niner estate paso robles

Tasting room etiquette – how to survive the rituals of the tasting room

Winery Tasting Room Guide 

Surviving the rituals of the tasting room

The tasting room guide contains all you need to know to survive the rituals of the tasting room. 

Looking good in the tasting room

  • Most tasting rooms post COVID lockdown require a reservation.
  • Do not expect to drop-in without an appointment at the big wineries. Small wineries are more likely to take in tourists without an appointment.
  • Tasting rooms vary from the very elaborate to a simple table set up in the winemaking area. 
  • White wines are tasted first, followed by red wines, and then dessert wines.
  • Taste each wine carefully and savor each sip. See our guide on how to taste wine.
  • Most wineries will have a sheet of tasting notes. Read the tasting notes as you sip the wine and see if you notice any of the aromas or flavors described in the notes.
  • Skipping any of the wines on the tasting list is okay. Some people ] want to taste the reds only. Some may be interested in tasting only specific varietals of wine.
  • Usually, you would not ask for a second taste of one particular wine unless you indicate that you are interested in purchasing the wine.
  • You do not have to drink all the wine in your glass. Toss the unwanted wine in your glass into the dump bucket provided for this purpose.
  • If the server suggests a rinse for your glass, that means the host will pour a small amount of the next wine into your glass.  It is called a “Rinse.” Swirl the wine and empty into the dump bucket.
  • Sometimes a neutral food will be provided, such as plain crackers. The purpose of the food is to clear the palate after tasting each particular wine.
  • Finally, whatever you do, do not act like a wine snob.
Tasting Room Etiquette
Tasting Room Etiquette