Tasting Room Tips : Michigan Wines
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Tasting Room Tips

When visiting tasting rooms, there are some points to keep in mind to make sure your experience and that of other guests is as enjoyable as possible. Many small, boutique wineries are family run, and the owners and staff are proud of their facility. Remember that you are a guest.

  • Little sips add up. Designate a driver and drink responsibly. By law, a winery cannot serve the visibly intoxicated, no matter who's driving.
  • Plan ahead. Many wineries have limited space, so call in advance if you are part of a larger group (eight or more people).
  • Avoid heavy perfume or cologne - it interferes with the wine's aroma and affects your tasting experience and the experience of others.
  • Please put your cell phone on vibrate and step outside if you need to take a phone call.
  • Some wineries charge a tasting fee. If a fee is charged, it's perfectly OK for two people to share a glass.
  • If food is offered, remember it's there to help cleanse your palate, not be a substitute for lunch. Tasting wine on an empty stomach isn't wise, in any case. You should eat well before you go to a winery. And be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after the wine tasting.
  • Try not to act or sound like a "wine snob." Tastes differ, and there is always someone who knows less - and more - than you.
  • In general, white wines are tasted first, followed by reds and then dessert wines. While you should be open to experience unfamiliar styles, it's also OK to skip any of the wines on the tasting list.
  • Eat the crackers!
  • Rinse your glass between tastings - especially when moving from whites to reds and reds to dessert.
  • Don't feel you have to drink all the wine in each glass/tasting. That's what the dump buckets are for.
  • Read the tasting notes and see if you can detect the aromas or flavors listed there.
  • Normally, you shouldn't ask for a second taste of a particular wine, unless you're interested in purchasing a bottle.
  • Ask questions. Tasting room staff are trained to know a lot about the wines you're tasting. Unless the tasting room is exceptionally crowded, they are happy to take the time to educate.