• Caitlin McAninch

Stomp til Ya Drop: Eldorado Grape Stomp

On Wednesday my mom called me, and was so pumped that the radio station she listens to was selecting one last group of two to compete in a grape stomping competition. She was confident that Dylan and I would have a good enough little story to get on. As in, we’re newly engaged. She was calling in over and over again. I called the radio station around 100 times and so did my co-worker. Never got through. Whatever.

On Thursday I was getting ready for work when I get a text from my mom, “Connie and Bill are going to call you within 30 minutes.”

WHAT! Somehow, my mom got through, told them I deserved the prize, and they decided they wanted to talk to me. The prize for the grape stomp competition was 96 pulls on the Mega Million Machine inside the Eldorado Casino. Of course I need a million dollars to pay for my wedding!

On my way to work they actually called me! I did a short interview and within 15 minutes I heard it on the radio!! Right after I got off the phone I called Dylan and he didn’t answer! It was absolutely perfect though, because when he called back I was listening to my own voice on the radio and was able to have him hear it, too! Bill and Connie, the hosts of the radio show, told me they would call me in a few hours if I was selected.

Around 9:15 am I got the call! WE WERE IN!

But we had to have costumes!

So my mom and I spent about an hour on Thursday night throwing Greek God costumes together. Made sense to me, I mean, the Romans or Greek invented grape stomping, right? Then, I headed home to research how to grape stomp.

Bring and early this morning Dylan and I got up and started getting ready. My phone informed me that it was 30 degrees outside. Togas were definitely going to suck.

We headed to the Eldorado for the competition with long sleeves and pants under our togas. It was so great to see the other two groups that dressed as Mario and Luigi and a Champagne bottle. And Connie was there as a bowl of spaghetti (see above)!

The main purpose of this blog is to share how awesome my morning was, but also to share some tips on this whole grape stomping thing. Because honestly, there isn’t much info out there.

So when it’s that early in the morning, the grapes are freezing. Luckily for me I was an idiot that wore flip flops, so my feet were numb to the cold. Unlike the other two contestants that were freezing once they got in the barrels!

A kiss for good luck...

The actual stomping isn’t that hard. I mean, one contestant was going super-fast, the girl next to me was going pretty quick, but I had read it was all about swirling then stomping, swirling and stomping. To push the juice towards the hole.

After about a minute we had a significant amount of juice in the barrel, the issue was our filter that covers the hole, to block stems and chunks, was getting blocked. Blocked to the point NO juice was coming out. Which means Dylan was NOT a good mucker… So, we can blame him :)

He said that because he noticed juice pouring out of the other two competitors’ barrels, he felt like he had to push all the smashed grapes and juices towards our hole, but that’s what clogged the filter. Which we now know, is no good at all.

My only real tips on grape stomping is keep going. Don’t slow down and keep mushing the pile of grapes. Like, even if you stomp on a section, and it looks smushed, there are still some full grapes in there. I kept thinking I had already gotten a section, but then I would realize there were a lot of grapes hiding under the juice.

But seriously, if you do a competition like this, pay attention to the filter. Because even after the competition ended, we had a lot of juice in that barrel, and literally nothing was coming out. Totally clogged.

Even though we came in last place, we still had a great time. We had a huge group come out to support us including parents, my aunt and cousins, my entire office. It was just great!

And as a third place winner, we got tickets to the Eldorado Italian Festival Buffet, so you’ll find me there on Saturday!

The Eldorado Italian Festival is held every October in front of the Eldorado Hotel and Casino. Here you can sample some of the most delicious pasta sauces, see live music and watch grape stompers. It's an event you won't want to miss!

#Reno #Seasonal