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.
It is okay to skip any of the
wines on the tasting list. Some people just want to taste the
reds. Some may be interested in tasting only certain varietals
Normally you would not ask for a second taste of one
particular wine unless you indicate that you are interested
in purchasing the wine.
You do not have to drink all the wine
in your glass. Toss the unwanted wine in your glass into the
dump bucket provided for this purpose.
If water is provided,
use it to clear your palate or to rinse your glass. Rinsing
the glass is a good idea when the tasting moves from whites to
reds or to dessert wines.
Sometimes a neutral food will be provided,
such as plain crackers. The purpose of the food is to clear
the palate after tasting each particular wine.
Some tasting rooms
will require that you pay a fee to taste the wine. Some wineries
apply this fee to a purchase. Others might include a souvenir
glass with the fee. Some tasting rooms have a two tier fee, one for the main line of wines and one for reserve wines
When a fee is charged, it is usually okay
for two people to share one glass and pay only one tasting
Some wineries will push their wine club. Before you sign up
for a wine club, read our page on the pros and cons of joining
If you are visiting a winery
with friends or a group, try not to be loud or noisy. It ruins
the atmosphere of the tasting room.
Some people feel guilty if
they don’t buy at least one
bottle of wine. Never feel you must purchase any wine. Buy the
wine if you like it. Check our page for tips on buying
wine at a winery.
If you choose to picnic at the winery and
enjoy some wine, make sure the wine is not from another winery.
If you forgot to bring wine glasses, most tasting rooms will
lend you wine glasses for your picnic.
Bringing children to
a winery can be tricky. Have a planned activity for them while
you spend your time tasting.
Note: You may want to check our page on hosting
a wine tasting party. On this page you will find wine scoring
sheets and two different ways to host a wine tasting.
Looking for the best tasting rooms to visit? Visit our California wine country map to select a wine region to visit. We have eleven different wine areas of California.