Tyrone businesses to host wine-tasting walk Friday

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And if it boosts the economy, all the better.

Tyrone Events and Promotions will host a wine-tasting event called “I Walk the Wine in Tyrone” on Friday evening.

“Other towns have been offering things like that, and we have in our midst in town two certified wine judges – Ivan and Mary Riggle,” said Tyrone Events and Promotions president Sue Griep. “We thought it would be fun to get them involved and showcase our businesses and bring people in from out of town.”

“I Walk the Wine,” set for 5 to 8 p.m., will feature a wine “walk” with 12 wineries offering tastings in 12 businesses. The walk will be held on 10th Street, from Logan to Pennsylvania Avenues.

“The wineries will be located in the businesses,” Griep said. “We give you a map at registration and you can visit the wineries. There will be three bands who will be performing along the walk (and) there will be winery games that you can participate in.”

Participants will get a free souvenir wine glass and can buy their favorite wines on site. Finger foods will be provided and a bottle of “I Walk the Wine” commemorative wine will be sold for $12 a bottle. VIP ticketholders get a bottle of Unstoppable Tyrone wine and entry to the event at 4 p.m. But if you don’t already have a VIP ticket, you’re out of luck.

“All our VIP tickets are sold out,” Griep said. “And we’re up to close to 500 tickets sold, if not more.”

The Riggles are a key part of the event, she explained.

“We’ve never had anything like this so we’re relying heavily on our two wine judges,” Griep said.

With that in mind, Tyrone Events and Promotions has set up a pair of classes taught by the two.

“At 5:30, we’re going to be talking about how to choose a wine for yourself and at 6:30, we’re going to be talking about making wine at home,” Mary Riggle said.

Participants will also paint their own wine glass.

The Riggles, a retired couple who live in Tipton, have been certified by the American Wine Society.

“We graduated (the certification course) in 2009,” Ivan said. “We’ve been judging for nine years, we’ve been graduates since 2009.”

The pair judge local, regional, national and international competitions, on both amateur and commercial levels. They say they judge 8 to 10 competitions a year. They recently judged at state fairs in both New York and New Jersey. Mary is also the chairperson for the American Wine Society Amateur Winemaking National Competition to be held Oct. 28-29 in Concord, North Carolina.

“The whole idea for (judging) amateurs is to be constructive and help them if they’re having any problems,” Ivan said. “The idea is to help amateur winemakers get better, and that’s helping in our experience in our area.”

Tickets are $15 in advance by calling the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce at 684-0736 or on the day of the event for $20.

Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick is at 946-7466.