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Wine Tasting Etiquette

Wine tasting can be a fun and personal experience. Each winery offers different tasting experiences so be sure to check each winery web site to find the tasting that fits you.

Not every wine is for everyone. Enjoy the stories of each winery and ask a lot of questions to help you better understand the Okanagan region as a world class designer of wines. 

Below are are few frequently asked questions we have put together for you to help make your tasting experience the best one. 

We can't wait to see you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1

Should we have a designated driver?

It's always a good idea to plan ahead and have a designated driver.  Remember there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. If you are visiting the area and are unsure about driving, Wine Tour Operators are a fantastic option.

2

When is the best season to wine tour?

During the summer months, the tasting rooms can get quite busy with guests discovering new wines and touring the Northern part of the Okanagan. If you love the energy of the crowds, then the summer weekends are your best time to visit. If you really want to take your time experiencing all that each winery has to offer, April/May or September/October are your best times. 

3

Is Identification required at each winery?

Winery staff reserves the right to verify you are of proper drinking age. Two pieces of ID are required in BC to verify age. Primary ID must be issued by a government agency (Canadian or other) and include the person’s name, birth date and picture. Secondary ID must include an imprint of the person’s name and include the person’s signature and/or picture.

4

What should I wear?

Wear what is comfortable. Casual, but tasteful style in the tasting rooms is a sign of respect for wineries.
Layering your outfit or bringing a jacket for the car is a smart way to make sure you’re never too hot or cold.

5

Are Children allowed in the tasting room?

The tasting room is an adult experience that takes place on working farms, near active processing facilities and busy parking lots. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For the enjoyment of all other guests, please ensure your children behave appropriately.

6

Are fragrances allowed in the tasting room?

Keep your fragrances to a minimum when wine touring. Perfume or cologne—even heavily scented skin or hair products—can interfere with the aromas of the wine, making it difficult for you, and those around you, to fully appreciate what you’re sampling.

7

Are there tasting fees at each winery? 

Be prepared to pay for the tasting. Tasting Fees range from $3-$5 per person and usually include a sampling of 5 wines.Wineries waive or refund the tasting fee if you decide to purchase wine at the end of your tasting.

8

What if I only like one varietal of wine? 

Be open-minded – drop all your pre-conceived preferences. Tasting is the perfect opportunity to try different varietals and styles of wine, without the commitment to purchase. Taste the wines in order of strength (sparkling to white to red to dessert), sweetness (dry to sweet) and age (young to old).

9

Are their restaurants at each winery? 

Most of the wineries offer a dining option but it's always a good idea to eat prior to the start of your wine tasting. Bring water with you – it's a great idea to stay hydrated. Visiting multiple wineries?  Make it a day, and pack a picnic or plan to stop for lunch at one of the wineries. All wineries on the TRAIL have dining options. 

10

What If I don't like the wine I have sampled?

The point of a tasting is to sample the wine, and this can be done with just an ounce or two. Moderate your consumption if visiting several wineries – its okay to pour out the Tasting samples after you have had an adequate taste of the wine. Spitting – it’s always acceptable when tasting wines! If you plan to sample a large number of wines on your tour, it’s best to spit (into communal or personal spittoons) after you’ve sipped each one.Remember, its OK to leave what’s left in the glass and move on if you’d like. Wineries expect this, and you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

11

Do I have to purchase wines at every winery I visit?

Purchasing wines you’ve enjoyed is a great way to keep the memory going once you’re back at home.
If you enjoyed what you tasted, taking home bottles is the ultimate compliment to the Vintner!
Ask about case discounts. Most wineries offer discounts for multiple bottle sales.