Tasting Room Etiquette — Do’s and Dont’sDo:
• Drink responsibly and drive responsibly - those little ounces add up. • Plan ahead - realize that 3 or 4 wineries in a day is a lot and you will want to budget sufficient time for a lunch or picnic break. • Swirl, smell and spit as much as you want - that's what those spittoons are for. • Have patience with the wine pourer - they'll get to you. • Have a tasting strategy - review what wines are being served and choose which ones you would like to sample. • Take a cooler in the summertime - you don't want to cook your purchased wine in the hot car. • Ask questions - tasting room staff are "people persons" otherwise they would be security guards. • Purchase wine - assuming it is in your budget and you like it, then spring for it. This is especially true in small wineries where the winery itself may be the only place to purchase the wine. • Be open to wines that you believe you will not like - reds, whites, port wines. You might be surprised to learn how delicious Puget Sound grown grapes can be or how a fruit wine might be a perfect accompaniment to the pound cake you plan to serve.
• Ask for a second helping - however, if you are seriously considering purchasing a bottle then this rule can get bent. • Feel that you need to purchase a bottle of wine - the winery's primary goal is to provide you a positive experience so you tell your friends and family about it. • Wear perfumes or colognes - your nose needs to be freed up to smell the wine. • Attempt to engage the tasting room staff in esoteric debates - the origin of the wood used for the wine barrels is best left for a conversation with the winemaker. • Take anything - the wine glasses are theirs... not yours. • Drink excessively - if you know in advance that you will be imbibing throughout the day, designate a driver or hire a stretch limo.