This past weekend was the Washington D.C. International Wine & Food Festival, an event where you wander the Reagan Building with an empty wine glass, trying to get people to pour wine into it. I stopped by yesterday hoping to learn a lot about wine. Here’s what I learned:

1. Be aggressive. This place is packed with people, and they’re not above pushing you out of their way for a splash of Pinot Noir.

2. Beware of women’s purses. They look innocent but are actually disguised weapons. One quick turn and even the most petite woman can send you stumbling away from a table. Where she is now enjoying a sip of wine.

3. Bring an old person with you. Even if you are able to maneuver yourself to the front-and-center of a table, if an old person appears, you will be trumped. I’m sure it’s assumed that they have more money than you. Actually, I’m sure they do have more money than you.

4. Look like you have money. Older people will always look wealthier. But don’t discount the possibility of looking like a trust-fund kid. I recommend a single strand of pearls for the ladies and a blazer for the gentlemen. It doesn’t hurt to drop lines like, “Oh! Wouldn’t this Chardonnay taste lovely on a summer day on the boat?”

5. Don’t get hammered. Don’t be that guy. That guy accosted my boyfriend and me. He wanted to know why my boyfriend is so tall. And he said it’s really important to buy good vinegar (but hard to find). And he said the port he was drinking was the best fucking thing in the world. And if you saved it for 20 years, it would be orgasmic.

6. Try the port. The best table was the table where I tried a sherry, a tawny, and a ruby. Enlightening and delicious.