The 15 Best Wine Tasting Tips

wine tasting tips

15 Best Tips to Getting the Most out of your Wine Tasting

Do you love wine but have never been to a wine tasting? It can be intimidating doing something for the first time. I want to make sure that your first wine tasting experience isn’t terrifying. 

  • Tip 1: Bring a box

    • If you are planning on going on a wine tour and seeing multiple wineries, make sure to bring a wine box with you so you can put the wine you bought from each winery in there. Ask your local liquor store if they have a free wine box they can give you.
  • Tip 2: Research cost

    • On a budget? Make sure to research the cost of tastings at each winery you are going to. Wine tastings aren’t too expensive but they can add up if you go to multiple wineries. 
  • Tip 3: Choose appropriate clothing

    • I recommend dressing for comfort and weather. There are no formal dress codes for wine tastings. My go to is a nice shirt, leggings, and sandals or tennis shoes. 
  • Tip 5: Don’t wear any fragrance

    • This is so important when you want to taste wine. Fragrance alters your tasting abilities so you might not notice slight differences in wine.
  • Tip 6: Set up transportation

    • Are you going to have a sober driver? Are you going to schedule an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi? Maybe you are close enough to your vacation rental that you walk. It’s important to remember that even if you only get small pours for each tasting, they can add up. Make sure you stay safe on the roads.
  • Tip 7: Eat food and drink water

    • Prevent feeling tipsy by eating food and drinking water before, during and after. There are many wineries that sell food, relax and enjoy your time.
  • Tip 8: Follow correct tasting order

    • Some wines can hide the flavors of others so make sure to drink your wines in this order to get the most of your tastings:
      • Start with Sparkling
      • Whites before Reds
      • Start with Dry to Sweet and Young before Old
      • Dessert wines last
  • Tip 9: Read tasting notes

    • Most wineries give tasting notes with their wines. Tasting notes give a more detailed description of the wine which helps you choose a wine that you might like.
  • Tip 10: Swirl and smell

    • Swirl your glass, at first it may be difficult to swirl your glass of wine in the air without spilling. Tip: A beginners tip to swirling is to put your glass on the tabletop with the stem of the glass between your fingers and make circles on the table.
    • Swirling your wine allows oxygen to get to the wine. As oxygen enters the wine it gives off more aromas and also softens the wine. However, too much oxygen can give wine a bitter unpleasant taste.
  • Tip 11: Three sip rule

    • Fact from a wine tasting judge, it takes 3 sips to fully cleanse your palette and get the true taste of the wine.
  • Tip 12: Sip, Spit, and/or dump

    • Do you sip and swallow all the wine? Sip and spit the wine? And if you have wine in your glass is it OK to dump it out? Yes, Yes, and Yes. Do whatever is best for you and you wont hurt anyone’s feelings.
  • Tip 13: Taste a variety of wine

    • If you normally like white wine, try a red wine. I use to like the sweet white wines but with the more tastings I went to the more complex wines I began to like. You never know what you might discover.
  • Tip 14: Ask questions

    • My husband and I have learned so much by just asking questions. Tip 11 above was learned at a wine tasting at Fielding Hills in Chelan, WA
  • Tip 15: Get rid of red teeth

    • If you drink a lot of red wine you might notice that it gives you red/purple teeth. This is from the acid and tannins in the wine. My first reaction was to brush my teeth but I found out that it can strip the enamel. So to help prevent your teeth from stains brush before the wine tasting, eat during the wine tasting, and swish water during your tasting. After the wine tasting wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.


The Last Thing You Need to Know about Wine Tasting

The most important thing is to HAVE FUN! Don’t stress too much about doing things right. The tips above are guidelines to help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience. 

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