Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tours: 16 Tips for Attending a Wine Tasting

by Eli O.     6 min. read

Do you enjoy wine? Did you know that there’s scientific evidence that states regular wine drinking can reduce your chances of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, gum disease, and heart disease? 

Are you doing your first wine tour and not sure what to expect? In this article, explore the top wine tasting tips you’ll want to know before your trip. Read on to explore these tips to ensure that you get the most benefit out of your wine tasting experience!

How Will a Wine Tasting Work?

When you go to a wine tasting, you’ll be seated with a few others, and have small finger food. You’ll often want to start with a glass of sparkling wine before moving to whites and reds (not applicable to VDG Wineries). 

Some locations will instead have a walk-around style. With this style, you’ll get to walk and try a variety of wines, and speak with the winemaker. 

1. What to Wear to a Wine Tasting?

While most wineries are casual, it’s a good idea to look up the venue and location of where you’re headed. Consider shorts or jeans and a nice shirt.

If you’re going with a group, some people like to dress up for the occasion. Avoid light colors, opt for darker colors, and avoid heels.

2. Dump Buckets

Many wineries have what’s known as dump buckets. If you’re not a fan of a certain flavor, it’s part of wine tasting etiquette to pour the wine into the bucket. 

3. Bring Money

It’s common for wineries to have a tasting fee for each person. If you decide to buy a bottle of wine afterward, they sometimes won’t charge you a tasting fee. 

4. What Wine to Start With?

At a wine tasting event, it’s common to start with a lighter wine. Begin with the white wines and slowly work your way up to the reds.

Wine lists will vary from location to location. Some will have you pick 3 reds and 3 whites. Valle de Guadalupe wineries usually have young and premium/reserve windes, the latter ones being more expensive. 

5. Eat Food

If you start your wine tasting on an empty stomach, you’ll wind up getting drunk fast. Try to eat prior to the event.

Some locations will have food at the wine tasting, so ensure that you eat as you drink. Try to drink water in between tastings to stay hydrated.  Many wineries in VDG have either a food truck or a kitchen or restaurant that serves great food. You can purchase food before/after your wine tasting. 

6. Avoid Fragrance

Since smelling the fragrance of wine is a part of the experience, you might cause confusion for others if the scent of your perfume mixes with the wine. If you’re worried about being a distraction, it’ll ruin the event for you. 

7. Don't Worry About Not Being a Wine Connoisseur

Many who go for wine tastings aren’t wine connoisseurs. Wine tastings are there for you to learn and experience different wines. If you’re unsure of a certain type of wine, ask questions. 

8. Tip

Wine tasting etiquette includes tipping the staff. Unless they have a sign stating not to tip, it’s common to tip them for pouring different wines for you. 

9. Write Notes

You’ll be trying a variety of wines, and might regret not writing down that delicious red wine you tried. Have a pen and paper with you, and write down what you’re trying as you go. You can also take pictures of the different names of the wines. 

10. Back to Basics

When your glass of wine is poured, make eye contact with who is pouring your glass, and say thank you. When you receive your glass, you’ll want to hold it by the stem.

Next, give your wine a swirl. This will enhance the scents from the wine. You can then put your nose to the glass, and smell the different flavors. 

When you take a sip, swish it around your mouth before swallowing. A good wine will have a nice aftertaste. 

11. Spitting

Since you’ll be tasting many wines, you’ll want to avoid getting buzzed fast. Many will spit wine as they try different kinds. You’ll want to use the spit bucket when you go to spit out the wine. 

Ensure that you spit slowly to avoid it from shooting back at you. If there’s a crowd where the spit bucket is, wait to take a sip. 

12. Should You Rinse Your Glass for Each Wine?

You don’t have to rinse your glass between each pour. It’s only necessary if you’re going from red to white. If you are rinsing, your best option is to use wine instead of water. 

13. Avoid the Red Wine Stain

As you’re checking out different wineries in Valle de Guadalupe, you’ll want to avoid the red wine teeth stain. You don’t want to brush your teeth right after the event since that’s bad for your enamel. Instead, drink water after the tasting, or bring gum. 

14. Don't Hog Booths

There will be many guests who are surrounding the spit buckets or table, don’t be that person. If you see a crowd of people, move to another location with your glass. 

15. Wine Tasting Etiquette

If you’re tempted to bring business cards, leave them at home. Keep your phone on silent during the event to not disturb other guests. 

16. Give Opinions

Winemakers will be interested to see what you think about their different wines. Let them know your thoughts on each that you try. Make sure to give everyone a turn to share their thoughts. 

Wine tasting is subjective, so don’t feel like you’re giving the wrong opinion. Make sure that when you share your thoughts, you don’t talk over others. 

Exploring Wine Tasting Tips for Beginners

Now that you’ve explored different wine tasting tips for beginners, you should be well on your way to enjoying your next tour. Are you ready to book your next wine tour? 

Valle de Guadalupe is the place to go when you’re looking for the Mexican wine country. Close to the California and Mexican border, you’ll get to enjoy plenty of vineyards, hotels, and award-winning restaurants. Book your wine tour today to enjoy some of the best wine Mexico has to offer! 

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