Having finally recovered from a great weekend of food, wine, spirits and fun at the third annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked I started thinking about a strange phenomenon that occurred.
Chilly, misty weather on Saturday greeted the two day festival on the beach. Sunday was sunny and perfect, however, most of the tickets were sold for Saturday. The weather forced attendees to cram into the food and wine tents, rather than enjoy the ample outdoor seating and standing space.
Individual lines to get food samples somehow turned into a giant que around the entire perimeter of the two giant tents. I kept thinking this would never go over in Miami, at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. I wondered if people were just polite or did they not have a clue that the tent and tables of samples were wide open; that queuing up as they were, was actually slowing down the entire process.
There is also a kind of unspoken etiquette at events like this. After you get the taste and a brief description of what you are trying, you get out of the way for the next person. This never ending line caused the tables to be blocked by people with full glasses and plates.
Most people seemed OK with this, after all they were still drinking on the beach in February. But it was too restricting for me so I stayed in the middle of the party and when empty, kindly inquired if I could reach through for a pour, since everyone around the table was already full.
Always looking for the lesson in things, I came to this conclusion:
At times we get so accustomed to following the crowd we don't look up to see there is a wide open tent in front of us. Cheers.