If you’re a wine lover, there’s no greater thrill than visiting your favorite vineyard to take part in wine tasting. Whether you’re on vacation or just escaping the old routine for an afternoon, here are some tips for getting the most out of your tasting room adventures.

Photo of a wine tasting sign. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Vineyard tasting sign. FWT Magazine.

Tip #1: Ask Questions

Any wine tasting room server worth their salt loves to chat about wine in general and their employer’s wines in particular.

Ask about the winery’s owner and history, what kind of grapes they grow and how they tend the vines.

Ask your server which wineries they like to visit and why. What restaurants do they enjoy? This is a great way to get the ‘inside scoop’ on what’s hot in a wine region.

Wine is a bit of an infinite topic, so enquire away!

Tip #2: Be Adventurous

Sampling wines in a tasting room or wine shop is a fantastic way to expand your palate and your wine cellar selection.

Tell the server what you usually enjoy and they will be able to guide you towards compatible, but different, grape varieties and wine styles.

Remember, if it’s not your ‘cup of tea’ you can always dump the sample. No one will be offended.

Tip #3: Don’t Just Drink Wine

Speaking of spittoons, remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to spit while wine tasting –  wine professionals do it all the time. Not only will it help you feel better tomorrow morning, being a little tipsy might wear down your resistance and tempt you to spend more than you’d planned. Not to mention the driving aspect.

Don’t be shy. Sip, swirl and spit!

Tip #4: Feed Your Soul & Your Stomach

Make sure wine isn’t the only thing that passes your lips.

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated, so make sure that for every glass of wine you enjoy, you drink the equivalent amount of water.

Have some snacks with you, too. Granola bars, pretzels, nuts, dried fruits are easy to carry and nibble on as you drive from one wine tasting room to the next.

Many wineries have beautiful picnic areas. Just remember that they would love it if you enjoyed a glass of their wines with your lunch.

A leisurely meal amongst the vines at a relaxing winery restaurant is another terrific option.

Tip #5: Be Realistic

Don’t make the mistake of trying to cram too many tasting rooms into your day. Wine tasting is not an Olympic sport.

If this is your first visit to a region, do a little research before you leave home. Prepare a ‘must see’ list of your favorite spots, but leave some wiggle room for those unexpected places that you just know you’ll find.

Relax, enjoy, explore and happy wine trails!

Wine Lovers read:
Bodegas Salentein: Defining the Wines of the Valle De Uco
Exploring Australia’s Clare Valley with Riesling Wine Producers
Ata Rangi: One Of New Zealand’s Best Wineries