Wine tour season is finally here, and I have consulted one of the best in the Okanagan Valley, wine sommelier, and regional territory manager for Riedel Alysha Harker to help you turn your wine-nos into wineaux.
1. Don’t wear perfume
I know it’s hot and you want to still smell as fresh as possible while you visit wineries. However, the scents can actually change the taste of the wine and ruin the tasting experience for those around you
Good wine is made in the vineyard which is why we are now naming our Rieslings after the vineyards rather than their ‘style’. The Esther’s Block Riesling comes from the lake-facing (southwestern) slope at the big house and is made in the style of 2016’s Dry Riesling. Only available to Wine Klub for now, the specs tell a bit of the story of this crisply balanced, vibrant Riesling. #minimalintervention #riesling #bcwine #okanaganinaglass
2. Bring an open mind
Every winery has a different way of creating the wine and creating their blends or single varietals, if you absolutely cannot stand the wine you can quietly use the spit bucket and pour the rest of the wine in there along with it. Personally I never let a glass go unfinished, however I can appreciate those that don’t adhere to my personal belief system of wine. Never tell the wine tasting expert that you do not like the wine that is a major wine-no.
3. Ditch the stilettos
Stilettos will be more of a burden when visiting the wineries, since the wineries are typically on farmland. I recommend a good wedge if a heel is the perfect complement to your wine tasting outfit.
4. If there is a line, don’t fret
Don’t get loud and take over the tasting room if there is a wait to taste the wine. You clearly chose the right place to be and will have a better tasting experience if you wait a few minutes. This is the perfect chance to shop around, take in the view and take the perfect Instagram photo.
5. Wine tasting is not the time to have an intellectual tête-à-tête with your tasting expert
You are there to learn, not to flex your intellectual might and best your wine tasting expert. They are experts in that winery and region and can tell you little secrets only locals know.
6. If you want a little more out of your tasting, or if you are a large group please call ahead
V.I.P. experiences are available at an extra cost at most wineries where you will be able to get the extra attention and information you are lusting after. For large parties, most wineries will also have separate tasting rooms for you where you will not all be waiting around or disrupting other guests experiences. It’s a win, win, win for the wineauxs! You will be able to enjoy the stories and wine tasting notes without worrying about why your glass is empty!
7. If you do have a reservation, do not be late
Wineries are extremely busy in the summer and are on a tight schedule, if you are going to be a few minutes late, don’t be afraid to call and give them a heads up!
A note for our Weekend Winery Visitors! Over the past few years, we have been so fortunate to see such a lovely increase in demand to visit us at the winery for tastings. So much so, that our small facility and tasting room is unfortunately no longer able to comfortably accommodate the needs of our weekend traffic. As such, we are excited to announce that we will be moving to appointment-only tastings for peak season weekends. We are formally kicking off our appointments on Saturday, June 2nd, but we would love to help ease the transition for our team here by encouraging any visitors planning to join us this coming weekend (May 26/27) to make use of our online booking system – all easily accessible at tantalus.ca (direct link in our bio). Guests to the winery who would still prefer to have more flexibility in their visit are welcome to join us Mondays to Fridays, from 10am to 6pm for regular walk-in tastings. We look forward to sharing an improved quality experience for our weekend visitors, and we appreciate your patience as we make this transition. ☺️ (Please note, tour operators are still required to make an appointment by way of telephone or email.) . . . #bcwine #kelowna #sipkelowna #okanaganwine #tantaluswine #bcwineries
8. Don’t forget to buy the wine!
Most tasting rooms will wave the tasting fee with purchase of a bottle of wine, which saves you money! They also will be able to sell you bottles that are not sold in retails stores. Pick up those special bottles so you can show off at your next dinner party!
9. You are officially a Wineaux!
Don’t forget your sunscreen, water and sunglasses before hitting the wine trail.
Do you think I left something out? Where is your favourite place to go wine touring? Let me know!
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