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5 things to know about wine tasting etiquette

In theory, tasting various wines is something you can do at home. However, it’s actually a rather inefficient way of sampling wines, as it would require you to buy multiple bottles and risk needing to discard almost all of the liquid left in each one.


Also, you could struggle to learn an awful lot about the wine just by drinking it in isolation, or at least without someone who has in-depth knowledge of different wines. All of this helps to explain the rationale for going to what is known as a wine tasting event.


Wine tasting events — or wine tastings, as they are otherwise simply known — can be, in the words of the Dummies website, “very much like classes (seated, seminar-like events), or they can be more like parties (tasters milling around informally)”. Still, certain matters of etiquette apply.


You don’t have to be afraid to spit .


You might have been brought up to see spitting as uncouth, but don’t worry — a wine tasting event is that rare situation where spitting in public is actually socially acceptable.


This is because professional wine tasters have known for a while that swallowing the wine they taste can have various drawbacks. For a start, doing this with multiple wines in one session can add up to a level of alcohol consumption that impairs your judgement.


As a result, you could face difficulty in assessing the later wines as accurately as those drunk earlier. Also, there would be the obvious risk to your health and life if you were to drive home after this kind of alcohol intake. Besides, tasting the wine won’t strictly require you to swallow it.


Avoid hampering any other taster’s smelling ability


Despite what we have just said, the taste of wine isn’t just felt on the tongue; it’s also picked up by the nose. It is therefore seen as bad form for anyone at a wine tasting event to do anything that would clearly interfere with other attendees’ sense of smell.


Winerist Magazine warns you not to wear perfume or aftershave to a wine tasting, adding that very strong perfume “actually affects those around you a lot more as you will have got used to your own aroma but it makes it very hard for people near you to taste.”


It would also be a no-no at a wine tasting event for you to smoke anything, lest someone else at the event asks: “What’s that smell?”


Resist vocalising your opinions about a wine too quickly 


You should get into the habit of carefully considering various aspects of the wine before making a concrete judgement about its taste.


To this end, you should remember to always sip the wine rather than gulp it. It is also a good idea to let the wine in your mouth roll around it, as much of the wine’s taste can be judged just from the texture.


Another good reason for you to avoid rashly going public with your thoughts about the wine is that other tasters at the event might not have yet got around to tasting the wine and forming their own opinion about it. Serious tasters like to reach conclusions about wine independently.


Cleanse your palate regularly


You could find that, at your chosen event, water is available for attendees to drink — in which case, you ought to sip this water regularly so that you can swill your glass.


Though you are likely to be offered crackers or other nibbles during the tasting event, you should be wary of eating this food as though it is a substitute for lunch. These nibbles are there for you to use in helping to cleanse your palate in preparation for tasting the next wine.


Be willing to try unfamiliar wines 


A wine tasting event presents a golden opportunity for you to sample various wines you might never have tasted or perhaps even seen or heard of before. Hence, it would not bode well for you to resist trying a certain wine at the event simply due to a ‘fear of the unknown’.


Here at KASK Wine Bar , we offer various sustainable, organic, and vegan wines — and are fond of stocking wines where their country or region of origin is evidenced very much in the taste.


So, now that you know trying new things is very much encouraged if you are keen to follow wine tasting etiquette, we invite you to book a table and attend a wine tasting event with us at our Bristol drinking establishment.

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