Wine Tasting Etiquette's For First Timers

By Niyati Shinde on Jan 08, 2019
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Planning to go wine tasting? A wonderful experience, wine tasting is probably one of the most leisurely and tranquil activities a traveller can undertake. However, as relaxing as it may sound, there are some important pointers and etiquettes you need to keep in mind to get the most out of your winetastic journey.


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There are many wineries that are open to the general public seven days a week. But there are some which are open to public only during weekends or on specific days or by appointment only. Please call ahead to enquire about the same and do book a slot for you. During busy weekends especially, calling ahead to reserve private tastings is essential. This goes for groups too. Most of the wineries need to make special arrangements for groups larger than ten.  Do let the appropriate personnel know about your group’s size.


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The key to enjoying your wine tasting sojourn is to plan it in advance. Do your homework- about the wines you would be tasting as well as the region you will be visiting. It would be good if you acculture your palate to the grapes and the wines you would be sipping on- it’s always helpful to know what to expect.

If visiting with kids:

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It seems like a fun idea to turn the wine tasting visit into a family outing. It can turn into a cheerful activity for the entire family. But, ensure that the winery is a kid-friendly one. There are a few wineries that have children’s play areas on their premises along with having special meals and soft drinks for kids.  

Plan a trip to Wine Country with the help of our California trip planner.


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Wearing comfortable yet elegant clothing is recommended to be in tune with this sophisticated activity. Many vineyard owners also mark elegant clothing as a sign of respect for their wineries. Make sure to take weather-appropriate gear (hats, umbrellas etc.) especially if you intend on going on vineyard treks and picnics.
While visiting tasting rooms, an important point to remember is to not wear a heavily scented perfume or cologne. External scents can overpower the subtle aromas in wine. This in turn might interfere with your and others’ wine tasting experience.

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Wine tasting etiquette:

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It goes without saying that you are going on a wine tasting journey to have fun. Most places prefer visitors to just enjoy the wine and keep snobbishness at bay. And please don’t be intimidated by the whole process. Here’s what to do once the winemaker pours you a glass:

- Lightly swirl the wine.

- Inhale deeply before taking a sip, take in the wine’s subtle aroma.

- Take a tiny sip, swirl the wine around in your mouth and enjoy the burst of its rich taste.

- Don’t ignore the various cheeses and snacks that have been laid out for you. Nibble on these and accentuate the wine’s taste.

- Remember, a glass of white wine should be held by the stem so as to keep your hand from warming the wine. Red wine can be held either way- by the glass or stem.  

- Taste the lighter wines before you move on to heavier wines like bold reds. Save the sweet wines for last. This ensures that the taste of the bold and sweet wines don’t overpower the taste of the delicate ones.

Follow these tips to ensure a smooth wine tasting experience. If you have liked a particular wine, do buy a bottle or two from the stores that most wineries have on their premises. Here’s to having a memorable wine tasting experience. Cheers! 


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