The wine lovers among you are sure to have dreamed about visiting a winery. But as exciting as the thought of tasting all those amazing wines is, it’s not uncommon for first-timers to feel apprehensive and even a little intimidated.
One thing you definitely shouldn’t worry about is your level of wine knowledge. Wineries pride themselves on welcoming everyone from beginners to experts. That said, there are some expectations about wine tasting etiquette that you’ll need to learn before you attend.
Not sure how to act on your first wine tour? Keep reading to find out how to go wine tasting at wineries.
Avoid Wearing Fragrances
A key part of wine tour etiquette that many first-timers might not consider is how important it is to avoid wearing any fragrances. Smell is a huge part of the experience so filling the air with heavy perfumes and overpowering colognes is a big faux pas.
Keep an Open Mind
One of our top wine tasting tips is to take the opportunity to expand your tastes and challenge your perceptions of certain wines. Even if you’ve yet to try a sweet white wine you liked, take a sip of whatever’s being offered. You never know, it could end up being your favorite.
Don’t Be Afraid to Spit, Dump, or Swallow
One of the more surprising wine tasting tips is that it’s perfectly fine to dump any wine after you’ve had a taste of it, even if you like it.
But the bigger question is often what to do about the wine once it’s in your mouth. Many people are reluctant to spit but all the pros do it so you’ll be in good company. Spitting is also the best option if you plan your visit to include several tasting rooms. That said, don’t be afraid to swallow if you’re only sampling a handful of wines. After all, you’re meant to be having fun!
Tasting wines on an empty stomach is a surefire way to get tipsy, which is a definite no-no when it comes to wine tour etiquette. Even if you plan on spitting out most of the wines you try, it’s a good idea to eat a light meal beforehand. During the tasting session, you should also snack on crackers or plain bread to help cleanse your palate and drink water to stay hydrated.
While nobody’s going to quiz you on the wines you’ve tried, it’s worth noting down your favorites for future reference. Some wineries provide a tasting sheet so bring a pen to mark off those you liked or use your phone to take photos and write notes.
Buy Wine, But Don’t Haggle
Many people are unsure whether buying wine is a compulsory part of wine tour etiquette. It’s not – although since many operators wave the tasting fee when you buy two or three bottles, most people tend to make a purchase. But, under no circumstances should you attempt to haggle for a deal. It’s wine, not a new car.
Wine Tasting Etiquette for First-Timers
A lot of wine tasting etiquette may seem like common sense or good manners. But you’d be surprised how many people make the mistake of wearing perfume, fishing for discounts, or getting drunk.
Of course, now you know how to go wine tasting at wineries, you won’t be the one making those typical first-timer mistakes.
For more travel tips and lifestyle insights, be sure to check out our other blog posts!