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(Video) Wine Tasting Etiquette in France

Pascale Bernasse | Saturday, Jun 28th 2014

In this video we discuss the proper wine tasting etiquette while taking a wine tour in France. We cover how to dress, what questions to ask your guide, as well as a brief overview of the proper tasting techniques.

One question I get from my guests before they taking a wine tour in France is: What is proper wine tasting etiquette while tasting in France? It’s a real privilege to visit some of these estates and taste their wine, so we want to give you tips to best maximize your experience?

First, dress appropriately. We want you to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be going up and down the stairs and you may be tasting standing up in the cellars.

What to wear? I recommend pants and an oxford or polo for men and for women the same or possibly a dress.

Next, know your terminology. This will help you better understand the wine making techniques that are being explained by your host or guide.

Next, ask questions. It will be more fun for you and for your host if you engage with them a little bit. Ask questions like: What are your best vintage years? What are your ideal growing conditions? And my personal favorite, what food pairs best with your wine?

Next, tasting techniques. First, hold the glass by the stem not the bowl. This way you won’t be warming up your wine. Then sniff or nose the wine, then swirl, then sniff or nose the wine again and then you taste.  Once your tasting you want to make sure the wine is spread evenly in your mouth so you can taste the tannins and aromas.

Then what do you do? Do you spit or do you swallow? We recommend that you spit from time to time, otherwise by 10 AM, all could be lost. So find the spittoon and if you’re unable to, just follow your guide because chances are he or she will be spitting.

And that’s it! That’s your Tuesday Tip in about a minute.

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