Hosting tastings is one of the things I look forward to the most in my day. I spend a lot of time preparing for each tasting, and I relish sharing my knowledge and passion with new people. It’s mostly all fun and games, but after hosting hundreds of tastings, there are a few things I thought you should all know.
Be mindful of yourself and those around you: don’t wear cologne, perfume, scented lotions etc. No one cares or notices if you’re not spritzed with something. A significant part of wine tasting is smelling, and if you wear cologne/perfume it not only impairs your ability to smell and taste, but also people around you.
Arrive early, even just five minutes. I can’t believe I actually need to say this, but if you can’t show up a few minutes early, at least show up on time. If you’re late – apologize to your host and other guests. We understand, things happen but it’s shocking how many people roll up to a wine tasting, unapologetic and 15 minutes or more late. We have a timeline to stick to you and your disregard for our time isn’t cool.
Leave your preconceptions at the door. Come to every tasting with an open mind and palate. If you think you don’t like a grape, style or a region – try it anyway. Your palate changes and you never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised! There will also always be a spittoon should you feel the desire to dump something you don’t enjoy.
Remember this it a tasting, so don’t knock back your sample. If you do, that doesn’t mean you’re getting more. We don’t just open wine haphazardly, it’s been calculated beforehand. Yes, we prefer guests to drink at their own pace, but try to savour at least some of it.
You’ve hopefully come to a wine tasting to learn something, so ask questions! I’m willing to bet at least one other person will have the same question, or will be curious to hear the answer. No matter where you’re tasting, no matter how basic or silly your question might seem, your host loves to talk about wine and wants you to leave feeling like you learned something new.
Bonus: take it from someone who wore a white shirt to a wine tasting and inevitably spilled red wine, don’t wear white!