Tasting Room Etiquette

Wine tasting can be both inviting and intimidating.  Following a few simple tips regarding wine tasting etiquette can make the difference between a fun and educational experience and a mediocre one.

•           3 Sip Protocol: 1st begins to cleanse your pallet; 2nd sets up your pallet to taste; 3rd allows you to taste the wine.

•           Pace yourself – Slowly savoring a small amount of each wine you sample not only helps maintain sobriety, it also helps you fully appreciate the wine. Drinking water between sips helps in this regard, too.

•           Ask questions.  There are no stupid questions.  Tasting room folks are always interested in educating their visitors.  However, if you are with a group and would rather talk to them, they will usually stay out of your way.

•           Take notes about the wines you like.  This will help you remember what you have tasted and also signals that you are serious about wine tasting.  Often this will get you a bit more personalized treatment and, sometimes a few wines to taste that are not on the schedule for the day. Use your notes to help recall your favorites for purchasing wine.

•           Use the dump bucket. Don’t be afraid to dump the wine once you have tasted it, your pourer will not be offended and will recognize your empty glass as a signal to pour the next taste.

•           Don’t spit into the dump bucket.  .  Although professional wine judges “spit” doing so is discouraged as many visitors to Tasting Rooms find this offensive!

•           Good manners are essential in the winery tasting rooms and your behavior there reflects directly on Gold Country Wine Tours and our ability to gain special access for our tour guests at the wineries. When in the wine tasting room be polite.  Remember that you are a guest in their “home!”  The wineries are proud of their wines and want honest feedback, but be kind.  If you don’t like the wine, quietly empty your glass in the dump bucket.  If you do like the wine, let them know.

•           Please step outside if it is necessary to use your cell phone so as not to disturb other Tasting Room patrons.

•           If you want to enjoy some wine with your picnic lunch provided by us, please purchase a bottle from the winery where you are having your picnic as it is considered bad form to drink wine from a different winery at your picnic.

•           If you have enjoyed what you tasted at a winery, purchase a bottle or two as this allows these wineries to continue to provide great service to our guests. However, the best part of purchasing some Amador wine is being able to later open a bottle you purchased and savor it with your friends or family.

•           Last, but not least, have fun! Wine tasting should be an entertaining and educational outing. Following these simple wine tasting tips will help you enjoy your day out in this beautiful wine country!

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