with sophisticated evening

Ranging from dark reds to sweet, delicate whites, delicious local wines were just a part of the Evening in Autumn Wine Stroll. Hosted by the Geneseo Merchants Association on Oct. 3, the event also gave Geneseo students and community members a taste of several local businesses.

A leisurely walk down Main Street allowed attendees to visit 11 participating businesses and sample wine from eight wineries. Each winery offered a selection for all palettes alongside an array of fun snacks. This was the Merchants Association’s third wine stroll on Main Street.

The event also featured performances by student and local musicians and a cappella groups. Art by Geneseo-area artists hung in some of the businesses and was offered for sale––contributing to the classy atmosphere of the evening. Tickets were $10 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Chances & Changes Inc., a program supporting victims of domestic violence.

As a newly legal 21-year-old student, I strolled to the starting line with few inhibitions and almost no developed taste. I knew little more than the fact that wine is made from grapes and some of it tastes pretty good. I considered the simplest and cheapest Riesling available to be my safest and only choice.

Each business on the itinerary offered something different that left me surprised at every juncture––every new setting was memorable. In the midst of the homemade soaps and beauty products at Brows, Brazilians & Bikinis, I enjoyed raspberry and chocolate-covered strawberry wine from Victoriansburg Wine Estate. I ate vanilla puppy chow and shopped for antiques at the Not Dot Shop while drinking mild reds from Deer Run Winery. To finish off the tour, I stopped at Touch of Grayce to enjoy jambalaya and a sample of Ithaca Apricot Stone IPA from the Village Tavern.

As the makeup of Main Street has transformed this fall, it was great to see businesses continuing to work together to create an event that was altogether awesome.

Member of the Geneseo Merchants Association and manager at Touch of Grayce Alyssa Cope said that the objective of the wine strolls is both to create community in Geneseo and to encourage people to visit and shop at local businesses. She added that student turnout was high for this particular wine stroll.

“We appreciate the student [attendance],” she said. “A lot of students were there right at 4 [p.m.] and ready to go.”

The event was organized to parallel wine strolls in other Finger Lakes region towns like Caledonia, New York and Dansville, New York.

Having wandered Main Street with students and community members alike to sample a surprising variety of wines, I think I might be developing some sort of taste for finer drinks—or at least a wine-oriented sense of adventure. And with that, I may never look at a can of Keystone Light the same way again.

“I think the wine stroll is a nice opportunity for college students to drink in a more adult setting,” Cope said.

The Merchants Association is currently planning wine strolls for 2015, which may take place later than this year’s 4-7 p.m. timeslot. The organization has selected May 1, July 31 and Dec. 4 for the 2015 season.