While staying at the Milo Hotel, you will have the opportunity to try some of the best wine in the entire country, so it is a good as time as ever to brush up on that wine etiquette. And while it can all seem a little daunting, proper wine know-how is actually quite simple. Let’s break it down:
The first thing to remember during your wine tasting is general etiquette—be nice! Simply put, being a Master Sommelier won’t get you very far with the wait staff or the other guests on your tour if you’re a jerk.
Pick the Right Tasting Venue for You:
There are dozens of options—from stand alone wine tasting rooms to full winery tours or both. Some venues don’t allow children, others don’t allow for groups over a certain size. Some are uber casual, others may have dress codes. You can bring your own picnic to certain wineries, while others prohibit outside food. Make sure you check that the location you want to visit is actually the right place for you.
Don’t Hate on the Spittoon:
It is perfectly acceptable, even advisable, to hold the wine in your mouth for five to ten seconds before spitting it out into a nearby spittoon. That way you experience all of the flavors of the wine without the effects of the alcohol. Want some of those effects? Swallow some of the wine and discard the rest. Remember, you’re probably sampling upwards of ten labels, so pace yourself. And even though we’ve come to view spittoons as anything-but-classy, in wineries they’re a mainstay.
Save the Perfume for Later:
A small thing to overlook, but a big faux pas is to wear strong perfume/cologne. Being able to smell the wine is critical to being able to taste it correctly, so dousing yourself in Chanel No. 5 is no way to treat your olfactories.
Aerate the wine:
To bring out the finer points of a wine’s smell and flavor, aeration is key, either by swishing the wine in the glass, in your mouth, or both. Hold the glass by the stem and not the bowl to keep your body heat from warming the wine, which is being served to you at a very deliberate temperature. If you choose to aerate the wine in your mouth, please do so quietly. You might hear some pretty weird noises while at a wine tasting, but rest assured that the noise is entirely unnecessary. Nobody wants to be the loud swisher.
Save your opinions till the group has finished tasting:
There will be moments when the wine overtakes you and you want to extol the virtues of its deep cherry/biscuit/earthy dirt flavors. Wonderful. But just make sure everyone has had the chance to have their experience with the wine first. It is really hard to define specific notes when you are hearing others’ critiques while you are still tasting. That being said, please talk about the wine to your personal group, to other tasters, and especially to the staff. They are trained professionals, with added expertise on the specific wines they are pouring, and most are just as excited as you are about their wines!
If you have used this guide appropriately, we promise they will gladly answer every question you might have. So book a few tours, eat heartily throughout, socialize, ask questions and, most importantly, enjoy!