Napa Valley Wine Tasting
Welcome to the world of Napa Valley wine tasting! Guests who join our Napa limo tours often ask us what to expect in the tasting rooms. At Dynamic Napa Wine Tours, we believe a positive wine tasting experience is the key to an amazing tour. We choose wineries that not only produce excellent wine but employ knowledgeable, fun, and friendly personnel who are ready to help their guests have the ultimate Napa Valley wine tasting experience. Dynamic Napa Wine Tours carefully chooses the best Napa wineries and wine tasting experiences so our guests can focus on the fun! If you are new to the wine tasting tour circuit, it can seem a bit daunting to walk into a tasting room and know what to do. We’re here to help! We’ve put together some of the best advice on the do’s and don’ts of wine tasting etiquette. Follow these simple suggestions and you’re practically guaranteed an amazing Napa wine tasting and Napa limousine tour.
How to prepare for your Napa Valley Limousine Tour and Napa Valley Wine Tasting Experience
- Eat Beforehand. It’s best to not wine taste on an empty stomach. Even when you sip lightly, the alcohol levels can often add up.
- Avoid coffee and chewing gum.The acidity and flavor will affect your palette.
- Bring bottled water. Staying hydrated is critical. The best rule of thumb is to drink as much water as wine.
- Avoid anything that interferes with your sense of smell. Heavy perfumes and lotions will affect your tasting experience. If you smoke, remember to consider that the smell of smoke could affect the tasting experience for you and for others. Don’t be the answer to, “What’s that smell?”
- Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. Temperatures can vary dramatically from foggy mornings to sunny afternoons. Napa valley is made up of many microclimates. Keep in mind you can experience a difference of degrees within a few miles. If your wine tasting in Napa Valley includes a cave tour, take a lightweight jacket. Caves are kept at a consistent temperature of about 55-60 degrees and can feel chilly at any time of year. During your Napa Valley winery tour, you may have the opportunity to explore the vineyards. Wear closed-toed shoes to keep your feet protected and free of dust and dirt.
Once your Napa Valley limo tour arrives at the Tasting Room
- No phones! Remember to switch your phone to vibrate. If you need to take a call, step outside as a courtesy to the tasting room staff and for the other guests. Tasters will be concentrating on hearing wine descriptions and answers to their questions.
- Ask Questions.That’s right! If you want to know more about the winery or the wine, don’t be afraid to ask your tasting room server. Tasting room ambassadors are there to educate you about their wines and how they are made. If there is something you’re not sure of or don’t understand, just ask! The winery staff and tasting room managers are (or should be) well-trained and bursting with information.
- Take notes.This will help you remember what you tasted. This is also a signal to the pourers that you are serious about the tasting exercise. This may get you more personalized treatment. They may even surprise you with tastings of a few extra wines that are not on the schedule.Use the dump bucket. Pour out (or spit) the wine after you have had a sufficient tasting. Your pourer will not be offended. They will respect your responsibility and also recognize that you are ready for the next taste. Newcomers to tasting rooms are sometimes surprised and even appalled to see other tasters spitting a mouthful of wine into the dump bucket. This is a very common and necessary practice among experienced tasters. Trying too many wines in one day can cause palette fatigue. This means the taster loses or is unable to comprehend the full mouth of the wine. We encourage spitting as a tasting technique. It helps keep palettes clean and heads clear. You can request a paper or plastic cup for more discreet spitting.
- Taste what you like! It is okay to skip any of the wines on the tasting list. Some people just want to taste the reds. Some may be interested in tasting only certain varietals.
- Feel free to share your tastings. Most tasting rooms have a normal charge for a certain number of pours in a flight. Some Napa Valley wine tasting rooms also have different tiers of tasting menus for different prices. For example, you may choose four wines per person from a list of ten. In these circumstances, we often suggest you order four different wines, taste each other’s, and thus experience eight different pours. You may also be able to choose a classic tasting menu or a reserve tasting menu flight. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to taste too much, try sharing one tasting between two people. Not only will you consume a little less, it will be a cheaper tasting experience. When you spend a day on our Napa Valley wine country limo tour, you really don’t need more than a sip or two of each sample, and there is always more to be found right up the street.
- Be courteous and mind your manners. Many wineries enhance their employees’ salaries based on commission on what is sold. Purchases are appreciated! If you receive special service, a letter to the winery owner or manager is a nice way to show your appreciation. Be polite and don’t expect to drink all you want. Don’t curse or treat the tasting room like a sports bar. Be mindful that by law, only tasting room employees can pour you wine in your glass. Never reach for the open bottles and always be prepared to show your I.D.
- Take your time with the wine, and ENJOY! To taste the wine, fill your mouth about ½ full and subtly swish the wine around. Moving the wine in your mouth should release its aroma and coat your mouth. Think about the wine’s aroma and about the feeling in your mouth. When you spit or drink back the wine, ask yourself the question, “Does tasting this wine confirm my interpretation of the wine’s bouquet?”
Wine tasting in Napa Valley is a unique experience meant to be savored and enjoyed. People come from all over the world to experience the fine wines only found in Napa Valley wineries. Whether this is your first wine tasting tour in Napa or you’re a regular taster, savor the moment, enjoy the wines, and soak up everything the Napa Valley wine tasting experience has to offer.