So near halloween my best friend and I went to a wine tasting at a small local winery. Now granted, this is not near the scale of the ones that will happen in the summer. It was also like a wine benefit tasting for a fantastic local non-profit. So my experience here will probably be a little different than yours may be at a larger one. There are a lot of these that are going to make you go – well, duh! But you have to realize, I really don’t do the whole bar thing and it’s still alcohol. So here are 5 things to know before your wine tasting experience!
5 Things to Know Before Your Wine Tasting Experience
1. You should get a DD.
Now here’s the deal, it’s a tasting which means the samples of wine are small. However, several small samples of wine would still have the effect of an actual serving of wine. The more you sample, the more alcohol you’re consuming and you should never drink and drive. Dona Ana County has one of the worst problems with this in the country. So do yourself a favor and plan on having a designated driver! This might mean someone at the event that doesn’t drink, that you arrange for pickup at a later time or call an uber/taxi. Don’t underestimate your wine tasting experience.
2. You’re probably not going to like everything you taste, but you should try them anyway!
Now I love wine, and we had diverse samples to choose from. I was thinking since I liked moscato that I’d probably really like every sample. But this is not the case. There are a large varieties of wine, from dry to sweet. While they were all super high quality this definitely taught me I want to stick with white wines. But I’m glad I got to experience the dry and woodier red wines so I know what they are like!
3. You may need to do some research beforehand if you want the whole wine connoisseur experience.
When we went to this wine tasting I was thinking that I was also going to get an education about wine. Nothing too involved, but have a few basic questions answered. Like where it came from, info on basic grape production, or maybe how to properly taste it? Which really in the scheme of things may have been a lot to ask which I totally understand. The woman who poured our wine (was super nice), but other than admitting she enjoyed the wine she really didn’t have a lot of information to share. She was basically me and we ended up pulling out Google. It was kind of like the blind leading the blind. If you’re going to a wine tasting do some research beforehand so you feel comfortable being with a crowd of people who may seem to be specialists.
If you want to know how to properly taste wine, it’s super easy! I’ve listed the steps below:
- Look at your wine. Note the color, thickness and transparency.
- Swish your wine around for about five seconds and take a smell. There are a lot of different kind of scents you may be able to identify.
- You may note that it smells herb(ish), fruity, or flowery – these are known as primary aromas.
- Another kind of smell may be a nutty, stale or rind smell which is known as a secondary smell and come from the actual process of wine making.
- The third kind of smell (known as tertiary) come from the bottle or aging process. You might notice smells like spices, cedar, etc. An article that goes into more detail can be found here.
- Then you’ll begin to taste it by swishing it around in your mouth. It is sweet or bitter? Dry or salty? Apparently if you drink wine often enough you can also determine texture and note if the flavor changes. (I’m definitely not there yet.)
4. Some wine tastings are family friendly, others are not.
This wine tasting we went to was definitely a family friendly experience! They had a small pumpkin carving contest for the kiddos as well as coloring pages. Because it was a pretty intimate experience (the winery was pretty little and very charming) and the porch was fenced in it gave kids the opportunity to enjoy themselves as well as adults. You should definitely find out if the wine tasting you’re going to is limited to adults or if they have activities for little ones. If you can’t find a sitter and have other friends with families this could be a definite plus. However, if you’re looking for an experience that’s tailored to couples, etc. then that may not be the wine tasting you want to attend, especially if kids aren’t your thing.
5. Be confident and comfortable.
I think both the person and I attended this event with were both thinking the event was going to be a little larger scale. So we were expecting to be just a few more bodies in a room. However, this as I mentioned was a smaller event. Even though it might seem really silly we were totally super awkward when we first got there. I mean, it can seem a little intimidating to be in a somewhat dimly lit room with a handful of other people (who are probably pretty experienced with wine tasting) when you go to your first one.
But at the end of the day you’re literally drinking alcohol. You’re doing the same thing you would do at a bar with friends or at home with your spouse. It doesn’t take a a genius to literally take a sip of a liquid. Don’t be so freaked out that everyone else there is going to judge you for your limited knowledge of wines. A wine tasting is a learning experience! Better than that, they may be in your shoes. Once you’ve tasted a few even if you’re really nervous you’ll start to enjoy yourself, I promise.
Have you ever gone to a wine tasting before? How was your first experience?
Thanks for reading!