Dos & Don’ts Of Wine Tastings

Posted by Barterhouse on September 9, 2020

Wine tastings are a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening. They offer you a chance to flirt with new wines and discover what pleases your palate. Many ‘connoisseurs’ don’t know this, but there’s more to a wine tasting than swirling a glass and pretending to taste apricot. If you aren’t sure of the unwritten rules, don’t worry. We are here to help. Preparing a bit in advance will help you enjoy the wine tasting experience itself and ensure that you look like you know what you are doing.

Don’t wear perfume or cologne
Although this seems like a no-brainer, you would be surprised. If you are wearing a scent, it can alter the taste of the wines you are sampling, thereby tainting an otherwise pure experience. It also affects the tasters around you.

Do try all the wines offered
A wine tasting is meant to expand your palate. Drop your preconceived notions of what type of wines you do or don’t like and embrace the adventure. Usually, both reds and whites are offered, and although you may think you have a preference, now is the time to experiment.

Don’t act like a know-it-all
Many employees who run the tastings are not as well-versed as you think they are. Spouting off your wine knowledge might fall on deaf ears. Besides, a wine tasting is a very individualized experience. Asking questions is fine, but save the lectures for another time.

Do spit or dump wine if you need to
Depending on how many wineries you are visiting or how long you stay, it is okay to spit or dump wine, so you don’t get overserved. Being sloppy drunk at the wine tasting is a bad look.

Don’t wear white 
You don’t want to end up looking like a crime scene. White dress shirts and getups often end up covered in red by the end of the event. Don’t let that be you. Wear dark colors should you accidentally get elbowed or adopt clumsy hands.

Do buy some wine
Many wineries will waive the tasting fee if you purchase a bottle or two. And, it is just good practice. Wineries go to a lot of trouble and expense hosting events. Buying a bottle is the right thing to do.

Don’t hog the space
When the room gets busy, be sure to move away after you receive your pour, so other tasters have a chance to try the wine. Be courteous to your fellow wine enthusiasts.

Do leave a tip if the chance arises
Some wineries do not take tips for tastings because it is “not a bar,” but if there is a tip jar, make sure to put some money in it. Anytime employees need to deal with the drinking public, they deserve a little extra cash.

Don’t haggle
This cheapens the experience for you and those around you. Some wineries will offer you a deal based on what you enjoyed and how you behaved all night, but asking for a bargain or claiming you work in the industry is not the way to go.

Do ask for a second pour if you are truly interested in purchasing wine
But don’t go overboard. Getting drunk is not the goal here. However, a second pour can help you discern which wines you like best, and those are the wines you can purchase.

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