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Posted on Jan 16, 2012 in Dear Diary, Races | 16 comments

Will Walk for Wine

Yesterday, I participated in the race to end all races.

Starting Line

1K, 1 glass, dozens of wines to taste. I know, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

1K Wine Walk

At times, I didn’t think we’d be able to make it.

Will Walk For WineReema

But when the going got tough, we simply drank more wine, rallied, and were inevitably able to (drunkenly) cross that finish line! Huzzah!

The Longest Stretch

When Reema told me about the Washington Wine Academy’s 1K Wine Walk, I was almost too excited for words. Not only was it a wine tasting event, but it was structured like a race! Sign me up!


The premise, as you can imagine, was really cute. You signed up for a specific “heat”, got 20 (!) wine tasting tickets, a bib, t-shirt, and wine glass, then wound your way through the Shops at Crystal City (I was grateful that it was indoor!) to hit up the Wine Stations that had various samplings of vino and food.

Wine Station

The event was on both Saturday and Sunday, with heats starting every half-hour throughout the entire day. We had chosen a thoroughly un-busy 4:30 heat, which made getting to the starting and t-shirt area a little bit confusing at first. Once we figured things out, however, it was nice not having to deal with tons of people (I’m sure Saturday was much crazier — which can also be tons of fun though!)

Duck Pond

All of the “wine stations” were set up in various empty shop spaces, so they were out of the way of the main walkway. Most of the Crystal City Shops seemed to be closed on Sunday (not sure if they’re closed on the weekends in general?) so there weren’t too many pedestrians being mowed over by thirsty winos, haha. I found quite a few wines that were really delightful, and enjoyed sampling them. My only complaint is that a lot of the wine stations seemed to have run out of several of their wines, which seemed a little unfair since we signed up for our heat times in advance. I still got sufficiently tipsy though, so I guess that all’s well that ends well, haha.


A few of the stations were sponsored by restaurants so there was a small spread of food available too. I was admittedly a little disappointed that there wasn’t more available though (most of the stations just had big bowls of white baguette slices). One of the sponsoring restaurants was Jaleo, so I did get to try a little egg tostada type thing from there (delicious!) and there was also a station set-up by Cabot Cheese, which you know I destroyed.

The SpreadLibations

While the food and wine on the actual “race” course may not have been plentiful, the final wine station that you got to once you crossed the finish line was hopping with both. There were 10 wine tasting stations there, as well as a buffet line of cheese, grapes, nuts, and candy. There was also a DJ pumping out tunes (Party ROCK!) and lots of red-faced “racers” getting down on the dance floor. A really fun way to end the event!

Champeen!Jump for Vino!

Despite having a few complaints, I still really loved this event. It was a fun, creative spin on a traditional wine tasting, and given my love for wine and my, er, masochistic interest in racing, it felt like it was made specifically for me! The $40 entry fee seemed a little high at first, but given that I received a t-shirt, wine glass, and TWENTY wine tasting tickets (I definitely wasn’t able to use all of them), I’d say it was well worth it. I would definitely do this event again, although next time I’d probably want to pick an earlier and more popular/bustling heat, and go on Saturday instead of Sunday.

Have any of you ever participated in an event like this? They are also doing a 1K Beer Walk this coming weekend (the 21st and 22nd) if you’re interested!


  1. Haha, so will this race go on your list of PRs? One time I tried to do a bar crawl and only ended up making it to one bar (uh, the whole group, not just me, haha). However, the time I did a cupcake crawl my friend and I ended up sprinting ahead of the group and finished early. I was in a sugar coma for about a week after that, but it was pretty delicious.

    • Hahaha, I would be happy to try to best this PR time and time again, that’s for sure! A cupcake crawl sounds AMAZING.

  2. This is my kind of race! I’ve done a 5K bar crawl before but it was a normal 5K with a bar crawl afterward. Still fun though.

  3. Whoa. I’m totally jealous of your weekend 😉

    I need to see if Tampa has anything like this!

  4. Awesome race idea! Does the first place finisher [aka quickest drinker] get more drink tickets?! There should be more food/ drink races 😛

  5. That sounds so awesome!! I’ll have to check it out and see if we have anything like that in Phoenix!

  6. I love this idea!! I’m going to share it with my old non-profit employer. They currently hold a ton of strolling food and wine events, so something like this would be right up their alley. Looks like you gals had a blast!

  7. Love this as an awesome idea for a wine tasting/race! Looks like you had a lot of fun!

  8. This is an awesome idea. I would be down for the beer walk, I can’t really get down with the vino though I have tried. Too bad it is so far away. Over a whole river!

  9. LOVE THIS! I wonder if there is anything like this in st louis……. 😉

  10. I wish they had one of those in Columbia- sounds like a blast!

  11. This is awesome and I was sad to find out about this after the fact.. I never saw a single sign posted in Crystal Mall and I work here!!! geeze! The beer one sounds amazing and I would LOVE to do that.. perhaps I could wrangle up some friends for that.. but oh man the wine? I need to put this on my calendar so I remember it for next year!

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