In 2005, Tyler Balliet, founder and CEO of Second Glass, which sponsors wine tasting events like the touring Wine Riot, moved to Boston “randomly” after a period living in France and traveling around Europe. He landed a job as a delivery driver at Bauer Wine & Spirits on Newbury Street and quickly came to a realization. “I noticed that there were a lot of young people in the Boston area that bought wine regularly but they didn’t know a whole lot about it. Working at a wine shop, I was trying to learn about wine and I realized how difficult it was just to get small amounts of information,” says Balliet, 32. “So there just weren’t resources out there. I started meeting wine producers and I realized they had all the answers to all these questions and there just wasn’t a good place we could interact.”
Along with partner Morgan First, Balliet has seen Wine Riot grow from 30 people to more than 3,000 for each tasting, with stops in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and more. This year’s tour kicks off with a sold out event April 5-6 at the Park Plaza Castle.