I live in BC wine country, and I drink wine. That means I’m asked OODLES of questions about wine touring: when people should tour, where they should go, how they should deal with the hot-car syndrome…you name it, I’m asked it.
Like anyone, I have favourites and biases. Of course I’ll steer you where I know the product/people. That’s why you asked me instead of doing Le Google search. (or perhaps as well as)
This isn’t a suggested wine tour. This is a “what should I do when <insert random thing here> happens?” list. Because there are just some questions that don’t get asked but should – and some that are asked over and over again. That’s okay. It’s why I’m writing this.
So, here it is: Summer Wine Touring FAQ – what you didn’t know and/or think to ask (and really should).
Will the hot trunk of my car be a good place to keep the wine I’m buying?
Goodness, no. There’s a reason it’s a tad chilly in tasting rooms / winery cellars / anywhere wine is stored – and it’s not because this is the Okanagan. TIP: take a cooler (or three) to keep bottles in while you schlep your way around in the heat. Buying a case? Pay, then politely ask the winery to keep it while you complete your route. (be sure to check on closing hours)
Awww, come on – do I really have to pay a tasting fee?
Yes, you do. Why? Because the winery pours dozens of bottles of wine a week in high season – and that’s not cheap. Some wineries ask for a donation to a charity of their choice. But if the winery chooses to charge a tasting fee, don’t bitch about it. Chances are they’ll waive it if you buy a bottle. This is not about getting your drunk on as cheaply as possible. Understand that it’s a business, and grow up.
Should we bring our children with us?
Um, likely not. I’m sure in paying gigs I’ve mentioned that taking kids with you is okay, but wine touring is an adult experience. You’re probably on vacation. But I am, too. So if you must have the kidlets with you, make sure you’ve provided them with something interesting to do that doesn’t involve me. Not everyone thinks the apple of your eye is the most adorable thing ever.
Can we taste every wine that’s for sale?
Probably not, but if the winery does have every bottle open consider it a treat. Remember the point about the tasting fees? Yeah, that.
What if I wear perfume/cologne?
You’ll ruin the experience for yourself and those around you. This isn’t anything new. I get that there are people on their first wine tour, but for the love of Pete please Google “wine tasting etiquette” before you aroma-crash a tasting room.
Why can’t my kid sit on the tasting bar?
When I worked at a winery, this actually happened to me. I was pouring for a couple with two children and the father sat the 2-year-old on the tasting bar. You don’t want to know what happened next.
You’re wine touring. Have fun. But remember: you’re buying something that’s consumable, and you’re not doing it alone. Be mindful, and everything will be just ducky.