Some people may feel intimidated before engaging in their first Napa wine tasting experience. The truth is that Napa wine tasting experiences are relaxed, enjoyable, and quite educational. And, likely other first-timers will be in your group, so you will be learning together.

It is important to know that wineries in Napa Valley welcome new visitors with open arms. After all, wine tastings are the best way to demonstrate their winemaking skills and entice visitors to become long-term customers. And later, word-of-mouth recommendations to friends and relatives can be huge contributors to the success of any winery.

Making Your Wine Tasting Experience Fun

Tip # 1: Always Make Advance Reservations

Because some wineries are very popular, their schedules are often booked weeks ahead. Whether you will be visiting a popular venue or a small, out-of-the-way one for your wine tasting, make sure they know when you are coming and how many people are in your group. Some wineries might limit the number of participants at one sitting.

Tip # 2: Prepare to Pay a Tasting Fee

Tasting rooms and wineries usually charge a tasting fee. The average is about $15-$40 per person, although this fee will typically be waived if the participant purchases a certain amount of wine to take with them.

The charge is usually higher if food, tour, or class experiences are added.

Tip # 3: Tipping is Normally Not Necessary

Tipping is always discretionary but not necessarily expected with a wine tasting. However, if visitors receive extraordinary service or attention or the group is extra-large, tipping is undoubtedly an acceptable gesture.

Tip # 4: Wear “Wine Country Casual” Clothes

Napa wine tasting is meant to be a casual affair. Presentable jeans and khakis are acceptable, along with golf or dressier shirts for men and sundresses, blouses, and skirts for women.

Tip # 5: Leave the Perfume and Cologne at Home

Experiencing the “nose” or aroma is vital for wine tasting. Perfumes can interfere with and mask the true aromatic qualities of the wines and can even affect the enjoyment of others.

Tip # 6: Basic Techniques of any Wine Tasting

Follow these steps for a successful and enjoyable napa wine tasting:

  1. See: Observe the color.
  2. Swirl: Twirl the stem of your glass to incorporate oxygen and free up the aromas.
  3. Sniff: Hold your nose near the lip of the glass and inhale, trying to detect any unique aromas of fruit and other substances. Don’t worry. Wine tasting is not a test. Just try to determine if you can sense what others may be identifying.
  4. Sip: Roll the liquid around your mouth to experience the full flavor of the wine.
  5. Spit: The winery provides a spit bucket so that you don’t become inebriated.

Tip # 7: Join a Professionally-Curated Napa Wine Tasting and Winery Tour

Be safe and enjoy the views and experience while leaving the driving to a professional. An expert Tour Company specializing in group and private wine tours, like Platypus Wine Tours of Napa, will schedule visits and tastings to wineries in Napa Valley or Sonoma County. Guests can sit back and enjoy the experience, learning about and sampling the region’s wines without worrying about driving and parking.

To learn more about fun and educational wine tours, visit the Platypus Wine Tours website. You can learn about join-in tours, private, and even prearranged group tours led by Platypus Wine Educators, who are experienced and knowledgeable and will provide unique and fun insights into vineyard and winery activities.

To reserve your private, customized, or join-in Wine Country Tours and Napa Wine Tastings, phone Platypus Wine Tours at 1-707-253-2723.

Or visit the Platypus website, where you may engage in a Live Chat and make your reservations directly.