So, I’m sitting on the patio at one of my favorite wineries recently and I find myself eavesdropping on a conversation next to me (c’mon…don’t be all judgey.  You know you have done it at some point and time….) and it goes something like this:  Winery staff member to guests sitting on their patio tasting wine…”Would you like to try anything else?”  Person #2…”Yes…I would like another taste of the Blend that you poured earlier.” Winery staff member…”Not a problem.  Of all the various wines that you have enjoyed today, which ones can I ring up for you to purchase today?”  Person #2…”Oh…we are still trying to decide what we are going to buy.”

Winery staff member goes back inside tasting bar…conversation continues..

Person #1….“I love it here.  They don’t charge any fees and we get to drink as much as we want to!”  Person #2 “yea…we couldn’t go to a restaurant this cheap.  Let’s finish our lunch here and go to a couple more places for a few more “tastings” (note the snark in my tone when I put that word in italics) before we head home” followed by giggles and smiles.

Shortly thereafter, I see that they have walked around the outside of the tasting room to avoid going inside, get in their cars and depart without purchasing, however they did leave the wrapping from their sandwiches and cheese and crackers on the table as if assuming there is a waitress on staff to pick it all up after them.

Hey…to each their own.  It’s a free country and I’m certainly not telling people how to live their lives…but what happened to common courtesy and gracious behavior?

It’s not like I haven’t seen worse while wine tasting.  You know you have met him…the guy who is trying to be impressive to his group of friends so he loud mouths something about how to taste wine correctly and starts spouting off a bunch of flavor profiles that may or may not be correct.

As much as it should annoy me, I actually find myself feeling wonderfully compassionate for these people.

Is it because I was raised in a generation that is all about relationships, loyalty, adding value, taking nothing for granted, giving back, being appreciative, etc?

Or is it because I’m getting old and crabby.

Whatever the justification on my end for having it make me shake my head or before anyone gets miffy with me for sharing my opinion (always being reminded that this is only MY opinion of things in the wine world) I get that not every winery is your cup of tea.  I also get that each varietal at every location is not for every pallete.  And lastly, I fully get that we don’t all have the expendable income to afford buying lots and lots of wine at numerous wineries.  But I still think its only good manners to clean up after yourself and, if you have enjoyed numerous tastings at a given winery, just purchase a bottle of wine on the way out.

  1. Based on my many moments of people watching over the years in many wineries, I decided to put together a few suggestions for considerate wine tasting:
  2. Don’t bring a store bought wine to one of the local wineries and sit out on their patio/deck/picnic area and drink it while you eat your food.  
  3. If you are there to taste, taste.  Avoid downing.  These aren’t shots of Tequila and you aren’t in college (or maybe you are…but it’s still not Tequila).
  4. Be respectful and clean up after yourself (yes..that means throw your own trash in the garbage cans please).
  5. Buy at least one bottle of wine when you are at each location.
  6. Say Thank You when these folks pour you a glass of wine.  Really?  Why do I have to type that one….sheesh
  7. If you loved a winery, let them know.  They appreciate great reviews and comments and…even better…when you join their wine club.  
  8. Please keep derogatory comments about wines to yourself.  Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t love it.  Besides, my dad always says: “if you can’t say something nice…keep your pie-hole shut.  And if you can’t keep your pie-hole shut, get in the car, shut the doors and say it once in private to get it out of your system.” 
  9. Use the buckets to pour your wine out if so desired.
  10. If you don’t know wine that well, don’t act all big shot like…just ask questions.  The tasting room folks (especially the lovely folks in El Dorado’s wine region) love to educate people who want to learn about their wines.
  11. And for the love of pete, if you enjoy it, tell your friends about it.  Silence is not golden in these instances.  These wineries make their living off word of mouth marketing…so share the wealth when you find a place you love!

And for the folks that left their trash that day, I actually threw it out for you.  You’re welcome.

Until next time…

Let’s Be Real,

The Boomer

Written by The Boomer