Wine Tasting Survival Guide

Our Verve crew has done a LOT of wine tasting over the years, and seen every rookie error there is. Here are the basics you need to know to make it through your day intact!

  • Eat a real breakfast. Lining your stomach with something substantial is key to holding it together past your first tasting appointment. We'll have tasty snacks on board for you to enjoy throughout the day, but you really don’t want to get started with your tank at empty.
  • Don’t go crazy. Limit the total number of wineries you plan to visit in a single day. Palate fatigue is a real thing, even if you’re spitting out all your tasting pours. The more wines you taste, the less able you are to notice the distinct differences between wines (what wine tasting is all about).
  • Stay hydrated! Did you know the French recommend drinking two glasses of water for every glass of wine you consume? We’ll ply you with water every chance we get—so please drink it!
  • Skip the Scents. Wine tasting is actually more about your sense of smell than your sense of taste. To help your nose get the job done (and to help others’ noses do the same) please don’t wear perfume, cologne, or heavily scented body lotion while tasting wine.
  • Bring Layers. Wine country is definitely a sunny place most of the time, but we’re taking you down into temperature-controlled caves, tunnels, and barrel rooms that average a brisk 53 degrees. Dress in layered clothing you can easily put on and take off, and make sure you bring a sweater or light coat for evening no matter what season you’re visiting. Napa Valley gets chilly in the evening, and it happens fast.
  • Stay Shaded. We’re also going to be out and about in the sunshine, so bring a hat and sunscreen for your vineyard walks, outdoor picnics, etc. We'll have some items on board for you to use if you forget, but no promises on color coordination with your outfit.
  • Keep Feet Happy. Even if you’re not doing a walking tour or outdoor sports, wear a pair of comfy walking shoes instead of those adorable heels—you never know when you might need to cross a lawn, climb chateau stairs, or step through a winery’s production room.