Keep a Small Crew
Rolling 12 people deep to a winery or tasting room can seem like a good idea, but really, large groups can easily detract from some of the most unique benefits wine tasting has to offer. Tastings are an opportunity to expand your palate, wine knowledge, (and with any luck, your home bar), but the best part is the intimate way in which you’re able to do these things. Being able to stand at the bar and discuss with the staff each individual wine, your preferences, and the backstory of the winery is one of the most rewarding parts of wine tasting. Additionally, large groups can be distracting to other guests and typically, a tasting bar is not equipped to handle more than a few smaller parties at a time.
Everyone has their preferences, but don’t let it dictate all of your tasting experiences! You may have a more expansive palate than you even realize, and you’ll never discover that one wine that finally makes you a “red person” if you’re not trying them! Each winery has unique products, so there is never a shortage of delicious new opportunities in the world of wine. Give the whole tasting menu a go and you might be pleasantly surprised at what tickles your fancy.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, this is the beauty of wine tasting! You get a one-on-one opportunity to learn about wine, the winemaking process, different varietals, and local wine regions. Ask questions about the wines themselves, pairings, and anything else you might be curious about. Whether you’re a wine novice or a full-blown connoisseur, the staff is there to answer your questions!
Have Basic Etiquette
This probably goes without saying, but we’re saying it. Be polite and use the same etiquette that you would at a restaurant. Avoid getting too intoxicated by pacing yourself, drinking water, and utilizing the spit bucket (not every single wine has to be consumed—especially if you’re doing multiple tastings)! You don’t want to be the person who gets too drunk and ruins the fun.
This seems may seem like a no-brainer, but wine tasting should be a truly fun experience! Wine has a universal presence, and brings together people from all different countries, cultures, and creeds. Whether you’re tasting with friends, family, or someone special, it’s an opportunity to relax, try something new, and have a blast. So, get out there and get tasting!