How to Prepare for a Day of Wine Tasting

Couple wine tasting at Tertulia Cellars in Walla Walla

I go wine tasting a lot. And I mean A LOT. Not just to experience what it's like for the guests that I will take on my wine tours (market research!), but because I really enjoy wine tasting. Over the years I've come up with a list of what do to--and what NOT to do--before you set out for a day of adventure, education, and just plain fun.

Skip the Perfume/Cologne and go Au Natural

Wearing perfume/cologne can significantly detract from your wine tasting experience. "Why do all of these wines smell floral? Oh wait, that's my perfume!" A lot of people can get immune to the scent of their own perfume/cologne, but for other guests in the tasting room, it can be very distracting. Save your spritz for after your wine tour--everyone will thank you.

Bring a Picnic

Having a picnic while wine tasting is one of my favorite things to do, and there are a lot of options for picnic-friendly wineries in the Walla Walla Valley. (Blog post idea!) The fact is…drinking all day can be hard work, so break up your day with some snacks. (This is why lunch is included on my Enthusiast Wine Tour, and I offer to pick up lunch for guests on our Private Wine Tours.) Your tummy will thank you, and you'll feel much better the next day. While it can be entertaining for the rest of us, no one wants to see you get sloppy drunk.

Practice Spitting

Yes, I’m being serious. If you're planning a long day of wine tasting, don't be afraid to spit. That's what the spit buckets are for, and every tasting bar has one. If it's your first time spiting in public, don’t wear white! Trust me--I only made that mistake once.

The best way to gain confidence in your spitting abilities is to practice in the shower. Take a small sip of water from the shower head, swirl it around in your mouth, then try to spit it out about 2 feet in front of you. Then in your kitchen, practice spitting water into a cup. You should be proficient after a few minutes, and you may get some wine-cred from your friends the next time you're out.

Hire a Driver

Needless to say, the best way to enjoy a day of wine tasting is to get someone else to drive. Even if you're spitting, alcohol seeps into your bloodstream, and your level of intoxication can sneak up on you. Hiring a guide is also a great way to discover new wineries that you may never have found on your own. If you're looking to hire a wine tour guide in Walla Walla, I may just know a gal