Tracy’s downtown cannot get enough strolling, it seems, as its business group launches its first spring wine and cheese event tonight.
It’s replacing the downtown’s beer bash, which unfortunately appealed to a rougher crowd of partiers. Merchants and business owners who contribute to the Downtown Tracy Business Improvement Area had a right to complain if the customers they market to weren’t holding beer glasses.
However, changing alcoholic beverages — from beer to wine — doesn’t necessarily preclude rowdies. Some adults tonight will roam 10th Street and Central Avenue with the intent to get drunk. We urge them to take along a sober designated driver.
We applauded Diana Koron, DTBIA executive director, for taking the wine strolls to a popular level. Surroundings do play a psychological role in controlling a crowd. But one rude incident could turn this wine event as sour as the beer stroll.
Visitors should remember to pick and choose their wines to sample wherever they go. A sip of all the wines would be the equivalent of consuming five bottles. An even more stunning fact is that a visit to just a half-block of storefronts tonight will equal drinking a bottle of wine.
Like the wine strolls, there is a place for a beer festival in Tracy; it’s Lincoln Park in October, under the auspices of a local service organization or the Tracy Chamber of Commerce. The spotlight should be on Tracy’s German heritage, not how many six-packs can be consumed.
Tonight’s spring wine stroll will focus on three Tracy winemakers: Ramon Rios, Herve Chevaillier of La Bonne Vie Cellars and Bill Prioste of Windmill Ridge. Besides this trio’s offerings, there will be more than 50 other wines poured at downtown storefronts. The wines are generally from Lodi and Livermore Valley wineries, but also from other California appellations.
Hosting tonight’s spinoff illustrates how important the fall Tracy Wine Stroll has been to our downtown merchants’ bottom line. We hope it will be duplicated tonight when the downtown visitors return soon to shop, sans wine glasses.