If you're into wine (and you're reading
this so I assume you are), then visiting Wine Country to taste and tour at your favorite wineries
and vineyards is a must. Whether you're planning a week-long dream wine vacation in Napa or
Bordeaux or visiting a local winery with friends over the weekend, remember our tips and
tricks to make the most of your visit!
Wine Country Travel Tip
#1: Make the Map Your Friend
In your mind, all the wineries in Sonoma may be close
together but you may discover when you get there that they're quite spread out. It's a good
idea to visit wineries that are grouped together rather than choosing ones that are miles and
miles apart because you'll spend more time driving than tasting.
Country Travel Tip #2: Proper Pacing is Key!
Sure, maybe you only have one day to hit all the wineries
you've wanted to visit for years but trying to see 10 in one day is a bad idea. You'll be too
rushed to really enjoy each winery, and after a certain point your palate will be numb and all
the wines will taste the same anyway. We recommend a limit of four per day.
Wine Country Travel Tip #3: Variety
IS the Spice of Life
This tip works on a few different levels. Tours are a great way to
get a more in-depth experience but you probably don't want a tour at each winery you
visit. Mix one winery tour per day with a few tasting visits, and combine wineries with
different specialties and styles, such as sparkling / still, red / white, and big /
Wine Country Travel Tip #4: Know Your Tasting Room
- Tasting Fees: In areas that got a lot of visitors, most wineries will charge
a tasting fee. Often this is credited back on a purchase. It is completely fine to share
a tasting with another guest in your group.
- Swirling & Sniffing: The point of wine tasting versus just buying a glass of wine
at a bar is to try and appreciate it. Swirling, sniffing, and slowly slipping versus pounding
will let you savor more of the wine.
- Spitting: In the wine industry, tasters spit since they have to do so
much tasting. If you're tasting in moderation, it's totally OK to drink it. Use the
spitoon to pour out any wine you don't want to finish.
- Make Room for Others: If it's crowded, don't monopolize
the pouring area. When each wine is poured, move away to so other guests can get in, and go back
when you're ready for the next wine.
- Water & Crackers: Most tasting rooms will have water
and bread or crackers to cleanse your palate between wines. You can also use the water to rinse
your glass. We also recommend drinking and having a little nibble as you go to
stay hydrated and happy.
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