We love wine tastings. Nothing is better than visiting a lovely vineyard, hearing of its history, meeting, of course, the winegrower’s celebrity dog, and tasting some truly great wine. Even local tastings in someone’s home can be a wonderful experience.

In anticipation that you have or will attend a wine tasting in the future, I thought I’d share with you a list of dos and don’ts. This comes from an organization called Wine Country Limos, who I’m sure have seen it all.

Most importantly, go with a group. Nothing makes a tasting more enjoyable than sharing it with friends.

Pace yourself, pace yourself, pace yourself. So important. This is about tasting the wine, enjoying the flavors and nuances. If you mute your senses by over indulging, you will have missed so much. If visiting multiple vineyards, no more than two glasses at your first stop. If in a private setting, remember you want to be invited back.

Swirl the wine, it releases aromas, and sniff before drinking. The smell is often based on personal perception and experience. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t smell the earth as the server suggests. Don’t be intimidated by words like earthy, grassy, forest, acidic, and other wine descriptive words. Open your mind and your nose and find what best fits your personal experience.

No perfumes or colognes. Much of what we taste is strongly affected by what we first smell. If you have on perfume/cologne, it will diminish not only your ability to fully smell and taste the wine, but it could impact those sitting around you as well.

Don’t chug your wine and then ask for a refill. Amateur move and offensive to the host/hostess conducting the tasting.

On that note, be engaged when the description of the wine is being given to you. Do not get caught in side conversations while the speaker is presenting the wine. This too is very rude to the host.

It’s actually OK for people to spit directly into the pour bucket. Don’t take offense.

MOST IMPORTANT! Have a plan in place for transportation. Have a designated driver, Uber, hire a limo, but do not drive. Be smart!

I hope this all helps. Now, go! It’s time for a wine tasting.

Happy Wining All!