Wine Etiquette

Wine tasting etiquetteWhat is the difference between wine tasting and wine drinking?

Wine tasting is conducted with the objective of discovering more about a particular wine, its wine maker, the area where the grapes were grown, and so on.

Wine drinking is what we do when we drink wine to enhance the foods we eat.

Whether you’re attending a wine tasting event or celebrating with friends over a meal at home, it’s important to know the basics of wine etiquette.

  • Don’t wear scents or perfumes when attending a wine tasting. Perfumes can compromise what you can smell and learn about a wine.
  • Ladies, remove lipstick (with a tissue, not a linen napkin) before tasting wine. The lipstick itself can affect the taste of the wine, plus removing it prevents having to scrub the edge of delicate wine glasses to clean them.
  • Hold wine glasses by the stem, not the bowl. This allows you to view and swirl the wine properly. Additionally, the heat from your hands changes the temperature of the wine.
  • If you’re tasting a range of wines, begin with light bodied wines and progress to full bodied wines.
  • It is improper to voice your opinion about a wine while others are in the process of tasting. Best to walk away from other tasters before discussing the qualities of the wine you liked or disliked.
  • If you are tasting wine in a restaurant, ask the wait staff to simply pour it.
  • Use glasses of an adequate size to properly access the wines nuances.
  • Serve wine at the temperatures recommended by industry standards for that particular type of wine.
  • Many restaurants will allow you to taste a wine before you order it if you are buying by the glass. (The bottle is usually already open.)
  • If your guests have consumed too much wine, don’t let them drive their cars.
  • If you’re bringing wine as a gift for a dinner party, don’t expect to drink it that evening. The hostess has probably already selected wines that are good pairings with the food. Instead, present the wine as a gift for the hosts to share on another occasion.


“Wine is bottled poetry.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

photo credit: nessguide 

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