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Wine tasting etiquette – ask Decanter

What are the do's and don't's when attending wine tastings...?

Wine tasting etiquette – ask Decanter

Judy Rogers, Seattle, asks, I’ve been invited to a formal wine tasting event but am unsure about wine tasting etiquette.

I know spitting is required, but is there a recommended technique? What other do’s and don’ts should I know about?

John Stimpfig replies: Let’s begin with the do’s and don’ts.

Do spit and don’t drink at the tasting. Don’t wear perfume. If you are pouring samples yourself, don’t fill your glass to the brim – a small measure is sufficient.

Don’t feel obliged to make a note on every wine you taste, but you may find it useful to write something about those you particularly like. See Andrew Jefford’s guide on how to write wine tasting notes.

If it is a formal tasting, you will almost certainly be required to spit into an individual or communal spittoon.

It’s natural to be a little nervous about spitting in public, so I’d recommend practising privately at home first to get the hang of it.

If you’re nervous about spitting into a communal spittoon, you could use a plastic cup or small jug and then empty the contents into the larger spittoon.

Practice invariably calms any nerves until it becomes a natural process.

And the main thing is to enjoy the tasting itself.

For your next wine tasting, book tickets to a Decanter Fine Wine Encounter.

Got a question for Decanter’s experts? Email us: editor@decanter.com or on social media with #askDecanter.

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