You’ve heard the fuss over dinner with friends about the great time they had while taking a wine tour. You’re on board, yet you’ve never done it before. Naturally, you don’t want to seem in the dark about what takes place at wine tasting events and tours.
Do Hire a Driver
Obviously, there is nothing exciting or smart about drinking and driving. Therefore, you should schedule to get dropped off and find a way home. You could call Uber, designate a sober driver amongst friends, or find a hotel room in the vicinity of the tour and tasting. Don’t be fooled by the mention of ‘tasting.’ When you’re tasting multiple wines within hours, you’re going to get drunk.
Do Start Small
Find a smaller, more intimate winery to start. That way, you’ll have a closer view into the winemaking process, the people who are a part of the process, and the difference between types. However, a smaller winery may not influence the price of the tour or the tasting. A larger venue may dilute the learning experience.
Do Be Humble
It’s okay if you don’t know anything about wine. That’s why you decided to take a wine tour, right? However, to save yourself from the embarrassment of being around those who do know wine, don’t fake it. Be direct in answering questions like, “What type of wine do you like?” If you don’t know all the types, just be honest and embrace the opportunity to learn.
Do Keep Bottles Out of the Heat
Don’t place your wine bottles in the trunk of the car or in a heated area of the backseat. Actually, keep them out of the hot car at all costs. Some prefer to ship their wine to a home destination rather than travel with it through customs, airports, etc. Also, get a bottle guard online or at the winery shop.
Do Leave the Kids at Home
A number of wineries have things for the kiddies to do, but do yourself a favor and leave them behind. Why would you want to bring your kids around alcohol, people who are drinking, and behavior or language that may not be age appropriate? Plus, a glass (or two or three) tastes a lot better when you don’t have to worry about the immediate welfare of your kids.
Do Go Early
Think of the workers and the process as performers. A cast is much fresher at the beginning of a night than the end. Therefore, it’s better to get there early, when workers are rested, able to address questions, and the business of the winery won’t detract from the experience. Why not brush up on etiquette for a wine tasting?
Don’t Be Selective
Good wine and being a connoisseur is sometimes associated with being selective. However, a tasting is not the place to be selective or snobbish toward unknown brands. You may get turned on to your next favorite selection. Plus, if you’re not a native to the region, you should try and get your taste buds on as much as you can.
Don’t Be Silent
As discussed above, it’s okay to reveal your education on wine. Moreover, don’t be silent and miss the opportunity to ask questions about winemaking, grapes, regions, etc. Most tour people will be delighted to answer questions. If you get in good with the winery, they just may ship bought wine to your home for free!
Don’t Be Disappointed
Don’t be disappointed to find that the wine you bought from the tour does not taste as good as it did at the winery. You have not been swindled. The ambiance of the winery, the tools of the trade, as well as the knowledge of the staff, play a part in the taste. It’s nearly impossible to replicate the experience or taste at home. A reason to invest in your own winery!
Don’t Buy a Lot
It’s in good taste to purchase a bottle while on tour. Yet, don’t feel pressured, and definitely don’t go overboard and buy too much. Getting too wrapped up in the moment can wind up costing you more than you bargained for. Plus, be patient. Most wineries ship bottles across state lines, so you can always buy more later.
Don’t Act Like You’re at a Bar
When in Rome… A wine tasting is not a call to get loaded, though it’s common to get a bit tipsy. However, do your best to act acceptable and polite. Bars are places that can get loud and even rowdy. A wine tour is not that kind of setting, so be sure you and those in your party act appropriately.
Melissa Parkes is a wine enthusiast who loves to tour wineries wherever she goes. An avid writer, she loves to share her adventures on a variety of lifestyle and travel blogs.