Tips For First Time Tasters

Each weekend we have first-time tasters visit our Tasting Room. They are often a little bit sheepish about what is expected and what to expect. We ran across these little tips in “California Wine Getaways” magazine that might be helpful:  


    • As you enter the tasting room head for the tasting bar. A host will greet you and get you started with wine glasses and explain what wines are available for tasting and if there are any tasting fees. Most wineries today charge a tasting fee. It is best if you plan ahead and check the winery’s Website for tasting room details.
    • Tasting rooms vary from the very elaborate to a simple table set up in the winemaking area.
    • White wines are tasted first, followed by red wines, and then dessert wines. Dry wines should be tasted before sweet.
    • Taste each wine carefully and savor each sip. See our guide on how to taste wine.
    • 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 of wine.
    • 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 or soup 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. say, $6. Some wineries apply this fee to a purchase. (This is Yellow Farmhouse procedure) Others might include a souvenir glass with the fee. Don’t assume that the glass is included to take home unless they tell you so. 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 fee.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your server expects it and is willing to answer.
    • Leave a tip if you want to; it is sincerely appreciated by your server, but it is not necessary.
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