Wine Tasting Room Etiquette

Anyone who has ever been wine tasting in Paso Robles most likely has a tale—or two—to tell about witnessing bad tasting room behavior. Of course, any event that involves consuming alcohol is going to be fraught with the possibility that some people will forget their manners, but with a little pre-planning and a few tips, anyone can enjoy a successful wine tasting.

Tasting room etiquette is important especially if you’re planning on going wine tasting for Harvest weekend in Paso Robles. The tasting rooms will be busy and since many wineries are offering special events during the Harvest weekend, you’ll have to manage crowds of people while you’re sipping and swirling.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the tasting rooms, enjoy your experience and be welcomed back with open arms on your next visit to the wineries:

Dress Appropriately: Wineries and tasting rooms differ in many ways and while some may have welcoming indoor spaces, you may want to enjoy others from the outside. While sweeping views are always a welcome sight, temperatures can vary and winds can be strong, so dress appropriately by wearing layers and bringing along a light jacket or shawl. Also, be aware that many wineries offer complimentary tours of the production facilities, so be sure to wear appropriate shoes that you can comfortably walk in and that lend themselves to a behind the scenes look at wine making.

Eat Before You Taste: Those small pours seem innocuous in the glass, but they add up fast. Add to the equation tasting rooms usually open around 11 am, and you can easily see that skipping breakfast could be a recipe for disaster. Eating before heading to the tasting rooms will slow down the effects of the alcohol and allow you to enjoy tasting without getting buzzed and making a fool of yourself.

Plan Ahead: With over 200 wineries to choose from, it’s important to plan your day ahead of time. We recommend selecting 4 to 5 wineries—or let us plan your tasting for you—that are located near each other. Plan on spending about 40 minutes to an hour at each, where you’ll probably taste an average of 4 to 5 wines.

Don’t feel compelled to drink everything in that’s poured in your glass. Remember, wine tasting is about learning the various styles of wine and differences between each label. If you drink everything that goes into your glass, you’ll quickly wear out your palate and possibly your welcome. Make good use of the dump buckets by pouring out whatever you don’t like.

For the ultimate wine tasting experience, choose one of our Wine Wrangler Tour packages. We can plan an itinerary for you that will take you to the tasting rooms you want to visit. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the scenic views and even a fabulous picnic lunch that you can enjoy perched high among the vineyards. What better way to enjoy Harvest weekend in Paso Robles wine country?