Wine Tours & Tastings: What to Ask

This is a sponsored post in a series about wine!

While it may be easy to get lost in sampling the wine, one of the purposes of wine tasting is to learn about winemaking – and that means arming yourself with the right questions.

While no one at a wine tasting wants to sound ignorant, avoid padding your questions with terms you have only a passing familiarity with.

The best questions to ask will always be the ones you genuinely want answered.

Questions to ask about wine

Ask away

1. Ask about the winery itself

You can learn a lot about wine based on where it’s grown. Ask about the top sellers, local favorites and volume. If you’re really interested in the details, you can get into more specific questions like the winery’s yield per acre or the type of soil used. Showing an interest in the winery’s unique history can also put you on a more personable level with the host, so these kinds of questions can be a good lead-in to more intimate questions about the wine.

2. Ask about pairings

Food and wine are meant to be enjoyed together, so don’t be afraid to ask about the delicate art of wine pairing. While there are some rules for pairing wines, you may be surprised by the recommendations. If the recommendation is surprising or contrary to what you’ve heard, feel free to ask for more details, but avoid being confrontational with your questioning.

3. Ask about production

If you like the wine, ask about the varietals used in production. You can also ask other questions about the process at this time, like what other notes are present in the nose and how long the wine was aged or what kind of materials were used. As you taste different wines, record a composite list of all the wines you liked and disliked and what flavors were present to help you buy wine in the future.

You may discover you prefer less buttery Chardonnays or like a Riesling with more astringency. Maybe all the wines you enjoyed had floral notes. Asking about the production process has the potential to yield more satisfactory selections for years to come, and is sure to enrich your wine tasting experience.

4. Ask about availability

Once you leave the wine tasting, you’ll need to know whether the wine is available through online wine shops, or if you should make a point to purchase a bottle before you leave. Asking about availability also shows your interest in the wine, which is always a compliment to your host.

Your Turn to Share Tips:

What questions do you love to ask about wine?

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