You’ve finally booked the trip of a lifetime to wine country! There are so many wineries you want to visit, but you only have 3 days to cram them all in. So, what is the plan?
Plan out your trip
Before you even get on the plane, have appointments set up. No more than 3 a day. This will allow you to maximize your time in wine country. After about 3 tasting appointments, you will have palate fatigue. Everything will start to taste the same.
Get a driver and be on time
Don’t even chance driving yourself. You don’t know the area and you will be drinking. The last thing you want, is to lose your license on the other side of the country. Being on time for appointments is not only courteous to the tasting room staff, but also for the guests with appointments after yours.
Eat and drink lots of water
Have a good breakfast before heading out and schedule time for lunch. Having a good base will allow you to actually remember your last appointment of the day. You will be tempted to revisit your favorites, but don’t go crazy. The tasting room team still has to abide by state liquor laws and will cut you off if you are visibly intoxicated.
Don’t be a “Know-it-all”
Unless you are a Master Sommelier or a Master of Wine, do not act like you know more than the staff. They know the ins and outs of the property that they are working for.
Gratuities are usually not required, but always appreciated. If your host has gone above and beyond, a handshake, in the Italian sense of the word, will go a long way.
Don’t buy anything on the spot
I know it is very tempting. The last thing you want is to have a bunch of boxes of wine show up at home a few weeks later, not knowing which ones you loved, only to be disappointed when you open them. If you are a member at a country club, this goes back to the planning aspect. If I know where you are going, I will give you a list of what to buy directly from the winery, and what you can buy from me.
Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”