Tips for Wine Tasting and Events

1. Lower the high pressure on the wine clubs.

This isn’t the main problem — that would be No. 2 under — but we bring it up first because this has lately gotten out of control at some locations.

We know that wine clubs — in which individuals sign up for, say, a bottle from the winery each month for a year — are profit centers that are excellent. Some wineries even pay tasting room staff fees on them (winery job postings occasionally read like this one: “Damages $15 per hour plus commission and wine club membership bonuses”).

So mentioning it to tasters and having a wine club, perhaps even handing out a pamphlet, is simply good. But we occasionally feel like we’ve unexpectedly been dropped into a room of timeshare salesmen.

At one winery in the Carneros region of California, we were having a fine time studying the scene and tasting wine when a wine club salesman sat down on the veranda next to us and was so competitive that we eventually left.

At a winery in the Santa Cruz area, another couple was being sold by among the two girls on the other side of the pub sharply on the wine club that she never even said hello to us, and we left. Winery visits the wines so delicious that we would like to join the club as well as ought to be quite so nice. We shouldn’t must be conquered into it.

2. Train your tasting room staff and handle them nicely.

We’ve seen too many tasting rooms where individuals supporting the counter don’t actually understand anything regarding the wines, making the entire encounter poor.

No, not everybody has to know which wines were made with the punch-down approach and which trellis system was used, however a fundamental comprehension of the wines is crucial.

At some tasting rooms, there are simple-to-read technical sheets that deal with problems like malolactic fermentation, should anyone care. This really is an excellent thought.

Additionally, we’re old enough to have seen with tasting rooms when the folks supporting the counter were pretty much constantly winemakers or relatives. We all know that’s now hopeless at many places, but if wineries at least treat their tasting room staff like relatives, it’s more likely they will, subsequently, handle visitors like guests within their residence and really speak with them instead of merely mouthing a worn-out script.

3. Practice some crowd control.

Particularly on weekends, too many wineries are overcrowded. Tasting rooms must determine a strategy to manage this. Perhaps it’s potential to put out a “No Vacancy” signal when the parking lot is full. Or perhaps, on fine days, set and tables outside for the overflow.

Or, like some wineries do, open a “reserve room” where better wines are poured for more income. We understand there are a variety of problems here, a number of them related to local laws, but no one is actually having a very good time when a tasting room is similar to the restroom at Shea Stadium during the seventh-inning stretch, and this isn’t good for you.

(Along precisely the same lines, make an effort to work out something to do about the growing variety of intoxicated folks. Some wine regions are really coming up with various strategies — like imposing a sanction on tour firms that bring disorderly individuals to wineries — and we’re all for that.)

4. Don’t overcomplicate pricing

Retain the fees that are tasting straightforward. Many small wineries that’s excellent, and nowadays don’t bill for tasting.

Ensure it remains straightforward in the event you bill. We’ve seen with some tasting rooms where the entire fee structure was so complicated that we needed to call our tax attorney to figure it out.

How about one fee for an initial tasting along with a higher fee for wines that are better? Simple is better.

5. It’s OK to bill for tasting, but…

Refund the cash using a procurement of a particular sum. We’ve been to some places where we spend more than $100 and still get billed a $3 tasting fee.

This really is annoying. (Again, local laws may change this.)

6. Forget the free wine glass.

It’s tough to lug about and, most of the time, send the wines we’ve purchased. We actually don’t need the glass by means of your logo which is included in the tasting that is paid.

It’s a pleasant gesture and we understand you presume this will soon be free promotion for you when your tasters get home, but we’ve never, ever been to anyone’s house where they served us wine in a glass that had something like MEDIA ZONE WINERY printed on it.

We’d figure fewer than you might imagine, although we understand some folks actually do need those glasses. And it’s constantly distressing for us to say No, we actually don’t need your glass that is free so we leave them at the resort. Our figure is that some resort housekeepers have wonderful sets of winery stemware.

7. Ease up on the pour.

We enjoy tasting rooms where the pourer “ because we enjoy the fruit to beam.” We fermented this completely in stainless steel, “This was decided from the winery as you drove in you passed or says something like Rather as a wine is decanted, we’re likely to hear, “This got an 89 from an 87 and Parker from Spectator.” We’d preferably than what others think of them hear wineries talk about themselves.

In any event, if you’re going to do this, why don’t you simply hold up an unopened bottle and say, “This got an 89 from Parker and an 87 from Spectator, so there’s actually no reason for you to taste it because it’s clearly quite great”?

8. Keep wines that are open nicely or pour them outside.

It’s astonishing how many wineries we’ve seen where we taste wines that are oxidized.

Because we have a tendency to go to early in the day (before the bunches), we’re frequently decanted yesterday’s wines and they’ve just been recorked and stood right up in the tasting room overnight (or possibly more). Recall:

Those wines are your promotion and promotion; you don’t would like to serve ones that are poor. We seen a charming small winery — of course — and tasted some wines, decanted by the owner, that were definitely exhausted. The owner said and when we phoned afterwards to ask questions for a column did n’t you tell me who you were? I’d have opened fresh bottles.” Does that make any sense to you personally?

9. Have something for children to do.

Yes, wine-drinking is an adult action and, no, we don’t anticipate any winery to be a junior Disney World. But a lot of wine lovers still wish to see wineries and out there have kids.

Have some coloring books or child-friendly dogs and cats and perhaps some small crackers (which aren’t a terrible thought for tasters, either).

It likely means that Mother and Dad will stay longer and spend more and doesn’t take much space or believed. That may seem like a win-win to us.

10. Have a special wine under the counter.

Some people that see care a good deal about wine and are extremely pleasant.

Your tasting room staff ought to have the capacity to work out who they’re. In many wineries all over the world, once the folks supporting the pub have comprehended that we actually do adore wine, they’ve pulled something out that they’re enthusiastic about.

Here is the additional flavor that consistently makes a visit extra special. Yet: If you’re going to pour a taster something unique and not everyone standing in front of you, be unobtrusive. At an artsy winery in Sonoma, we walked in on a man behind the counter pouring three individuals something.

It remained for some time on the counter and however we looked at it, we weren’t offered a flavor. Eventually, the pourer put it away. The message: You people aren’t special enough for this particular wine.

11. Because there’s a VIP in the pub don’t dismiss everyone else

At too many areas, we stand there like potted plants because someone has only identified himself (it’s always a man) as a retailer, a provider, a restaurateur, a wine legend in his own head or somebody else who deserves particular focus.

In the event you treated everyone like a VIP, it’dn’t matter, but in the event you are going to lavish wine and focus simply on these individuals, get a room — we mean, take them to a different room and flatter them instead of simply faking that we’re not there.

12. Be clear which wines are unique to your business

Many wineries have small-production wines which are offered just at the tasting room and we’ve frequently found them rather unique.

But you’d be surprised how frequently we must inquire, “Is there anything that’s accessible just in the winery?”

Have a blackboard or a sheet of paper that gives the focus they deserve.

13. Show some “free” appreciation

We’d think that smaller wineries, the owners at times feel overwhelmed at times and by tasters, particularly on weekends, believe that visitors are an annoyance of locusts that are ungrateful.

On those days, recall: We really do appreciate you opening your doors to us. Near that give away their products for a little fee or no cost and much fewer that welcome guests in their homes and offices, there aren’t many companies.

Wineries are areas that are specific and winery individuals are unique individuals. The people that love a trip to your winery are your biggest supporters.