One of the many great things about the wine tasting experience is the wide range of knowledge levels that can co-exist in the tasting room. There’s no judgement made of your understanding of wine, whether you have a PhD in oenology (yup, that’s the study of wine. It’s a thing.) or you’re making your debut in the wine tasting scene. That said, there are a few things that you should probably should not say in the winery. With tongue firmly in cheek, here are our 5 things not to say in a winery:
#1: This tastes awful! Why do you make it?
Ouch! The phrase “it is a matter of taste” certainly pertains to wine tasting. No single wine appeals to everyone. Have faith that wineries do their best to produce wines that appeal to their target customer. Maybe you aren’t their customer, or your jalapeno and garlic pizza lunch has done something awful to your palate. The tasting room has “dump buckets” scattered around just for this kind of situation. Empty your glass, keep your mouth shut, and wait for the next wine on the tasting flight. Chances are, the next wine will be right in your wheelhouse!
#2: I’m allergic to grapes, what can I taste?
Really? Allergic to grapes and you decided to go wine tasting? Sorry, but nearly every winery specializes in fermented grape juice. There may be the occasional apple or plum wine being poured, but your odds are pretty slim. That’s a real bummer for you. Maybe visit a micro brewery instead?
#3: How do you like my new perfume?
Yes, it’s called wined tasting, but the aroma of wine is a critical component of its enjoyment. If the latest spritz of your Eau de Mygoodness perfume fills the room, you are ruining the experience for everyone within smelling distance. People will be sniffing their wine glass, so it’s OK to smell like a person just this once. Your new friends in the winery will thank you.
#4: Can’t you pour a decent amount of wine in my glass?
So, technically, it is called wine TASTING, not wine guzzling. You are supposed to be sampling wine, learning about the winery’s various offerings. Possibly finding some favorites to purchase and take home to enjoy later. You’re also going to be tasting quite a few wines over the course of the afternoon, so pacing is important. One key strategy employed by the Wine Tasting Bliss team is sharing one glass between two tasters. Half the wine, double the tasting capacity. If your goal is to get blasted on wine, you’re probably in the wrong place.
#5: You know, I can get this wine cheaper at Costco!
Wine tasting is not a rich man’s sport, but it can be a bit more pricey than dollar shot night at the corner dive bar. The winery will be charging “list price” for their wine, hence the term list price. Many times, though, the winery will also be running some promotional pricing on certain wines, either in case lots or other bundles. If you can match your palate with their need to clear out inventory, magical things can happen! That is also why we have cases of wine tucked into every nook and cranny of our home.
As I said up front, this was all meant as a humorous look at winery chatter. I’ve said more than my fair share of silly things while tasting, and I haven’t been thrown out yet. That’s not meant as a challenge, but who knows?
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?