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How to be as refined as the wines at a wine tasting

Glass of wine with bottles

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How to be as refined as
the wines at a wine tasting

Not to put too fine a point on it — or encourage excess — but by far the best way to learn about wine is to drink it. And to drink a lot of it.

But not all at one sitting, of course. So here’s a not-to-do-list for public tastings, especially the big ones:

e_SBlt Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne. Others will want to sniff the wines, and every glass will smell the same if there’s fragrance in the air.

e_SBlt Don’t hesitate to spit (preferably into the bucket). The intent should be to sample a little bit of a lot of wines, not a lot of a few wines. With that in mind: Be satisfied with however much is poured.

e_SBlt Don’t strive to come up with descriptors — that’s a parlor game. What’s more important is the texture, the balance, the focus — and most of all, the tastiness — of the wine.

e_SBlt Don’t have your glass attached to something around your neck. Even George Clooney and Anne Hathaway would look dorky wearing one of those “necklaces.”

e_SBlt Don’t get schnockered. Mix in some water and food early and often. The experience is part of what you’re paying for, too.

e_SBlt Don’t finish a pour unless you’re enjoying the wine. If you don’t like the wine, or even sorta-kinda don’t like it, dump it.

e_SBlt Don’t just talk; listen. And not just to the pourer but to other attendees. There’s plenty to be learned.

e_SBlt Don’t automatically start with lighter wines and move up to the “bigger” stuff. Consider reversing that course. This allows you the option of finishing with Champagne.

e_SBlt Don’t ever hold court or monopolize the pourer’s time when there are people all around you waiting to get some wine.

— BILL WARD,
Minneapolis Star Tribune

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