Get the most from your wine tasting adventure by following these simple steps. Santé!
Do not wear perfume or cologne, they interfere with your ability to smell and taste the wine, and those near you. Scented body products, hairspray and beard products included.
Do not wear lipstick. Lipstick tastes terrible, if you are wearing it when wine tasting there is no way you are able to taste the wine properly. Also lipstick on glasses takes forever to clean off. Be respectful of the wine and your hosts and wipe off your lipstick before tasting. Better yet, do not wear any at all, lipstick ruins your palate, save your money buy wine instead.
Be on time. Wine does not wait. Once poured it is reacting with its environment and the temperature is changing. Respect the wine and professional pouring for you.
Have a light snack at least one hour before, being slightly hungry heightens your sense of taste. Eating while wine tasting interferes with your ability to taste everything properly. Unless it is a Wine and Food Tasting, food should always be eaten after tasting.
Do not drink coffee or eat chocolate or spice at least 2 hours before your tasting. Eating or drinking anything with a strong flavour will interfere with your ability to taste the wine.
Do not sip water during your tasting.
NO Smoking during and at least one hour before. Smoking, secondhand smoke and third hand smoke interfere with your sense of smell and taste and other people's ability to smell and taste.
Wear comfy shoes so you can walk the vines and cellars. Heels are a liability in the cellar, vineyard and vat houses. Give your feet a rest and wear flat shoes that you can easily take short hikes in or if you are a fashion slave bring a pair.
Wine starts in the vineyard. Take a quick walk through the vines to ensure it is a wine you want to taste. Proper vineyard management is essential for good wine. Look for grass and flowers growing between the vines roses at the end of the rows. Poppies are always great to see as they are very sensitive to chemicals.
Taste starts in the vineyard. Concentration is key to a wine's body, aging ability and benefits. Too many clusters and irrigation produce a wine that does not express its grape or terroir, adding oak makes it oakey not better.
Wine is not free, it is not easy, and it is a finite crop that is very expensive and time consuming to create and acquire knowledge and wisdom, always respect the wine and its representatives and leave more than you take.
Not all wine is created with the same level of care and attention to detail, especially New World wines. Proper education ensures you can discern what is a quality wine and express what kind of wine you prefer. Proper wine education teaches you how to read and taste a wine properly and will save you time and money.