- Go with a friend/SO or bunch of friends, it is far more enjoyable to share the experience
- Make sure you have some munchies (nuts, cookies, etc..) for in between wineries, and plan for at least one meal along the way. Coffee breaks along the way help too. A caveat; strong flavoured gums like Big Red are a BAD thing.
- Having a few coffee beans to suck on between tasting session will help to reset your taste buds.
- Have a designated driver, who either abstains totally or just manages to keep the quantity really low (just sips out of someone else's glass).
- Make sure you have good maps with you as you will be out in the country, and a GPS might be handy as well to see where you've ended up.
- As there are many nice sites to see on and near the wineries, have your camera with you and be prepared for a bit of hiking and have some sunscreen.
- Bring a notepad (or PDA) to take tasting notes, to basically figure out what it is you like and dislike as you work on figuring out reds vs whites, sweet vs dry, oaked vs non-oaked, what varietals you prefer (Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, etc....), what wineries you enjoyed being at, etc...
eg, We prefer white wines with a touch of sweetness (1) for with dinners and such, I like the Rieslings and such and dislike oaked wines while my wife loves oaked wines(typically ends up being Chardonnays).
- Don't plan out the trip too much, just figure out what is generally in the area you are going to and take it easy. We generally hit 2-5 wineries on a trip. If you were staying in a B&B the nights either side of a day, you could fit in 6+
- Talk with the staff in the wineries. You can learn lots from them, especially if you find yourself talking with the vintners/owners. Chatting with other people visiting can be very interesting as well. Take your time and enjoy each winery as there is more than just the wine there.
This page was last updated on 2010-12-11