Boston Wine Riot-Gonzo Style by Ari Friedland

IMG_2569Fathered by Hunter S Thomson in works like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, gonzo journalism is a craft that relies on inserting oneself directly into the story that is being reported and amplifying it through unpredictable and sometimes irresponsible behavior. As a longtime staff photographer for The Second Glass, I felt it was my solemn duty to cover the Boston Wine Riot, which took place this year on April 5th and 6th at the Park Plaza Castle, with the ghost of old Hunter as my mentor. Camera in one hand and a tasting glass in the other, I entered the fray determined to acquire a strong buzz, take 1000 photos, and accost as many strangers as possible. And while there were many excellent wines and folk distributed throughout the room, I found myself returning regularly to the Quady table.

I came first for the people; two friends of mine from Boston were there, and were skillfully pouring a range of drinks I’d never imagined existed. Shortly thereafter, they were joined by other pourers (including Dana Fares) whom I did not know. Prime accosting opportunity! Soon I was behind the table, sassing everyone within a two-meter radius and keeping my glass in a state of perpetual “tasting”.

I learned a few things at the Quady table that night. First- seltzer bottles that accidentally fizz all over the place are still satisfyingly funny and embarrassing. Second- no matter how fast my (old and new) friends mixed and poured their drinks, the line of people waiting to try them seemed to stay at a constant size… as though one of the mathematical functions of the universe was to keep supply and demand always in perfect balance. Third, and most important- Quady’s muscat and vermouth cocktails are really, really tasty.

The three that were on offer were all delicious and quite different from each other. The Essensia Spritzer was a light romp, a 1:3 Essensia to seltzer refreshing fizz-tail. The Elysium Tonic had more body and balance, with equal parts Elysium and tonic. Finally, The Vya classic cocktail was simultaneously bold and refreshing, with citrus notes that resonated deeply with the arriving spring season.

Kudos to the Second Glass organizers, to the winemakers of Quady and the other 30 vendors in attendance, to the mixologists like Dana, and to Hunter for a truly gonzo weekend.


Check out Ari’s photographes of the Bost Wine Riot at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s