What You Should Know Before Visiting a Winery

Wine tasting tips
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

If you ever visit a region like Napa Valley in California, the Cape Winelands in South Africa, Bordeaux in France, or Tuscany in Italy, you’ll probably want to visit some wineries. And when you visit a winery, an obvious (and very fun!) thing to do is a wine tasting, which is when you, well, taste some of the wines made at the winery.

However, wine tastings can be a little bit intimidating for some people, making you feel like you have to know some esoteric wine information or wine tasting procedures that nobody ever officially taught you. So we’re here to teach you—even though wine tastings are much lower pressure situations than you might think.

First, here’s what you can expect from a wine tasting. It may or may not begin with a tour of the winery grounds. Eventually, you’ll go to a tasting room where a sommelier will take you through a prepared wine tasting menu. You’ll get a glass with a small serving of each wine, some information about it, the opportunity to ask questions, and then you’ll get to taste it. Sometimes there might be bread or cheese. And that’s all!

Now what about tasting itself? You don’t have to do or say anything fancy. If you really want to get into it, give your wine a look and a sniff before swirling it, tasting it, and describing what you think. If you hate it, you don’t have to finish your glass. If you like it, go ahead! It’s all up to you.