Although some wineries offer free wine tasting, these days it is normal to charge a tasting fee, and it's something you may want to determine ahead of time when you book. Sharing a tasting with a friend is considered acceptable etiquette and can be a great way to get to know someone, spark a debate about wine, or simply save money on the tasting fee. If you want to sample the lesser known and higher priced wine, consider splurging on a reserve tasting every so often.
When tasting your wine, hold the glass by the stem rather than the bowl as this can affect the temperature of the wine, and leave ugly fingerprints on the glass. One of the best ways to aerate the wine is to swirl it before inhaling and drinking, ideally on a flat surface. Make sure you get the most out of those delicious aromas by inhaling before taking a sip, and always swirl the wine around your mouth, as different parts of the mouth have differing taste sensations. Sample the sweeter wines last, so that the flavor of the delicate ones isn't overwhelmed, and keep the heavier wines for last, too.
Of course, you don't want to get inebriated on your wine tasting adventure, and one way to avoid that is to visit several wineries in a day, pacing yourself between them. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid swallowing too much wine by spitting your wine into the spittoons that are supplied by most wineries. Of course, having a responsible designated driver is a must.
Buying the Wine
If you find a wine you like you will probably want to buy some, although it pays to know the liquor shipping laws in your state, and any restrictions your airline might have. Buying wine can often save you on the cost of the tasting, and makes sense if you like the wine.
Following proper etiquette and the above wine tasting tips can ensure that your next winery visit is fun and memorable.