Sunday, March 27, 2011

Five Tips to Make the Most of a Wine Tasting

Have you attended a wine tasting recently?  Wine tasting events are popular fund raisers in my neck of the woods.  A number of community organizations host wine tastings as fund raisers for worthy causes.  Local wine purveyors arrange for wine vendors to showcase a variety of wines for the attendees to sample.  Local restaurants and caterers  donate a variety of tasty appetizers and finger foods.  At some there are silent auctions and raffles as well.  It makes for an evening of fun and community, all for a good cause.

These wine tasting events can be a terrific opportunity to broaden your appreciation for a variety of wines.  It is helpful to have a strategy when you attend a wine tasting so you can make the most of the opportunity as well as enjoy the wines.

Five Tips to Make The Most of A Wine Tasting

1.  Choose a wine variety to focus on at the wine tasting event.  By choosing one or two varieties you'll be able to compare and contrast the different wines and perhaps fine a new wine you especially like.  Will you choose Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, or something else?

2. Research the wine varieties you have chosen as your focus before you go.  What are the key characteristics of the wine you should look for?  What flavors will dominate?  If you know what to look for in the wines you will taste you will have a more rewarding experience.  The Internet has a wealth of information available.

3.  Eat something.  Yes, you should eat before you go.  Attending a wine tasting on an empty stomach is unwise.  Eat while you are there as well.  I like to sample the wine with food.  After all, I rarely drink wine all by itself.  I like to assess a wine's flavors along with a variety of appetizers.

4.  Make notes.  You'll want to remember the wines you tasted, especially any that you really liked.  It's not enough to remember a wine by a picture on the label or a word in its name.  When you get to the wine store you'll find many other wines with that same picture on the label or the same word in their name.   I took pictures of the wine bottles I sampled at a recent wine tasting.  The pictures are very helpful when purchasing the wines at a later date.

5.  Decide whether you will drink the wine or taste and spit.  It is often recommended that you taste the wine and spit it out.  I suppose that would work, but it's not an approach I use.  If you don't spit out the wine you'll definitely want to moderate your consumption.  Drinking water throughout the evening is helpful as well.

Wine tastings provide a great opportunity to sample a number of wines side by side.  This is hard to do in a home setting, so take advantage of these opportunities in your community.  Your community organization will benefit from your support and you will benefit from an expanded appreciation of different wines.

Here are some other wine tasting posts you may enjoy:
Chardonnay Wine Tasting
A Fun Way to Try Red Zinfandel Wine

Tasting responsibly,


  1. This was perfect timing for me because I am heading to Napa soon!

  2. Nice post. Check out the above mentioned tips on selecting a very good bottle of wine without exceeding your budget.


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