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Wine Tasting Etiquette

About 3 year(s) ago by Allegretto Vineyard Resort

Everyone is familiar with the almost romantic image of someone confidently swirling their wine with picturesque vines as a backdrop, but the technique isn’t always that easy to achieve in the reality of the moment. From selecting appropriate attire to handling the actual practice of tasting correctly, mastering wine-tasting surely is an art form in itself.



Certain vineyards’ tasting rooms require reservations, while many have open hours for the general public. If your party plans to attend as a group of eight or more, it is best to research the protocol beforehand, rather than taking a risk by spontaneously showing up. Many wineries host tours, which can often be a fun family activity. Some even treat children to juices so they can enjoy the pleasure of tasting as well! Again, it is always a safe practice to research prior to the visit to see which wineries offer these particular options.

Wineries take slightly elevated attire as a sign of respect for the experience. Try to be well-dressed but comfortable enough to be able to walk through the vineyards with ease. Consider not wearing perfume or cologne in your outing because the scent could interfere with the subtle blends of the wine.

Tasting Technique

First thing’s first: taste white wines before heavier red wines to en sure that the bolder flavors do not overwhelm white wines’ more subtle tastes.

Although enjoying wine by drinking ordinarily offers pure fun, properly swirling ensures that you will be able to fully absorb the wine’s mixture of aromas. Place your glass on a flat surface and swirl it while holding onto the stem. Always make sure to grasp the stem while tasting because your fingers can disrupt the wine’s temperature and authentic flavor.

Before taking a sip, inhale the wine’s aroma deeply. Consuming wine is a full sensory experience, which largely involves the smell of the wine’s aromas. Finally, while drinking, swirl the wine around your mouth to take in all the layers of its flavors.

The Pace

It’s easy to become carried away in the delight of tasting and forget to pace yourself. Try to select four wines that you are the most interested in tasting throughout your visit. Break up the day with samplings of cheese and possibly even lunch. Utilize the offered spittoons – or tasting buckets – to dispense some of your remaining wines after an initial taste. Wine often makes people drowsy and it would be disappointing to need to end your day at the vineyard early.


The remainder of a wine tasting experience doesn’t require any expertise or preparation at all. Discover which wines you enjoy most and learn more about the different varieties. California’s wine country offers gorgeous sceneries for the entire family to take pleasure in and wine-tasting surely is a small part of California’s signature culture.

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