Top Ten Reminders For Your Next Wine Tasting Trip

View of Napa ValleyNo, it isn’t rocket science, as my wife conveniently pointed out to me one morning as I rambled off the reminders below. However, these are good points to keep in mind before you spend a day in wine country.

  1. Wear dark clothing – Splatters happen and this will keep you from looking like a lush.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes – Hard for the ladies, I know, but you just might get the urge to stroll through a vineyard or get stuck on a long tour. Besides, a lot of trails up to tasting rooms aren’t paved, so wear something that can get a little dirty.
  3. Be aware of how you smell – Your tasting can be ruined if you or someone around you is wearing to much perfume, deodorant, or sun screen, or has body odor. I recommend a light application of deodorant on your freshly cleansed body, no perfume or cologne, and applying sunscreen 1/2 – 1 hour before your first stop.
  4. Thoroughly clean your mouth – Includes flossing, brushing, and rinsing. Red wine sticks to plaque, so get it all off. (Remember those pink sugar pills at the dentist when you were a kid?)
  5. Stay hydrated – Very important, especially when it gets hot. Bring a little more than you think you’ll need.
  6. Bring a few snacks – This is good for keeping your blood alcohol level down and hypoglycemics at bay. This is in addition to making sure you stop for lunch.
  7. Designate a driver – This person can use points #5 and #8. Most tasting room staff will have some stories of people stumbling out of the building to get behind the wheel. Sometimes wineries will offer an alternative beverage for the D.D., so feel free to ask.
  8. Practice spitting – The shower is a great place to practice, and believe me, their is a technique to it. Go for accuracy and a clean finish. Any respectable winery won’t turn their nose up at you if you do this, and most have spit buckets set out, so go for it. (Extra points for distance.)
  9. Plan your trip – But don’t cram in too much. Leave some time to explore or meander. I like to maybe have 1 or 2 set appointments, with enough time in between to stumble upon another winery that allows walk-ins. Three to Five winery stops is usually plenty for the day.
  10. Have fun but go easy – This is just grape juice. Don’t let pretentious snobs ruin your day and don’t over do it. No one likes the drunk obnoxious fool, so don’t be that person.