When visiting a new winery tasting room, it is encouraged you ask questions to learn about the wines and winery you are experiencing. It is fun to learn something new and get to know their wines beyond the taste on your pallet. I thought I would make a list of some of my favorite questions to ask to get your creative juices flowing during your next tasting room visit:
General questions about the winery:
- When did you start your vineyard? When did your tasting room open?
- What grapes do you grow on property?
- If you bring in any grapes for production, where are they from? (Bonus points in my book if all Virginia and/or all locally sourced!)
- What inspired you to start a vineyard and get into the wine industry?
During the tasting questions:
- What foods do you recommend pairing with each wine? (I have tried making new dinners to match with a wine because they’ve been suggested as a good pair – fun to expand on the pallet and on your cooking skills!)
- What temperature do you recommend serving this wine? (Most reds are designed to be served at room temperature a.k.a. cellar temperature, which is approximately 60-65 degrees. However, the wine maker may recommend you chill the wine more or less to bring out certain flavors. Just ask!)
- How long can you shelf this wine? (Some wines are meant to be drunk right away, others age well.)
- Tasting a table red or white – what blends are in this wine? (Learn about the percentage of each grape represented. This will help you learn about your personal tastes. It is also fun to test yourself in identifying what percentage of grapes you think are represented!)
- Do you have the wine makers tasting notes I could review? (Read about what the wine maker intended for this wine.)
- Have you won any recent awards for a wine?
- What is your personal favorite?
Did you really enjoy a winery and tasting experience? Here are a few more questions following your tasting:
- How can I volunteer with your winery? (Are there opportunities in the tasting room, at festivals and other events?)
- Do you have any upcoming special events at your winery?
- Do you offer a wine club? I would like to learn more about it…
- Are you dog-friendly?
- Can we bring a picnic to enjoy on site?
What are some of your other favorite questions to ask during a tasting? I hope some of these questions I like to ask help inspire you during your next visit to a tasting room!
Now, I have to run off to Caret Cellars for Wine and Cherries Weekend along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. They are releasing their Pinot Grigio – only 11 cases, and I may buy half a case for us! It is delicious.