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How to Navigate a Wine Tasting Event Like a Pro

While tasting room visits tend to be fairly structured, a big, walk-around wine tasting can be a raucous affair. It’s loud, people push and lines for the most desirable producers and bottles can be epically long.

To ensure you have fun at your next event, try these 8 expert tips.

Go Early

If you show up before doors open, you’re more likely to get the most updated program and can map out your tasting route before the crowds arrive.

Go Big First

If you want to taste the big hitters at an event, working up to it doesn’t always work. Wait, and you risk missing out.

Go Against the Herd

Clock time at the less-crowded tables where you’ll have more of the winemaker’s attention and chance to savor their wine.

Travel Light 

Juggling a big purse or briefcase, a jacket, an iPhone, a program and your glass slows you down. If there’s a coat check, it’s well worth the expense to leave as many of your belongings as you can.

Let the Winemaker Guide You

Going to a table and wanting only the producer’s well-known bottle is rude. When you approach, ask where you should start and go through the entire lineup.

Listen Up

You may be a sommelier, vintner, or own a home in the producer’s region, but you’re there to listen and learn, not impress those around you with your wine IQ. Let the person pouring do most of the talking.

Attend The Seminars

The smaller breakout panels often allow you to taste more and learn more. Plus, you generally get to sip while sitting, a rarity at large-scale tastings.

Beware The Bucket

There’s a reason there’s always standing-room space next to the bucket: Spitting is messy. Avoid that slot and, to be safe, never wear white.