Wine Tasting and Tours FAQs
Are you planning a visit to a winery or wine region in the near future? If so, you probably have a few questions regarding logistics, wine tasting, or even how to act on a wine tour. Here is a list of the most common FAQs people ask us regarding wine tastings and wine tours.
How many ounces are in a typical wine tasting?
A wine tasting pour is usually 1 ounce in wineries, although this can vary slightly depending on the winery.
Is there a right way to taste wine?
You don’t need to be an expert wine taster to enjoy a wine tasting. However, if you are interested in learning how to properly taste wine check out this article, How to Taste Wine Like a Pro.
What questions should I ask at a wine tasting?
If you want to learn more during a wine tasting asking good questions is important. Here are a few examples of questions to ask:
- What grape varieties do you grow?
- What is the winery known for?
- How do you age the wine?
- How long can you age the wines after buying them?
Should I swallow or spit the wine?
This is entirely up to you! However, it’s important to realize that if you are visiting multiple wineries in one day the amount of alcohol you consume can sneak up on you. If you would like to spit the wine do not hesitate to ask for a spit bucket, the winery employees will not be offended.
How should I keep track of the wines I’ve tasted during a sampling?
When you are tasting multiple wines at multiple wineries it is easy to start mixing up which were your favorite, so don’t hesitate to take notes or even photos to help you remember which wines you liked. Some tasters prefer a notebook and pen, while others use apps especially designed to help you take notes while tasting.
Should I tip the servers?
Tipping at a wine tasting is not required, although if you were given exceptional service you can leave a small tip to show appreciation.
Do I need to buy wine?
Many wineries charge a tasting fee, so in this case you are not required to buy any wine, though the fee is often waived if you do decide to buy bottles. If the winery does not charge a tasting fee, it is generally polite to at least buy one bottle in exchange for the tasting. Although wineries understand if you are traveling by plane and unable to bring back wine.
What should I wear?
Some winery visits include walking around the cellar and vineyards, so it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to walk in. And don’t forget to bring a light jacket or sweater as wineries and cellars are often chilly. Lastly, be sure to avoid any perfume or strong scented products as these smells can be distracting when you and others are trying to smell the wines.
Should I book a wine tour?
This depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. Booking a tour can make for a more relaxing experience since you don’t need to choose which wineries to visits, and worry about booking them ahead of time. Wine tours also take care of transportation, so you don’t need to worry about driving after drinking.
Do I need to book winery visits ahead of time?
This depends on the wine region, the winery, and the time of year. It’s always a good idea to book ahead to make sure you are able to visit the wineries you are most interested in. In popular wine regions, like Napa Valley and Willamette Valley booking ahead is essential especially in the busy summer months.