Wine Tasting Tips - THE GRAPE

Grape Tip Tuesday: 9 Tips To Make Your Wine Tasting Trip A Hit

This Week In Wine 101: 9 Tips To Make Your Wine Tasting Trip A Hit

If you’re planning a trip to wine country, Grape! What are some simple tips to make a wine tasting trip a success? This is The Grape’s Guide To A Successful Wine Tasting Trip, including 9 tips to make your wine tasting trip a success. Consider the following when planning your trip to wine country.


#1 – When To Visit?

When trying to figure out when you’d like to visit wine country or a winery in your area or elsewhere, you may want to figure out when would be the best time to visit. Weekends usually attract more traffic and a vineyard or winery can become more than a little congested. The summer and fall are a great time to visit wine country because of all the ongoing activities and festivals taking place. However, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere and you’d like a personalized experience from the staff, consider visiting on a weekday or during the slower months.


#2 – Party of…

Figure out how many people you’re going with. For example, if it’s just a trip for two, you don’t likely have to bother calling in advance to make reservations for a wine tasting. Although, if you and your guest are taking a guided tour of the grounds or are planning to take a pairing tutorial, you can either show up and see if there is room for two or make a reservation to confirm a spot. If however, you have three or more people in your party, it is recommended that you call in advance and make reservations for a tasting or tour. This also applies if you and your guests plan to partake in any food and wine or cheese and wine pairing tours. These tutorials are an excellent way to learn about the relationship between wine and food, plus they are delicious!


#3 – Your Favorite Grape Varietals

Aim to visit the wineries or vineyards that produce varietals you love. Most wineries and vineyards specialize in at least two types of varietals (usually one red and one white). You’ll be able to find new wines to adore and invest in, or perhaps even join the vineyard’s wine club to receive quarterly or semi-annual wines to enjoy, along with free entry to social events taking place throughout the year.


#4 – Explore

Recently there’s been a lot of buzz around the different ways to travel through wine country. Vineyards are starting to implement more wine trails for visitors to explore. Whether on foot, bicycle, horseback, or jeep – this is one activity you may want to take advantage of during your trip. Plus you get to see more!


#5 – Eat Well!

Eat a big breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll (likely) be drinking a lot on your trip, so eat heartily and avoid drinking yourself into a stupor. Many vineyards have picnic tables on the premises and allow you to bring your own picnic lunch or snacks to enjoy with a nice bottle of their wine. And what’s more, they offer incredible breathtaking views, which only adds to the experience.


#6 – The Early Bird…

Go early! Most wineries open at 10 a.m., so if you plan on making several stops during your day, make sure you get an early start. As the day progresses, the busier it gets, and the more strained the staff becomes. Getting in early will allow you to experience the winery staff at their freshest, which should ensure are more pleasurable experience.


#7 Allocate Enough Time

Make sure to allocate at least 1 ½ – 2 hours at each vineyard or winery you visit. Many times, we get in over our head and compile a list of several if not dozens of vineyards and wineries we’d like to visit in a short period of time. When trying to visit so many places in one day and rushing through every wine tasting, you’re more likely to miss out on the full experience each venue offers and worse, you’re unable to fully appreciate, learn about and enjoy the wines. The key is to learn, discover and enjoy the experience, socialize with other wine enthusiasts and appreciate the wines and atmospheres of your surroundings and have incredible pictures and souvenirs to show for it!


#8 – Ask Tons of Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask why one flavor is more prominent or how a wine may smell so heavenly yet taste so different? If it’s your first time to a winery or vineyard, event better! Winery guides love to assist newcomers and will expand on each wine you’re sampling, while helping you explore new grape varietals. By asking questions they’ll learn more about you, making it easier to pour you a glass of wine that’s more in tune with your taste buds and preferences. The more you communicate about which wines or aromas and flavors you are drawn to, the easier it will be for the staff to showcase wines that are agreeable with your style and taste.


#9 – Bringing Back Cargo

During your trip you may fall in love many times, with different wines, from different vineyards and wineries, so note the following tips:


#9a – If you plan on making multiple purchases, bring a couple of empty boxes to hold your wines. You can also ask if the winery or vineyard can ship wines to your address (usually they can).


#9b – If you’re visiting during the summer months, remember, do not to leave your wine in your hot car! Heat is wine’s enemy!


#9c – Lastly, do not over buy. You don’t want to find yourself inundated with wine for which you don’t have enough storage. After all, you’re not a Greek getting ready to attend a symposium – or are you?


To conclude, we hope you’ve found this article helpful and informative. Remember to enjoy your wine tasting trip and try not to pack in too many stops. Pick the wineries and vineyards that produce wines from the grape varietals you like. Get an early start so you can enjoy a nice long day of appreciating and drinking fine wines, while soaking in the scenery. Make sure to call in advance to make reservations for tastings, guided tours or wine and food pairing tutorials. Eat well, and consider exploring the terroir either by foot, bicycle, horseback or jeep. But most of all, contemplate and figure out a plan for how you will bring back any cargo you incur during your journey to wine nirvana. Have fun!


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