Wine Tour 101 – Things To Know Before You Go
Welcome to Wine Tour 101. There’s more to a wine tour than simply showing up at wineries, taking a few sips, and leaving. With so many tour options in the Okanagan Valley it can get a little confusing. Before your day of wine touring, there are a few things to know and to consider to help make your day out in Wine Country a fun and satisfying experience! Here are a few tips and our version of Wine Tour 101.
Plan your outfit (ladies, this is mainly for you)! We couldn’t offer our Wine Tour 101 without making sure you’re dressed for comfort and style. Often during a day of wine touring, you will spend a fair amount of time standing. Some wineries offer a seated wine tasting outside on a patio or in the vineyard, but this isn’t always the case. You might consider ditching the heels or bringing a change of shoes. Depending on the type of experience your wine tour company booked, you could be doing a tour of the winery or through the vineyard; therefore, having comfortable walking shoes is essential.
Don’t forget to dress for the weather as well. With some tastings outside, it can get quite hot in the Okanagan Valley, and you’ll want to be prepared. Yes, we know many of you want to be ready to snap some photos of the memories, so dress for pictures, especially if you visit one of our top picks for Best Instagram Worthy Wineries
When it comes to Wine Tour 101, there’s no secret there is some “wine specific” terminology, and to make your experience as enhanced as possible, you may want to consider learning some of it. We aren’t saying you have to know every word that every wine expert knows; it’s just fun to experience wine tasting using some of the jargon, such as nose, legs, body, tannins, texture, etc.
Without coming across as sounding pretentious, the way you hold your glass is important. Our wine tour 101 recommends you always hold your glass by its stem (unless, of course, it’s a stemless one). Holding your glass by the stem isn’t just to avoid having fingerprints on your glass, it’s to prevent the warmth of your hand from affecting the temperature of the wine. Lastly, it’s good to give your wine a quick swirl before tasting as it increases oxygen, enhancing the the nose and ultimately enhancing the flavour. It is much easier to do this when holding your wine glass by the stem.
Partaking in a day of winery visits can be a long day, with consistent alcohol consumption. Our wine tour 101 highly recommends packing some snacks with you. It’s very easy to let the wine get ahead of you; therefore, having a quick little snack you can enjoy between wineries will help with alcohol absorption. Most wine tour companies offer snacks so it’s important to ask before you make a reservation. Better yet, most full day tours include a stop at a winery bistro for lunch, breaking up the day nicely and affording you the opportunity to sample wines paired with tasty meals!
We are blessed with extraordinary senses; be sure to use all of them. It’s more than just how the wine tastes, even though it is the most important factor. Use your sense of sight to see the beautiful colour of the wine and compare varietals from different wineries. Use your sense of touch to feel its texture in your mouth. Most importantly, don’t forget to smell! Roughly 80% of our taste experience comes from smell, so don’t be afraid to get your nose in there. With that being said, be mindful of how much fragrance you wear on your wine tour day, as it can impact the way your wine tastes.
Be open-minded. The wine varietals are expansive, and we would hate for you to miss out on (what could be) your new favourite simply because you “think” you won’t like it. Trust the tasting associates at the wineries to give you tasters of what they feel you will enjoy based on what you tell them about your preferences. By being open-minded, you will probably discover new wines that you love, and it’s easy to forget them after a full day of sipping multiple wines. Take notes, so you can go back at the end of the day and remember which were your favourites. Don’t forget to pace yourself!
Some final things to consider before heading out on a Vivid wine tour; drink plenty of water and ask questions. Lots of questions! Tasting associates in the wine industry love to share their knowledge, so don’t be afraid to take this as an opportunity to learn for yourself.
Lastly, have fun! Wine Tours are not the “super serious” experiences many of us think about from days gone by. Wine is about having fun with friends and family, sharing good times and simply enjoying life.
Hopefully some of the tips and information in our wine tour 101 help for your next wine tasting experience!