1. Do some research
A lot of wines are being presented at wine tastings. If you are a novice or even a professional you should do some research. It will be mostly impossible to taste everything. Look up for a list of the producers, check their website, wine list,…. see if you find anything interesting. At least try a few new things and don’t taste the same wine every time.
At the end it’s up to you to decide what you need or what you want to taste. Just don’t complain when the fair is over that you didn’t had the chance to taste everything.
2. Don’t dress to impress
If there is anything that I hate, it’s people that think that they are more important because they dress like they’re going to a “red carpet gala”. No it’s not because you wear a bow tie and a three piece suit that you have a better appearance or look more serious. Guess what, you will not even been seen as a wine connaisseur, but just as a winesnob…. Be normal, that’s already crazy enough.
3. NO PERFUME!
At a winetasting people love to smell the wine, not your perfume. Take a shower, if needed put on some deo. People tend to spray enough perfume to kill every living organism in the room. Just don’t…
2. Be on time
2.A At the tasting
When a tasting takes place at 14h till 18h don’t come to 17.30h. Chance is great that some producers already left because they need to take a flight or they have other appointments outside the tasting. So don’t be shocked if you are not able to taste everything you wanted.
2.B At your appointment
Question is: “Should you make an appointment?”
In my case I never make appointments, not even at bigger wine fairs. The reason is simple, it’s very hard to implement a specific duration of a tasting. When you don’t like the wines, then things can go very quickly. After 5 minutes you’ll be able to leave.
Imagine what happens when you make an appointment and you like the wines… You’ll get a nice seat somewhere at a boot with something small to chew on. You enjoy the wines and you feel a connection with the farmer. You keep on talking and talking… about the details of the terroir, foodpairings, strategy, prices,… before you know it will be one hour later.
So no! I don’t make appointments. Just out of respect for all the persons I would have an appointment with. There is nothing worse than arriving too late at every appointment and at the end event.
The other side of the medal is that I don’t expect the winery to make time for me when they already have an appointment. You take some, you lose some.
3. Things you don’t say.
How much is it for a glass of wine?
Unlike some other tasting, it’s not custom to pay for your consumption. You’re supposed to taste a wine, not to drink it.
Could you pour me a little bit more?
Like I said, it’s a wine tasting not a binge drinking party. If you really didn’t get enough in your glass to have a decent smell of the wine, I suggest to taste what to person gave you and then ask if you could have a second opinion. A proper excuse could be: “The nose was very interesting, after my sip I had the feeling that there was much more going on in the glass that I tought.”
Do you have any….?
This is maybe one of the most important things to know. If the winery is polite, they will let you taste what they have. Don’t aks for a red chardonnay or a wine with a lot of tannins. Go on discovery, try new things, don’t go look for things you’re searching for.