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Ten tips on how to enjoy a professional wine tasting

Tastings, where dozens of wines are available to taste, or even reach triple digits, are one of the most exciting things a wine lover can experience. Tasters, sommeliers, wine producers and wine lovers meet here. When you go to such an event for the first time, you may feel a little lost, so here are some tips from professionals on how to enjoy it.

1. Dress appropriately

It may sound trivial, but appropriate clothing is one of the prerequisites for feeling good at the tasting. You need to find out what the event is in order to choose the appropriate dress code and not feel uncomfortable that you stand out among the participants. However, you also need to think about practical things - for example, choose darker clothes, because if you spill wine on them, which can easily happen, it won't be visible and no one wants to walk around in a pale shirt or blouse with a wine stain. Wide sleeves are not suitable for ladies (you can drop something) and since you are standing during tastings, comfort should be preferred over high heels. It is advisable to carry a handbag or shoulder bag or deep pockets in which you can put a tasting notebook and a pen, phone or tablet.

2. Do not wear perfume or smoke

Smell is an integral part of tasting any wine, so make sure you don't introduce any unwanted aromas into the tasting area - it can be just as much perfume as lighting up before the entrance. You will deprive yourself of the nuances of the aromas of the wines, and you will also make the event unpleasant for others.

3. Do not show up hungry

Eat before tasting (of course, we don't mean bread with onions or garlic...). Tasting wines on an empty stomach is not a good idea to enjoy the whole event. Also, if food is offered at the tasting, take a break and eat there as well. It is also important to drink enough water.

4. Make a wine tasting plan

At each tasting, a list of winemakers and wines available on the premises is available. Sometimes you can get it in advance, and even if not, it's a good idea to study it before you start tasting and make a plan of what you want to pre-taste. Maybe you want to taste the wines from one variety that are there, or compare wineries from one region or appellation. If you do not have a specific goal, it is recommended to proceed from lighter wines to heavier ones. Start with sparkling wines, then crisp whites, and progress to richer whites and reds with tannins. End with something special, whether it's an excellent naturally sweet or fortified wine or champagne, which the pros call a great "cleanser" of the taste buds.

5. Make your notes

Relying on remembering which wines you liked isn't worth it. If you're using the tasting as research for what you might want to buy in the future, don't forget to bring something to write with so you can take notes. If you don't want to take a notepad, all you need is a pen and in the tasting sheet you can add pluses or minuses to the wines. If you don't even want to do that, there is another method - take a photo of the labels of the wines you liked with your mobile phone.

6. Spit it out (most of the time)

To spit out wine while tasting or not? That's the question. However, professionals advise that when tasting a large amount of wine, it is better to spit it out. That's why there are buckets on every table. If you don't spit but don't want to finish the wine, pour the remains of the glass into one of the spit buckets.

7. Talk to each other

Timidity and shyness do not belong in tastings - that is, if you want to get the most out of it. Wine can be more interesting when you know the story behind the bottle. They are usually poured by the most authoritative - winery owners or their close associates, so if you have questions about styles, grapes, vintages or region, they are a great source of information.

8. Treat others, too

Remember that you are not alone at the tasting - for example, if you are staying with a certain winemaker and people are congregating at his table, do not monopolize him or block the bucket for spitting and pouring wine. If you are in the middle of a conversation with the winemaker, step aside to continue the conversation while allowing the winemaker to pour for others.

9. Pack your chuwing gum

This advice may sound strange, but it's valid - tasting red wine can stain your teeth, and if you don't want to leave with a purple smile, take some gum with you to use when you're done. Sipping water between wines also reduces discoloration.

10. Have fun

Although you may encounter serious faces at tastings, it is perfectly fine to smile and show (in moderation) a good mood. After all, you are not at a seminar where you will be tested, but as a wine lover you are experiencing profitable moments, so enjoy them.