Wine tasting etiquette


It is not my intention to tell you how you must enjoy wine. In fact, I always encourage people to enjoy responsibly but also how they are most comfortable. Having said that there are certain things you may want to keep in mind if you find yourself at a wine tasting event.

I always encourage people to hold the glass by the stem. This is for a couple of reasons; it keeps your fingers off the glass so that you may determine its colour and clarity without distortion and it keeps your hand from warming up the wine which will have (hopefully) been served at just the right temperature. Some, you may see, hold the glass at the base which is often the choice of seemingly, male sommeliers – looks less dainty I think.

Although it is tempting to slap on the perfume before going out, that simple act could not only ruin the tasting for you but also for others. The intense aromas from colognes and perfumes will drastically change the perception (both smell and taste) of the wine so try to limit that to a light fragrance deodorant.

Spitting is fine (in the bucket of course) and even encouraged if driving or tasting many selections. The only drawback to spitting is the inevitable dribble that often follows, keep that in mind when you spit and try to avoid spitting all the juice, reserving just a little for the back of the palette to determine the finish.

One more thing, the enjoyment of wine tasting events can be influenced by the company it draws, it is always best to find ones that attract people like yourself… hey, its no fun being surrounded by “wine wankers”.



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Peter Marion

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