Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Paso Robles Wine Tasting Tips

Are you interested in planning a Paso Robles, California wine tasting tour? If you are, will this be your first official wine tasting adventure? If so, you may be looking for some helpful tips. When you know what to expect and how to proceed, you may better enjoy your first wine tasting tour.

First, it is important to do the proper amount of research. If you are planning an independent wine tour, as opposed to a guided wine tour, you have the freedom to choose which wineries you visit. Not all wineries are open to the public and some have limited hours of operation. Use the internet to research these area wineries. Look for those with public wine tasting rooms where reservations are not needed, complimentary wine tasting, and other scheduled events.

As soon as you enter a Paso Robles winery, you will be directed to the tasting room. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a winery employee. That employee, who is known as your host, will start you on an hour or afternoon of fun that will leave your taste buds asking for more.

After seating you, your host will provide you with empty glasses and a summary of what wines are available for tasting. This is also the point in time where you will be informed of tasting fees, should they apply. If you are unsure as to which wines you should sample, ask your host for suggestions.

Once your sample arrives at the table, drink carefully. Wine is not intended to quench your thirst, but rather to allow you to savor the flavor and taste. Before swallowing, allow the wine to swish or swirl around in your mouth. This is what gives you a true taste of the wine. With that said, any drinking approach is acceptable, so drink wine however you feel comfortable.

As your wine tasting session concludes, you will likely be directed to either the gift shop or marketplace. Wineries will push their purchasable wines to you throughout the day. This is common practice, but you do not have to make a purchase. Don’t let a complimentary wine tasting pressure you into making a purchase, especially if that wine didn’t knock you off your feet.

In addition to knowing how make the most out a visit to a wine tasting room, it is important to familiarize yourself with the written and unwritten rules of etiquette. For many, wine tasting isn’t an afternoon filled with fun, it is an art. If you are traveling with a large group, be sure to keep your voices at an appropriate level.

Some Paso Robles wineries allow children onsite, but only a select few. Unless the winery in question advertises it is a family-friendly establishment, it may be best to hire a babysitter.

It is also important to remember the point of wine tasting and wine tasting rooms. That is to sample a selection of wines. Right away, you may find a wine that leaves you wanting more. It is usually considered poor in taste to ask for a second sample. Instead, try the other varieties of wine available for tasting. On your way out, purchase a full size bottle to take home.

Finally, remember there are over 170 wineries in Paso Robles area. About 100 of these wineries have tasting rooms that are open to the public.

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