9 Tips to Enhance Your Wine Tasting Experience

Click for ABC's event schedule!Wine tastings are always fun for everyone, whether at a winery or at your local ABC.  However, it seems that the people who don't enjoy them may not be getting as much out of the wine tasting as they could. Here are some tips to help enhance your wine tasting experience:

  1. When going to a wine tasting, avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne. This is for the benefit of yourself and other tasters around you so that you can appreciate the aromas of the wine.
  2. Take a notebook or have your camera phone handy so you can remember the wines you like. Many ABC wine tastings have handy ‘maps’ that let you rate each wine at any given table.  
  3. Start with dry whites as you taste, getting heavier as you go. For example: Pinot Grigio before Chardonnay. After the whites are done, move on to reds; Pinot Noir first, then on to heavier wines. Save the sweet wines for last–they’re called dessert wines for a reason.
  4. While swallowing wine is the most fun, when there are 50 or 60 wines to try, it’s best to spit. Ask for a small cup to spit into after swirling, sniffing and savoring your wine. Utilize the spit buckets on the tables for dumping out your used wine.
  5. Cleanse your palate with crackers or bread. Try to avoid spicy or sweet foods, as these can throw off the taste of the wine.  
  6. Rinse your glass out between wines. This can be accomplished by swirling a new wine in your glass, then dumping it out. This gets rid of the old wine and enhances the aromas of the new.
  7. Be adventurous. Most wine lovers appreciate all wine and are excited to try new things. Comfort zones are for wine drinking. Wine tastings are about making discoveries.  
  8. Ask lots of questions. People pouring a wine they’re excited about will help you apprreciate what it took to put it on the table. While some are simply there to pour, many will gladly offer advice o suggestions based on what you like.
  9. Have fun! Wine tastings are one of my favorite events. It always leads to new discoveries and gives insight into the world of wine.  
So get out there and taste some wine! Who knows? You might find a new favorite!
Bill Dahl, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine consultant
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinebilld

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