Wine tasting can seem overwhelming if you have never been before. Here are some tips on how to be best prepared to have your best day wine tasting. 

Eat Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that is no different on a day full of wine tasting.

Don’t wear perfume: A huge part of wine tasting is smell. It is important that nothing interferes with your sense of smell while you are wine tasting.

Bring lots of water: It is really important to drink water throughout the day. Wine tasting can be dehydrating, especially in the warmer months. You will feel much better if you drink water before and during your tasting.

Get a driver: Make the most of your wine tasting day by making sure someone else is doing the driving. Whether you want a limo service, someone to drive your car or to take lyft around the valley having a driver is the safe way to get the most out of your trip.

Make an Appointment: Make a reservation, even at places that don’t require it. You will get a much more personalized and pleasant experience if you make an appointment. Most wineries and tasting rooms offer elevated experiences when you call ahead so do some research so you make an appointment for the best possible experience.

Don’t over pack your day: Make an appointment for one winery in the morning, most open between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., stop for lunch and then plan to do one or two more in the afternoon. Most wineries close between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. where tasting rooms will be open later, as late as 7:00 p.m. By not trying to cram in 4 or 5 tasting stops you will truly experience and enjoy the wines you are tasting.

Turn off your cell phone: Once you have taken a picture of the vines and the tasting room turn off your cell phone and really enjoy your experience.

Don’t be afraid to use the dump bucket: When you are tasting wine do not be afraid to use the dump bucket. The dump bucket is there for you to use if you are ready to move on to the next wine or if you want to simply taste and spit the wine. Your tasting host will not be offended if you need to dump your wine!

Don’t be afraid to ask a question: There are no stupid questions. Tasting hosts are trained to answer all kinds of questions about wine and are there to teach you. You will have the best experience if you show your host that you are interested in the wine, process and history.

Tip for a good experience: If you receive excellent service or a special experience a small tip is always appreciated.

Buy wine to take home: A lot of the wines you will try will be “winery exclusive” which means that you will only be able to taste them and buy them there. There are lots of ways to get your wine home so don’t let that stop you from taking home what you like. If you like something buy it!