Top 10 Wine Tasting Tips

Are you a wine newbie? Wine Lover? Will this be your first time visiting wine country and you don’t know what to expect. We’ve put together our Top 10 Wine Tasting Tips so you can enjoy a flight of wine at some of our favorite wineries knowing that you’re going to have a great time. It doesn’t hurt to go over some basic wine tasting tips and etiquette as the wine industry and wine tasting experiences are constantly changing and evolving.

Top 10 wine tasting tips
Wine Tasting at Copain

Top 10 Wine Tasting Tips

Top 10 wine tasting tips

Hire a Private Driver

Wine tasting should be a carefree and fun experience, and many have struggled with getting from tasting to tasting. Unreliable cell service that makes hailing a Lyft or Uber difficult, or the temptation to drink and drive (please don’t) are enough to put anyone in a bad mood. Save yourself the frustration and worry, that’s why hiring a private driver is the first step in putting together a day of wine tasting. Book now!

Book your Reservations in Advance and Hire a Trip Planner to Help with your Itinerary

Ever since COVID-19 the wine industry has changed, 99% of wineries and tasting room now take online reservations. This allows for a better experience for their guests and employees, but requires additional planning on your part. If you’re not sure where to start when planning a day of wine tasting, we can help!

Tip your Wine Educator

In early 2000s, it was ok to walk in for a free tasting but modern wine experiences are typically focused on in depth wine education and high end service that required knowledgable and passionate hosts and wine educators. Always tip your wine educator! Our general rule of thumb is to leave at least $20 for the person pouring your wine and educating you on the vintages, varietals, and wine making processes. If the winery offers food menu or, treat it as a restaurant and tip 20%.

Pace Yourself/Use a Spit Bucket

Don’t feel obligated to finish every pour/tasting. It’s ok to spit, dump or share wine tastings. Some of us love Cabernet, other’s Pinot Grigio. Wineries know that people have different tastes and preferences. Every winery can provide a dump bucket for this very purpose to make sure you enjoy each wine.

Be Mindful of Ambiance

Do you stare at your phone all night when on a date? Or watch sports while at a high end restaurant? Well, you shouldn’t. Your wine educator will appreciate your attention when describing wine. If you’re traveling with family/kids/dogs, make sure to research wineries that are family friendly and are suitable for your group.

Don’t Wear Fragrance

Strong smells are no match for a wine tasting. If you’re into wine, you know that smelling the wine and describing aromas is part of the process. Don’t ruin it for yourself and everyone else in the tasting room with the overbearing smell of your AXE body spray.

Be Open Minded

We all have preferences and that’s ok. However, be open to trying the wines that are being poured. You never know if you’ll discover a new favorite. You can always use the dump bucket.

Buy Wine

Support all the wineries you visit! Small producers, family owned wineries, boutique tasting rooms have all suffered through 2020-2021. If you like the wine, buy a few bottles to take home. If you LOVE a wine, buy a case. Most wineries will ship to most states.

Eat Something

Make sure you have a breakfast before starting your wine tasting tour, pack snacks and water, and book a lunch or food pairing to stay alive and awake. Our go to is to book a food and wine pairing in the middle of our day. This keeps us going for our next stops, and wine is best enjoyed with food.

Don’t be a Know-It-All

First of all, no one likes a know it all. Even if you think you are a wine expert, just let other enjoy and learn something new from the actually Wine Educator. That’s why you paid for the tasting, right?

While spending a day wine tasting is fun and entertaining, following the top 10 wine tasting tips will make your and your group’s experiences more fun, educational, and satisfying. Cheers!

Top 10 wine tasting tips
Private Tour with North Bay Wine Tours

Need Help Planning a Wine Tasting Trip?

Now that you’ve seen our Top 10 Wine Tasting Tips, it’s time to get some practice. North Bay Wine Tour’s will help you plan the best Napa and Sonoma wine tours, get in touch with our Wine Country Expert to help plan your perfect trip. We’ll introduce you to amazing options.

Book Now