Tasting Room Etiquette

It’s the weekend and you’ve decided to visit a Winery or two (alright, maybe 3). Perhaps, it’s your first time, maybe it’s a friend’s first time and you want to give them some tips. Either way, newbie or pro, we all could benefit from a little Tasting Room Etiquette.

After questioning wine professionals and tasting room managers, I’ve come up with 5 important rules you really should follow when visiting a tasting room.

Rule #1: It’s OK if you’re running a little late or something unexpected comes up, but don’t just NOT show up. Remember, they’re your host and for some it’s an extension of their own home (ahem, family vineyards). As a curtesy, call if you’re running behind or if something comes up. There’s nothing more rude than showing up to an appointment extremely late or not at all!

Rule #2: It’s actually ok to spit out your wine. Yes, it’s very ok to dump and spit wine when in a tasting room. That’s what those little buckets are for. You’re not being rude! If anything it shows you’re genuinely interested in getting the most out of your tasting experience. If you’re attempting to taste through their selection, there’s no possible way you can drink every drop of wine they pour you. If you do, you’ll be wasted. Which leads me to my next rule:

Rule #3: Don’t get wasted. I think a little bit of a buzz is inevitable however, falling over chairs and sleeping on the table is never ok. Make sure to utilize the spittoon! Remember, you wanted to go wine tasting, it’s a “classy” activity, so act the part. Don’t get up and dance on their bar, please. You’re not Tyra Banks and this isn’t Coyote Ugly.

Rule #4: Leave a tip or buy a bottle. Selling wine is how people who run tasting rooms make their livelihood. If you liked the wine, buy a bottle to take home. If you didn’t like the wine at the very minimum leave the tasting room staff member a tip. In some cases, they can make commission off the sale of wines.

Rule #5: Don’t tell them their wine is terrible. It very well might be nauseating, but there are other ways of going about saying you don’t like a wine. May I suggest:

“This wine is a little too full bodied for me.”

“I prefer wines with a little more tannins.”

“This wine is good but, not what I’m looking for right now.”

Get creative! And if you want to “revisit” something it means I’d like another pour.

Hope these Rules help you out through your next tasting adventure.



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