“Always try the wine twice,” are words of wisdom from wine sales consultant Krystal Myrick.

Myrick represents Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits, which will be among four distributors at the 7th annual El Paso Wine Fest in Downtown Oct. 19.

“My No. 1 advice for anyone who tries wine is to taste it twice before forming an opinion. Some wines are high in tannins and others in acid. When you try it twice your second taste always adjusts your pallet,” said Myrick, who’ll participate in the festival for the second time this year.

The El Paso Wine Fest, the premier wine festival in the region, will feature at least 400 different wines from more than 100 wineries. Several area restaurants will also showcase their cuisines at the festival, including Ruli’s International Kitchen, Park Tavern, Taft Diaz, 150 Sunset, Anson 11, Dragon Wine & Sushi Bistro and Entrecôte.

As a precursor to event, three wine tastings and dinners are being held across the region – something Myrick said she’s looking forward to.

“Some vendors come down to support their wines and will have wine dinners at local restaurants,” she said. “Wine dinners this year are a big thing, definitely keep a look out,” 

Natalia Zea, the Food and Beverage Manger at Taft-Díaz at the Stanton House, looks at the El Paso Wine Fest as an opportunity for El Pasoans to learn about fine wines.

“My parents always wanted me to be a able to pair a good wine with good food and recognize different scents in wine which led me to pursue my passion for wine,” said Zea, who was employed by Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and wrote for the Wine Business Monthly. 

“I was in a big and exploited market and now living here I get leave my footprint,” said Zea, who has her W-SET level 2 certificate and completed her first round of Court of Sommeliers, or wine stewards. The court awards certifications in four levels – Level 1, Level 2 Certified, Level 3 Advanced and Level 4 Master.

The event is put on by the El Paso Rotary Club, which donates proceeds of the festival to projects and nonprofits in the El Paso area. 

Last year, a record 1,000 people attended; and more than 1,200 people are expected this year. 

“I give a lot of credit to Chris Lane and the organizers of this event,” Zea said, referring to last year’s festival chair and a certified Level 1 sommelier.

“They give people that same opportunity to learn about wine.”