Photo by Marcin Cymmer

Although the world of wine is not nearly as elusive and highbrow as it once was, it can still be overwhelming walking into a store for the first time. How do you know a Pinot Blanc  from a Pinot Gris?  Are Shiraz and Syrah the same grape? Is all sparkling wine considered champagne?

Photo by Marcin Cymmer

Like most food and wine, the questions and answers are endless—unless you start a riot. That’s exactly what Tylar Balliet and Morgan First did. In 2009, the pair created events in major metropolitan areas.  Nine years later, it’s still going strong.

Earlier this month, it touched down at the Brooklyn Expo Center. Attendees were encouraged to not only learn but also sample hundreds of moderately priced wines from around the world.

Photo by Marcin Cymmer

Although all are welcome, it is decidedly clear that Balliet and First are targeting a younger, millennial demographic. Smart move.

Collage Group, a Maryland based marketing firm, found that many aren’t particular about type, variety, or brand before they go shopping. They also learned that a majority of new wine drinkers pick bottles based on labeling. This provides a great opportunity for wineries to win over loyal followers.

The most important element, it seems, is to make the wine consuming experience a fun one. For that, guests can decorate their own wine glass, apply tattoos, and interact with many of the onsite experts who are happy to educate newbies to the various rays of alcoholic sunshine.

To learn more about wine riot, visit