California Wine Regions
Browse Wineries

Tasting Room Etiquette

Winery Search
Napa Valley Wineries
Paso Robles Wineries
Santa Barbara Wineries
Sonoma Wineries
San Luis Obispo Wineries
Mendocino Wineries
Monterey Wineries
Santa Clara Wineries
Santa Cruz Wineries
Sierra Foothills Wineries
Temecula Wineries
Lodi Wineries
Livermore Wineries
Lake County Wineries
Ventura & Malibu Wineries
San Joaquin Valley Wineries
San Diego Wineries
SF East Bay Wineries
CWA Poll
What is the best way to discover new wines & wineries?
Attend wine festivals
Wine country wine touring
Tasting at wine bars
Restaurant food & wine events
Wine shop tastings
Read articles in the wine press
Social media blogs
Food & Wine
How To Match
Pairing Cheese & Wine
Wine Country Recipes
Wine Shop
Napa Wine Bargains
Deals at
Wine Stuff
Wine Glossary
Wine Grape Varieties
Taste For Free Maps
Ask the Winemaker
How To Technically Taste Wine
Tasting Room Etiquette
Advisor Favorite Videos
All About Barrels
Seven Tips for Wine Events
Five Steps To a Perfect Wine Country Weekend
Father of California Wine
Taste The Stars
Santa Barbara and its 100 wineries
How To Read A Wine Label
More Stuff

Tasting Room Etiquette  

Edna Valley Wine Tasting

So you want to go wine tasting!  This is a great way to enjoy the central coast countryside, make new wine discoveries and have a wonderful day out with friends.  With many great wineries and tasting rooms so close it is a natural activity for locales and visitors alike.


To fully enjoy the experience we have a few guidelines to follow. Every winery and tasting room is a bit different. Some may have dramatic visitor facilities with extensive winery grounds and fully stocked gift shops. Others will be more modest affairs. All have something to offer the wine country visitor.


Here are a few tips and reminders for those planning a trip to the wine country.


  • If your group is six or people it might be a good idea to call in advance so they can be prepared for you.
  • The dress code is casual but there is nothing wrong with a step up from t-shirts and shorts.
  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne; let the wine be the olfactory star.
  • Remember your manners and share the tasting space with others.
  • White wines are tasted first, followed by red wines, and then dessert wines.
  • Don’t be afraid to skip any of the wines on the list.
  • You do not have to drink all the wine in your glass. Discard the unwanted wine in into the dump bucket provided for this purpose.
  • Don’t be shy or afraid to engage with the winery staff. The wineries are glad to have you there and can teach you a lot about wine.
  • Make the most of each taste and savor each sip. Remember to enjoy the color and smell of each wine as well as how long the wine lingers after you swallow it.
  • Tasting notes should be available and can help you discover flavors and aromas.
  • Wineries are limited by law to 1oz pours so don’t insist on more.
  • If you appear that you have consumed too much the tasting room staff is not allowed to serve you.
  • You can ask for a second taste but it may be expected that you will be purchasing that wine.
  • Occasionally crackers or other neutral palette cleansing food is available. Try some, just don’t make a meal of it.
  • When a fee is charged, it is usually okay for two people to share one glass and pay only one tasting fee.
  • Buy some wine and don’t be afraid to ask for your tasting fee to be credited to your purchase.

Enjoy your visit to the wine country.



Advanced Winery Search
CWA Members

Free Membership
Recent Newsletters

Wine Country
About CWA | Contact Us | Advertise with CWA | List Your Winery | Site Map | Privacy/Affiliate Policy | Promote Your Winery on CWA