Four types of wine tastings to buy wines
Different types of wine tastings at the time of a possible purchase
There are various kinds of wine tastings, although most are organized to encourage attendees to buy some wine. Tasting courses and wine tourism activities organized for this purpose basically respond to a recreational purpose, and are usually led by a person who comments on the wines while the participants taste them.
If you want to know how wines are tasted with a view to a possible purchase, continue reading this article.
Wine Tastings are a great way to sample a range of wines without having to buy any. However, if you decide to buy a bottle, you can at least be sure that it will be a wine to your liking, which is much more logical than risking buying a wine that you have never tasted in your life.
If you visit a winery, the most normal thing is that they offer you one or two drinks at the end of the tour. Another possibility is the wine tastings organized by wine shops, which can be informal (usually a couple of bottles are opened for interested customers to taste), or they can be more formal and serious (in which case they can be out of business hours, or perhaps promotional wine tastings to publicize a particular wine).
It is important to note that if you have never attended a tasting or are not used to this type of event, it may happen that all you get is more confused, so that you end up believing that you like (or dislike) a wine more than you do. that really is true.
If you are thinking of making a purchase of several boxes, you can ask the store to let you taste that wine before formalizing it, although in many establishments – such as large stores – this is not possible, in some specialized stores you can access a request such as This is when it is a large order or a wine that is not very cheap.
In any case, a good alternative to deciding whether you really like a wine is to buy a bottle and taste it with peace of mind at home.
1. Buy wine at informal wine tastings
It is very common for a wine store to have one or two open bottles for customers to taste, either to encourage them to try something new or to promote the sale of a specific wine.
Don’t be shy about asking questions, as the staff will be happy to provide you with any information you need about the wine in question (variety, producer, country, region, production, flavor …).
You will see that there is no problem for you to taste any wine that is open, and since you are only going to taste small amounts, there is no need to spit it out. If you see a plate with cookies, eat a few between them to cleanse the palate, or, if you prefer, ask for a glass of water.
2. Buy wine in formal wine tastings
Some shops and distributors organize private wine tastings, reserved only for regular customers or people who have shown interest in purchasing a significant quantity of wine.
If you attend a tasting of this type, bear in mind that the number of wines on display is usually considerable, so it is advisable to be quite selective. Decide before you start what you want to taste, and limit yourself to tasting a dozen or more wines at the most.
Perhaps you are interested in tasting only whites, or are looking for wines from the same grape variety. Selective tasting can be an excellent way to expand your knowledge of winemaking.
Take the opportunity to learn from the other tasters, it is normal for attendees to comment on the wines as they taste them, so if you are not yet confident enough to speak your mind, become receptive and try to listen. what the other tasters say.
In this type of tasting there will be people in charge of serving the wine, which allows the seller to control the amount of wine consumed. It will depend on you if you swallow or spit the wine, it will be rare that there are no spittoons, and many people will surely be using them. If you decide to swallow the samples, then you should limit the number of wines you are going to taste, because if you do not, it will be increasingly difficult for you to taste them objectively and accurately.
There is also usually mineral water and plates with cookies or breadsticks so that the public can refresh their palate between one wine and another.
From time to time you can also find some other food as an aperitif, but the truth is that any strong flavor can distort your perception, so it is best to avoid it when you need to get a true and clear impression.
3. Taste and buy wines in the winery itself
It is very normal that, after visiting a winery, the producer offers you the odd wine for you to taste. It is most likely just a small selection, rarely including the most expensive house wines.
If there are already other open bottles, you can ask to be served a little, and thus taste them as well, but, unless you plan to place a moderately large order, do not order a wine that is not open.
The most normal thing is that there are spittoons, but if there aren’t, what you usually do is ask for one.
4. Taste and buy wine at wine shows and fairs
Many producers bring their wines to fairs and shows around the world, allowing them not only to sell their wines, but also to introduce the public to wines that are not normally available on the market.
Talking to winemakers can be a great way to learn about the winemaking techniques they use, while also allowing you to purchase the occasional wine at a bargain price.
Try to find out from the press or specialized media where and when one of these occasion is scheduled: it will be your great opportunity to taste hundreds of wines.
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