Drinks

How to Navigate a Winery Tasting Room like a Pro

Faking it 'til you make it doesn't have to be the move
Photo: Kym Ellis via Unsplash

Heading out to wine country for a day full of tasting always promises a good time. However, there are still some unspoken rules to be followed when visiting a tasting room. Acting the part not only makes you a better taster, but also makes for a better time for all involved. Follow these simple tips below to navigate your next tasting room visit like a pro.

Swallow with Discretion

Your wine-soaked day should certainly be exactly that, and nobody wants to be that drunk hooligan in a tasting room. Sip responsibly and swallow with discretion. Do as the pros do and spit as much as you possibly can. Or, at the least, pace yourself: It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Ask Questions

Tasting like a pro means being curious about what you're drinking. The staff on hand is likely both passionate and knowledgeable about the wines being poured, so take advantage of what they have to offer and learn something new during your wine-filled adventure. 

Buy a Bottle

The biggest form of flattery you can give to a tasting room is to buy a bottle of your own, especially if the tasting is complimentary. Take the bottle home and relive your trip on a rainy day—or, if there's a designated area for on-site consumption, pop the bottle and enjoy there (bonus points for outdoor spaces and breathtaking vineyard views). 

Have a Designated Form of Transportation

The most important tip of them all: don't drive drunk through wine country (or any country). Having a designated driver or other form of transportation on hand is essential for a long day of tasting, especially if you plan to follow through on the tip above and savor onsite. All hail ride-sharing apps.

PS: It's a Tasting Room, Not a Bar

Although there may technically be a bar at a tasting room, the two are not one in the same. Acting drunk and disorderly, shouting demands at tasting room staff and holding out your glass for a quick refill won't cut it in at a tasting room (although, they really shouldn't in a bar, either). Just channel your classiest mindset and all will be fine.

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