The 9 Mistakes You're Making at a Winery Tasting Room
This piece originally appeared on VinePair.
There is quite possibly nothing more fun than spending the day exploring a wine region’s wine trail. Bouncing from one tasting room to another as you get to know a region and expand your palate, further determining what you like and what you don’t. But as with anything that involves copious amounts of alcohol, mistakes can be made. Here are 9 of the most common, according to the employees who work there.
Treating The Tasting Room Like A Bar
This is a tasting room, not the dive you hit up at the end of the night, and that means certain behaviors that might at least be tolerated there aren’t really appropriate here. Most importantly, that means shouting to get the attention of one of the employees, crowding the bar or interrupting a conversation that one of the tasting room staff members is having with another guest. You will get your turn, we promise. There is no need to be loud and pushy.
Shoving Your Glass In The Tasting Room Employees’ Face
If you’d like to try a wine, please don’t shove your empty glass directly in the face of the person who’s doing the pouring. First, you look like an ass hat. Second, you’re not going to get served any more quickly, and in fact, it may cause you to not get served at all.
Not Asking Questions, Even Dumb Ones
A tasting room isn’t just the place to knock back a few glasses, it’s the ideal venue for asking questions about the wine in your glass. Curious about how it’s made, or why it tastes the way it does? Ask away! The tasting room staff wants to have a conversation with you, so converse.
We get it, there is a ton of wine available in wine country, but imbibe responsibly. A tasting room is not a great place to fall over or have trouble walking. You’re better than that.
Not Spitting Once In A While
Yes we know, you want to actually drink all that wine you’re being given, but the only way you’re going to get through this tasting, and the wineries to come is by spitting at least a few of the glasses you’re sampling. You don’t have to get sloshed in order to enjoy it.
Showing Up With A Massively Large Party Unannounced
Because most tasting rooms do not wish to become bars, they actually have a policy that if you arrive in a stretch limo or a bus, you’re not welcome – unless you happen to call in advance and arrange something. This is mostly to keep things more civil, as large groups are usually there for one thing: to get tipsy. So if you have a weekend wine tasting party planned with friends, call in advance and make sure it’s OK before you roll in ten deep.
Not Leaving With A Bottle Or Two
The tasting room is one of the best places to grab a bottle or two of a wine you love, especially a wine that may only be available at the winery. If you’re traveling and in the U.S., you can often arrange for the winery to ship it to you so you don’t have to cart it home. An added bonus for buying a bottle is that your tasting is usually comp’d if you do.
Not Asking The Tasting Room Staff What Other Wineries In The Area You Should Try
Working in wine country means you get to taste a lot of wine, and it also means you probably have your favorites. So if you’re at a tasting room and you’re enjoying the wine as well as the staff member pouring it, ask them where they’d suggest you head to next. There’s a good chance they have a great recommendation that you might not be familiar with.
Not Having A Designated Driver
Whether it’s a friend or someone you’ve paid, make sure the person doing the driving isn’t also doing the tasting. With so many people bouncing from winery to winery, this is the only way everyone is going to stay safe.