Best Tips for Your First Wine Tour

Many wine tasting rooms, wineries, and vineyards in the U.S. and abroad allow visitors to come and sample their offerings. Although many still believe they must visit Northern California’s Sonoma or Napa Valley regions to find winemakers, viniculture has spread to many parts of the U.S. If you’re planning your first trip to a winery, here are four tips you can use to make the most of your wine-tasting experience.

Drink Outside Your Comfort Zone

Keeping an open mind is the only way you’ll find a new favorite wine. If you’re generally a fan of sweet wines, make an effort to try some of the drier wines as well as sweet ones. If you’re familiar with wines made from very traditional varieties of grapes, try a new grape variety or a wine made from a different fruit altogether. If you’re unused to drinking sparkling wines, give a sparkling white wine a try. These are only a few of the many ways you can expand your wine palette.

Have a Designated Driver

You may or may not actually feel drunk while taking part in a winery tour or wine tasting, but those small sips of wine add up quickly. Designated drivers are better than drunk drivers. Unless you’ve made other preparations beforehand, such as visiting a winery within walking distance of your hotel room, this is the best way to ensure you’ll remember your winery visit for the delightful vintages you tasted, not for the horrible consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. Many wineries offer free snacks and nonalcoholic drinks for designated drivers.

Politeness Counts

Some smaller wineries are located inside the owner’s’ private homes. Act the way you would when visiting an acquaintance’s home for the first time, putting your best foot forward. Make sure you get permission before recording video or taking photos. Since winery owners and staff are often very personally invested in the wines they produce, keep your remarks to them positive and polite. Don’t forget to thank them.

Prepare to Answer This Question: “What kind of wine do you like?”

Even if you’re a wine newbie, you can get an idea by asking your tour guide for his or her recommendations. Most tour guides will be pleased to offer a few personal recommendations.

The most important thing about trying a winery, tasting room, or vineyard for the first time is to enjoy yourself. Be open-minded about trying different wines and a whole new world will open up for you to explore.

 

5 thoughts on “Best Tips for Your First Wine Tour

  1. Thanks for suggesting that we find a friend that can act as a designated driver since we’ll probably be feeling the effects of the alcohol when we’re trying to get to our hotel. My husband and I are planning on going on a vineyard tour for our fifth anniversary and we are wondering what tips there are for it. Since we both plan on drinking plenty of wine on our vineyard tour, we will definitely try to find a designated driver we can use.

  2. I like how you said that even small sips of wine can add up to getting you a little tipsy, so it’s good to have someone nearby who can drive you around. With how many accidents there are today from people being irresponsible after drinking, this seems like a great way to prevent that. That way you can enjoy your wine tour without having to worry about needing to drive.

  3. It sure was nice when you said that it is best to stay polite when it comes to visiting wineries and make sure to ask permission before recording any videos or taking pictures. I will be sure to make this clear to my brother since he loves taking photos. We are planning to go out for a wine tour next month, so I am thankful that I came across this article. Thank you!

  4. I like your advice on keeping an open mind and palette when tasting wines. Since I retired my wife and I have been traveling quite a bit. One thing that we share of love for is wine. It would be great to combine the two and get on some great tours. We will get outside our comfort zone if we do.

  5. Thanks for the tip to expand your wine palette by trying drier wines if you are already a fan of sweet wines. My wife and I would like to try out a wine tour for our wedding anniversary this year. Since we haven’t ever tried drier wines before, we will definitely be sure to try it out!

Comments are closed.