Bendigo Winery Tour would like to let you have a first hand experience of tasting different varieties of wine from a few selected wineries in the Bendigo and Harcourt region.
The following wine tasting etiquette is not meant to make wine tasting experience snooty or pretentious but hopefully it helps to make your wine tasting experience more enjoyable.
Remember many of wineries in this region are small, boutique wineries and family-run. When visiting a wine tasting room or the cellar door consider yourself a guest.
Mints and Gum
Bubble gum, chewing gum and breath mints will alter the taste of wine. Rinse your mouth well with water before beginning a tasting.
Respect the Wine and Appreciate It, Don’t Chug It:
Wait for your turn. Approach the tasting bar and greet the staff member or winemaker who will assist in explaining the wines. Every winery will have their order of wine to be tasted. If you are not going to taste the whole range, please be patient and wait until your particular varietal is being tasted.
Listen to the wine expert discuss each wine and ask questions. Show an interest in the flavor, aroma and color of the wine and how it is grown. It is in very poor taste to show signs of being there simply for a drink, ignoring the details the expert has to offer about the vineyard.
Whether tasting a $5 wine or a $5000 wine, respect each wine you taste and give it a chance.
Focus on tasting wines about which you want to learn. It’s perfectly acceptable to skip any of the wines offered on the tasting list. If you encounter one you do not care for, you don’t have to finish what’s in your glass.
Take your time, taste each wine slowly but enjoy yourself.
Handling a Wine Glass
Hold any style of wine glass by the stem as that keeps your fingerprints off the bowl and keeps your hand from heating the wine.
Spit Buckets: Some people like to swallow a sip or two of each wine but then empty the rest of their glass out. Whichever reason you have for spitting rather than swallowing it is perfectly acceptable wine tasting etiquette to spit in a provided spit bucket. If no bucket is visible, ask your host for one. When spitting, move close to the bucket so that you don’t spray anyone else or the countertop.
Or use the water provided in a wine tasting room to clear your palate or to rinse your glass. Rinsing the glass helps when the tasting moves from whites to reds or to dessert wines. Just empty the contents of your glass before moving on to the next taste.
How Many Tastes Do You Get? You are normally offered one taste of each wine. You normally don’t have a second taste unless you are really interested in purchasing.
Most of the boutique wineries do not sell their wine through wholesalers but only at their cellar doors. Therefore, most of the wines they offer for tasting are also available for purchase in the tasting room.
If you like something you taste, purchase it at the cellar door or you may not be able to buy it elsewhere.