There has never been a better time to get out and enjoy America’s vast network of wineries. The health benefits have been the topic of much discussion lately, filling academic health journals with exceptional information associated with drinking wine.
Red wine specifically has been a key focus in the “French paradox,” a term for the relatively low occurrence of coronary atherosclerosis in France.
A study published in Circulation (2005), performed by the Division of Cardiac Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Canada, found red wine to have vital heart health benefits. The study states: “This analysis showed a 32% risk reduction of atherosclerotic disease with red wine intake, which was greater than the 22% risk reduction for beer consumption.”
Wine has also been found to potentially decrease your risk for heart disease, colon cancer, stroke, diabetes, and cataracts, and has even been shown to possibly contribute to a longer life. With all these great health benefits, why not get to the source and explore a few of America’s wonderful wineries? Visiting a winery is a fun, exciting, and an informative experience.
If you want to make the most of your winery experience, there are a few tips and best etiquette practices you need to know in order to make your wine expedition exceptional. Let’s uncork what you need to refine your winery experience while tantalizing your senses.
Hire a car service
When you begin your winery experience, you may think: “I will spread out my glasses of wine throughout the day, so I will be fine to drive.” Wine tasting can catch up to you pretty fast, so it is best to hire a car service — it’s very likely that you won’t be in a good state for driving.
Hiring a car service will take one problem that could pop up late in the day out of the equation so that you’ll be able to fully enjoy the free tasting each winery offers. Many wineries are spread out, but there are many car services available in those areas ready to accommodate you.
Bring an empty wine carrier
This is an essential tip that is often overlooked by first-time winery goers. This little piece of expert wine tasting advice will pay off after you have purchased your first few bottles to take home. Having a wine carrier box or foam box for wine will keep those prized bottles safe from clinging around between wineries.
You can go to any of your local wine shops and pick up a wine box carrier or foam box for free. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to do a bit of homework from your local neighborhood sommelier before your trip.
Getting an early start to your winery experience is essential, especially on weekends. Having time to taste and chat with the sommeliers, winery owners, and wine makers is a big part of the overall experience. If they are busy, you may not get the rich dialogue you want.
If you begin your wine tasting tour early, you can also beat the dinner crowd to the best tables in a nearby restaurant, ending your winery experience on the perfect note.
Explore smaller wineries
If you are in search of a more intimate experience, then hitting a few smaller wineries should be on the vine. Larger, more popular wineries can sometimes have too much of a tourist feel. To experience the passion behind the wine you are enjoying, smaller wineries boast the best atmosphere.
Plus, the owners and winemakers will most likely be around, allowing you to converse without tour buses full of people piling into your winery experience.
We are not talking about grape cultivation in this one. During your winery experience, it is vital to be on your best behavior. Politeness and manners will go a long way during your wine tastings, especially at the more intimate, smaller wineries. You will most likely be chatting it up with the owner of the winery while he or she is pouring you free wine.
The more polite you are, and the better conversation, the more likely it is that you may find yourself the recipient of a free bottle to take home and enjoy.
Taste outside the box
A winery experience should be just that — an experience. Sticking with the wines you love is great, but don’t be afraid to taste new wines, as well. There are so many varieties of wine that you may be pleasantly surprised if you taste outside the box. Your server may ask you what kind of wine you favor, however, be open to what they suggest.
The best practice for your winery experience is to ask your server what they would start with. This will also spark conversation, and you will probably learn a lot.
Wine tasting rooms are not bars
In so many instances, people return from wine tasting weekends and talk about how drunk they got and so on. It is vital to remember that wine tasting rooms are not bars, and the atmosphere should reflect your drinking. If you want to get hammered, then your local bar stool is waiting for you.
Winery experiences have a touch of sophistication and passion your bar may lack. Your workout clothes and running shoes should remain at home, as well. Make your winery experience classy and you will enjoy it all that much more. You may even forget where you are, feeling a touch of France or Italy as you sip aromatic, flavorful wine in an elegant setting.
Make the most of your winery experience with these veteran winery tips. Enjoying the scenery that encompasses most wineries will be that weekend getaway you deserve. You will also be getting the essential health benefits of drinking wine.
Being prepared for the bottles you will purchase along the way, hiring a driver, learning from the experts, and keeping your winery experience classy are all wonderful tips for making your next winery experience as ripe and bountiful as the grapes you will enjoy.
What are some of your favorite wineries? Do you prefer smaller, intimate wineries or larger ones?
—The Alternative Daily