When it comes to attending your first wine-tasting event – whether it’s at a local winery, a wine shop, or the home of a friend – there are some important things you’ll need to know. There’s more to it than just having a few glasses; in fact, there’s an entire etiquette of wine tasting that you’ll need to know beforehand.
If you’re attending a wine-tasting at a winery or a wine shop, an important thing to remember is to be attentive to the one running the tasting. Oftentimes this individual will be the owner of the establishment, and as such they deserve your respect. Be sure to listen carefully as he or she describes the particulars of each wine being offered. Additionally, only ask to taste the wines that are on offer; it’s considered impolite to ask for a wine not on the tasting menu to be opened specifically for you to taste it.
Also, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the goal of a wine tasting is to learn about – and enjoy – the flavors of several different wines. This means that you’ll typically only receive a small amount of wine in your glass; called a “tasting pour,” it’s not intended to be an entire drink. In addition, you should refrain from wearing heavy perfumes and colognes while attending a wine tasting, as this can interfere not only with your own ability to smell and taste the wine but others as well; the same goes for smoking right before a tasting event.
Finally, it’s important not to overindulge on the wine you taste. If you’re going to be sampling several different wines, even a tasting pour can add up to quite a few glasses. If you can eat a filling meal beforehand this will reduce the overall effect and keep you sober; it’s also considered acceptable to spit out the wine if a tasting event has a spittoon for such a purpose, though many people may feel self-conscious doing so.