Jan 15, 2012

Wine Tasting Etiquette / Oh behave!

We can attest to the fact that a great tasting room experience can make mediocre wine much better and that conversely a poor experience can make good wines not very appealing. Most tasting room staff are fun, congenial, and ready to serve and afford you a good tasting experience. Just as you have expectations of attractive, er we mean competent tasting room staff it is probably fair for them not to deal with Wally wanker, his cork dork mate or just as bad the know it all wine ponce!
You are out and about to taste and experience their wine, not to educate them. Taste and enjoy, or not, but be polite. Telling stories of other places you have been with the best wine in the world is also not cool. For the enjoyment of all keep your most fascinating facts to yourself and try to just enjoy the different tastes, people and places.
There is also the plan for the day. Making some plans and preparing, can make a huge difference in the outcome of the day. Plan your winery route. Three to four wineries are about all that should be attempted. That way you can take the time to enjoy the experience and take in the views. A designated driver is just mandatory. Eat something before you go. Koala recommends Vegemite sandwiches, as it has all that vitamin B. Take a stock of bottled water and make sure you drink one between every tasting room. One to two ounces of water for every ounce of wine is optimum. Just make sure you take the bathroom situation into consideration. In other words go before you get in the car kids! 
Packing a picnic lunch is also a great way to sit and enjoy some of the great views and picnic areas that a lot of wineries have. The other option is to plan a lunch along the way at some interesting local eatery. A lot of wineries now serve food so check that out as well.
Please don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne as one of the primary senses is smell and it will affect everyone, including your own tasting experience.  Smelling Paris Hilton every time you put the glass to your nose is no way to go. In addition and along similar lines guy's don't were tank tops! We know you just want to impress the ladies with you're guns but having you're hairy pit's exposed every time you raise your glass is a definite down grade of the tasting experience. Hate to have to explain why someones pit caught fire again.
Take along a cooler or Styrofoam container to put your wine purchases in as you don’t want to cook your valuable treasures before you get home. Even wrapping your bottles up in the jackets you started with in the morning and don’t need in the arvo helps. If you find a wine you like purchase it, and if you get great service, let the winery know about it.

Oh and by the way quit whinging about tasting fee's. Look if the bottle's you're tasting run $25 - $45 by the time you've had half a dozen tastes you have consumed about a third of a bottle or so. Look do the math if a business is to continue to stay in business covering costs on the lead item (tasting) is a good idea. Most times it runs at a bit of a loss but that is where most places offer the buy a bottle or two and wave the fee. So if you like one or think a friend would like one or even sometimes its just a great looking label. Buy some!

One of the most overlooked facts of tasting is that the dump bucket can be your friend. No not in the 'Sideways' drink out of it kind of way (Koala just threw up a little in his mouth). Even good wine may not be to your liking, and as such it is perfectly kosher to dump what’s left in your glass into the bucket. This will allow you to be ready for the next wine and also help keep the over consumption at bay.

At the end of the day just remember that the tasting room staff have been dealing with wanker's and ponce's all day and you may not be as funny as you think (unlike us). Kiwi recommends that if one of your party has over consumed and is sharing too much with strangers, take that as a sign to dump them back at the hotel or call it a day! At the very least take a break and have something to eat and relax a while. The goal is to go taste wine to discover your next favourite or a least some wine for a dinner or event (dinner at home even) and buy some, not just to get pissed.
So don't be afraid because with a bit of planning and some common sense a good day of tasting is on!

Happy Wine Adventures,

Kiwi & Koala

1 comment:

We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!