Wine enthusiasts or, more accurately, free wine enthusiasts flooded into the Hotel Erwin Tuesday night for WTFLA's first free wine event, kicking off a summer of free events. Though the lines to receive four one-ounce wine samplings were long, those who did imbibe warmed up pretty quickly after the sun set on Venice beach. “The turnout was insane,” said Leah Hennessy, founder of WTFLA. Once the rooftop bar overflowed with people, Byron and Cambria winemakers improvised, taking some of the guests downstairs for a more intimate tasting experience on the hotel patio. “That's what WTFLA is all about,” Hennessy said.
Over 250 people showed up for the event, about 100 more than expected. Once Hennessy discovered people were being turned away from the event she immediately started distributing five-dollar off coupons for wine tasting classes offered through their website. Some people are intimidated by wine shops and wine tastings, she explained. And though she still gets overwhelmed from time to time and attends educational classes with the Court of Master Sommeliers, the entertainment business veteran considers herself not a wine connoisseur or wino, but a “professional drinker.”
“If you're a snob, you're going to turn us off,” she explained. So, for those of you who want to learn more about wines, or simply drink, WTFLA is offering several free and inexpensive events throughout the summer including a monthly half-off wine tasting at CitySip starting June 5th, featuring “quirky, rare, and just plain weird wine offerings.”