Four Wine-Tasting Mistakes to Avoid

To get the most out of your upcoming wine-tasting, avoid these four mistakes:

1. Don’t focus on the winemaker’s tasting notes. You might review them to determine which wines you’d like to try if you have a choice. But once you have the wine in front of you, focus on what aromas and flavors you detect in the wine. And more importantly, if you enjoy it. After you’ve made that determination, then you might consider reviewing the winemaker’s notes to see if you experienced the same nuances they did. If you didn’t, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, or that you don’t know what you’re doing. What it means is that you and the winemaker have different palates and flavor experiences, which is completely valid.

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2. Don’t wear white. Spills happen.

3. Don’t throw your taste buds and nose out of whack before tasting. Biggest culprits in this category are tobacco and beer. Indulging in one of these right before you start tasting wine is going to really change your perception and your experience of everything you try.

4. Don’t over-do it. If you want to enjoy your entire day and get the most fun for the longest time, pace yourself. If you don’t know your limits, or you try to squeeze in as much drinking as you can right from the get-go, there’s a very good chance you’ll get to the third winery and appear intoxicated, which means you’ll be cut-off for the rest of the trip. It’s happened to a lot of people. Better to still be having fun by the end of the day, then to be feeling sick and miss out on half of your tastings.