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20 Wine Tasting Room How to’s & Insider Tips


How to Visit a Wine Tasting Room
Insider Tips & Tricks + that Etiquette Stuff.

Sip On This Juice.

  • Always call ahead to ensure you’re able to go where you had planned.
  • Advance planning is key to a successful tasting room visit. Locate the winery’s website. Call ahead for groups any larger than six.


  • Wearing comfortable clothing while keeping it casually elegant is best. Tasting room visits are a sophisticated outing. Dressing appropriately is a sign of respect.
  • NO perfume or heavily scented cologne at tasting rooms. Scents can overwhelm some people… not to mention, they can overpower the subtle aromas in wine – and interfere with the overall tasting experience.
  • Pacing yourself is a critical if not often talked about aspect of tasting. Moderation throughout the day is important. Select 3-4 wineries to visit and keep things manageable.


  • Drink plenty of water to stave off dehydration. Especially in the warmer months.
  • Always have a designated driver. Be responsible when raising a glass.
  • Most wineries will charge a moderate fee for tasting. It’s best to plan ahead and check a winery’s website for more information.
  • Tasting rooms vary from the very elaborate to a simple table set up in the wine-making area. Some have caves, others have vineyard tours, while some offer food and wine pairing options too… plus so much more. Think about what type of experiences you would like to have and plan the day accordingly.


  • When you arrive at a wine tasting room, you can expect to be greeted by hospitality staff or even by the winemaker or owner. These folks are there to chat about the winery, history, the varietals of grapes they work with and which wines they make. Pay attention to these details and learn more about the people and the place.
  • Make an effort to understand that the wines being poured are tasting sized pours. Don’t expect to receive a big pour and do not ask for more than a tasting sized glass of wine. If you decide, you really love a wine, grab a bottle to bring home.


  • Don’t forget to record your experience. Whether you write down notes or take photos of favorite bottles, a full day of tasting requires a lot of listening. Remembering each pour can be hard the next day.  Most tasting rooms provide a wine tasting sheet to jot down impressions of the wines.
  • If you went to a winery and enjoyed the wine tasting experience, it is perfectly acceptable (& recommended) to leave a tip for the staff. Tips are good etiquette in the service industry everywhere. Be nice.


  • Take home a bottle or two… or perhaps a nice souvenir! Many wineries also offer wine related and one of a kind gifts. Browse the full wine list to see if there is anything that you did not taste that catches your eye. Check out the gift shop items – you never know what treasures may await.
  • There is an order to tasting that seems to be an industry standard. White wines are tasted first, followed by reds. Skip any of the wines on the list that you are not interested in, no need to waste. Some folks have their sights set on tasting only reds, while others are only interested in tasting certain grape varietals.


  • Most wineries will have a sheet of tasting notes. Read the tasting notes as you taste and see if you notice any of the aromas or flavors listed in the notes.
  • If water is provided, use it to clear your palate and to rinse your glass. When the tasting moves from whites to reds or to dessert wines, it is best to rinse the glass to get a better grasp on aromas and flavors.
  • When visiting a wine tasting room, you must consider yourself a guest. The winery is proud of their tasting room, wines and staff. They WANT everyone to enjoy their visit. Have fun and enjoy the experience.


  • If you do not want all of the wine in your glass after you have tasted, you can pour the remaining liquid into a dump bucket. It is perfectly fine, that is why the dump buckets are on the table. You can also spit your wine into the bucket but it may be easier to spit into a cup and much more graceful.
  • If you like the wine and want to buy it – Great! It is important to remember that you do not need to purchase wine. Unless you like a bottle of wine, do not buy it simply to be polite. Participating in a winery tasting room can be a delightful experience for everyone, purchase or no.
  • Don’t taste or drink wine on an empty stomach. It is not a good idea. Eat well before you leave for the day, with more food in your stomach the alcohol will affect you less. Also bring bottled water to drink in the car between visits. Drinking as much water as you do wine is a good idea.

Have fun, enjoy yourself, and make new memories.



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