Wine Tasting - Five Tips for Wine Tasting Room Etiquette

By: Phillip Hofman

First time wine tasters may be a little confused when first entering the tasting room. While wine tastings should be a casual affair, there is a set of rules to follow. Read the five tips below carefully to make sure you do not commit any newbie wine tasting mistakes. 1. You do not have to try all the wines. Some people go to wine tastings and only try the red wines, only the white wines, only the sparkling wines, etc. Do not feel embarrassed if you choose not to try the white wine or the dessert wine. Wine tastings are tailored to each individual wine taster. They will not care if you do not taste all the wines. If you are doing a wine tasting at a vineyard, they will want you to feel comfortable and only taste the wines that you feel comfortable tasting. Some people are also only interested in tasting certain varietals. Everybody has different tastes and different objectives in regards to wine tastings. 2. Do not ask for a second taste unless you are interested in purchasing a wine. It can be considered rude to ask for a refill unless you are actually interested in purchasing said wine. It is called a wine tasting for a reason. You only taste the wine. You do not drink glass by glass as you might at your home or in a restaurant. This is a common wine tasting newbie mistake. 3. You do not have to drink all the wine in your glass. You may spit out the wine in the designated spit bucket, or you may drink as much as you wish and then dump the rest in the bucket. Many experienced wine tasters choose to drink little or not drink any at all in order to keep their taste buds and nose free from any alcoholic effects. 4. A neutral food is often given to clear the palate after each tasting. Be sure to eat the crackers, chocolate, or whatever is given to you. You will be able to taste each wine more effectively, and differentiate the current wine from the previous one. 5. Most tasting rooms will require you to pay a fee. If you are a couple, you may be able to pay one free and drink out of the same glass. Be sure you ask your host or hostess if this is okay. Make sure you are not freeloading off of your partner. Also some wine tastings have different fees for different levels of wine. Some have a smaller fee for the main line of wines and a larger for reserve wines. Make sure you are clear on which line of wines you wish to try so that you do not overpay.

About the Author:

Philip Hofman is a New York wine blogger who works with a wine club that specializes in wine tastings in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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