Tips on Wine Tasting Like a Pro

Eight tricks for enjoying a wine tasting.


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While wine is sophisticated, a big walk-around tasting is often anything but. It’s loud, people push and if you’re not careful, someone  just might spit on you. To ensure you actually have fun at your next event, steal our 8 battle-tested expert tricks. See you at the tables.  

Go Early

Sure, you won’t be able to taste and a panicked staffer may huff at you, but more than likely you’ll be able get the updated program and map out your tasting route. 

Go Big First

If you want to taste the big hitters at an event—say a Williams Selyem or Kosta Browne—working up to it, doesn’t work. Wait, and you risk missing out. Also: Water is wet. 

Go Against the Herd

Clock time at the less-crowded tables where you’ll have more of the winemaker’s attention and wine. Who knows, you just might—gasplearn something new. 

Travel Light 

Juggling a big purse or briefcase, a jacket, an iPhone, a program and your glass slows you down. Two words: Coat check.

Let the Winemaker Guide You

Going to a table and wanting only the producer’s well-known bottle is rude. When you approach, ask where you should start and go through the entire lineup.

Play Dumb

You may be a somm, or own a home in the producer’s region, but don’t be that jerk who gabs with a winemaker only to humblebrag about his wine IQ. Listen more than you talk. Sheesh.

Attend The Seminar

Too cool for a seminar? Fine. Be that way. But the pros know: The smaller breakout panels often allow you to taste more, learn more and get to sip in a more civilized manner (Read: While sitting!).

Beware The Bucket

There’s a reason there’s always standing-room space next to the bucket: Spitting is messy. Avoid that sucker slot, and to be safe, never wear white. 

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