1) Plan your trip before you go. Reservations will be at your desired wineries. Depending upon your wine region, allow at least 45 minutes to one hour in between tasting room appointments.
2) Wear comfortable clothes and closed sole shoes. This will allow you to explore the grounds, venture into the vineyards, and take in the entire Vine to Wine experience. Remember your camera.
3) Spare your nose. Your sense of smell is a large contributor to your sense of Taste. In preparing for your trip, try to avoid wearing heavy perfumes, lotions, and smoking, if possible. Scents can detract from your olfactory experience and limit your, or others, ability to taste the uniqueness of each wine.
4) Enjoy being a Guest. Think of each tasting room as being a guest in someone’s home. Dress modestly, avoid loud behavior or comments, be considerate of the other guests, place your cell phones on vibrate, and remember that wineries are extending an invitation to taste, experience and enjoy.
5) Stay on Schedule. When your appointments are set, it is very important to stay on schedule. If a winery is expecting a limousine group, extra staff needs to be paid to accommodate the group. Be courteous to the wineries by staying on time. If you are running late, it is very important that your chauffeur call your next appointment and let them know your expected arrival time.
6) Plan a meal. Allow for a relaxing meal in between your tasting room stops. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a dining room experience. Remember groups of six or more may take longer to sit and serve.
7) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Drink a sip of water for every sip of wine. Your body (and mind) will be happier, you will be able to refresh your taste buds, and you’ll avoid that afternoon sluggish feeling and be able to enjoy your afternoon tastings.
8) Ask lots of questions Learning about barrels and vines and fermentation and aging is half the fun in appreciating the uniqueness of each wine and each winery.
9) Pace Yourself. Enjoy a snack and cleanse your palate with each of your tastings. Remember to use the Dump Bucket to pour out extra wine. If you are feeling tipsy or if you are getting intoxicated, the winery cannot continue to serve you so consider skipping the tasting and enjoy the surroundings.
10) Purchase your Favorite Wines. Wineries spend money to staff their tasting rooms and provide free or low cost tasting experiences. In return, guests should expect to purchase wines or wine accessories at each winery.