Tasting Tips

Tasting Room Tips for Visiting the Woodinville Wine Country


Plan ahead for the best experience. Take a peek at the Woodinville Wine Country map and locate a winery or two that you’d like to visit. There are several great areas to taste wine and start your day. Park your car or be dropped off in a central location within a reasonable distance of a few of the wineries. Parking can fill up quickly and you’ll enjoy the experience much more if you can walk to your tastings.

If your group is eight or more, be sure to call ahead and reserve your spot. This allows the tasting rooms to be properly staffed and prepared for your groups’ arrival. Some tasting rooms are small, but regardless of size, the majority of tasting rooms have large- group reservation policies, to ensure the best customer service. It would change your whole experience if you were turned away because of limited space.

Make sure you’ve eaten beforehand. Many tasting rooms offer crackers or small bites, but the pours can add up before you know it.

Be considerate of your scents. Don’t wear perfume, cologne, or heavy scented hairspray while wine tasting. These smells interfere with the subtle aromas you’re looking to smell in the wine. Smoking, mints and chewing gum will all change the flavor of the wine completely.

Enter the tasting room where you will be greeted by a tasting room staff member. Approach the tasting bar and find a place that you feel comfortable. Once you’ve learned a bit about the wine tasting menu, you will get the chance to sample the wines. Don’t’ feel obligated to stay at the tasting bar. Many of the tasting rooms are fun and have plenty to look at. Most importantly, remember to go back to your same staff member for your next pour.

Chat with your Tasting Room staff members and feel free to ask questions. This is your chance to learn about the wine, the grape varietals used, the different AVA’s (American Viticulture Areas), the winemaker’s philosophy, etc. Just be thoughtful and polite.

If you like a certain wine, definitely buy a bottle. Most tasting rooms apply the tasting fee toward a purchase. Think of it as a deposit toward your wine. You also might not be able to locate that wine outside of the tasting room and it’s an opportunity to share a great bottle later with friends and family.

Quick Information:

If you would like to share a tasting, just let the tasting room staff members know your plan.

It is always okay to pour a wine out or use a spittoon, especially if you’re visiting more than one tasting room.

Feel comfortable asking for advice on where to go next. Remember, anyone working in a tasting room more than likely loves wine and can point you in the right direction.

Lastly, tipping is allowed but definitely not mandatory.

Shelly Fitzgerald, CS, CSW |Wine Education Specialist| Columbia Winery
Shelly Fitzgerald, CS, CSW |Wine Education Specialist| Columbia Winery


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