Napa Valley Wine Tasting Tips

 

We offer many of the best-tasting experiences in the world, allowing you to enjoy the best aromas and flavors in a perfect way. But in order to take advantage of the wine-tasting experience, there are a few things you should know:

 

1. Pick the Type of Tasting You Want

 

Wine Bar Tasting

 

Looking for a great pour? Simply walk up to the bar and choose from a list of new, old, and unique wines being displayed. Wine Bar Tasting fees can range between $10 – $50.

 

Sit Down Tasting

 

By appointment only, a Sit Down Tasting is a much more personal and elegant wine tasting experience. Your private winery host will pour everything from new to rare wines, often paired with savory and sweet food. Tasting fees are a bit higher for this type of experience.

 

Table Service Tasting

 

Relax and enjoy your wine in an elegant salon or on a gorgeous terrace. A staple at sparkling wine facilities, a Table Service Tasting is when wine is brought to your table for you and your friends or family to share.

 

Walk-Around Tasting

 

Have a taste for adventure? Then a Walk-Around Tasting — part tour, part tasting — is the way to explore food and wine on promenade. You'll enjoy a wide range of experiences as you chat with winemakers or chefs around the winery.

 

Barrel Tasting

 

Here is your chance to steal a taste of a wide variety of brand new wines before you buy: with a Barrel Tasting, your wine guide takes a "wine thief” — a special glass tube siphon placed into the bung hole in the top of a barrel — to extract tasting samples of a maturing wine. This allows you to taste what the wine is like in the middle of developing its full potential.

 

2. Make an Appointment

 

While many of our wineries would love to host you last minute, we suggest that you always make an appointment — in order to have a more relaxed time. In fact, because some of the wineries are small, an appointment is absolutely necessary. Other times, you must make an appointment because the winery's use permit requires it. Scheduling in advance ensures that you have plenty of time to sip and socialize.

 

3. Know How to Taste the Wine

 

See Observe the color and clarity of the wine. Color can be affected by age, varietal, fermentation techniques, and barrel process.

 

Swirl Lightly twirl the steam of the glass, keeping the bottom of the glass on the table if you are worried about spilling. This allows some oxygen into the wine that will help the aromas open up.

 

Sniff Hold the glass a few inches from your nose, then let your nose drop into the glass. No wine is the same as another – some have subtle aromas that are difficult to identify, so don’t worry if you can’t recognize the scent.

 

Sip Take a sip and let it linger in your mouth. Roll the wine around in your mouth, exposing it to all of your taste buds.

Napa Valley's Top Tastes

View All Wineries

Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards

Cakebread Cellars

Cakebread Cellars

Chimney Rock Winery

Chimney Rock Winery

Duckhorn Vineyards

Duckhorn Vineyards

Raymond Vineyard and Cellar

Raymond Vineyard and Cellar

Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery

Trinchero Family Estates

Trinchero Family Estates