Three Quick Tips For Wine-Tasting in Napa Valley/Sonoma

You’ll Need Money.

Lots and lots of money. Seriously, wine-tasting fees can start at $20 on the low end and go ALLL the way up. If you’re visiting and paying a pretty penny to stay at hotels/resorts with prices that make you wonder if they are built of gold, don’t forget to budget your tasting fees as well.

If you visit several wineries in a day, you could end up spending from $60-$200 in just fees! And that’s not including any additional glasses, bottles, shipping or memberships you may rack up along the way. So bring your piggy bank along for the ride!

Plan Ahead.

Many of the popular wineries require reservations months in advance. I was disappointed when I got all the way to Napa and was unable to visit the famous places I’ve always read about. If you want to visit popular wineries, don’t be me! Do some research and build an itinerary way in advance.

OR, if you’re more spontaneous you can try to wing it when you get there and ask around for recommendations. However, last minute planning can be frustrating and overwhelming with the plethora of choices. Waiting to plan on-site may cut into your wine-tasting time and well, who wants to do all that work and delay the fun?

Know Thy Limit.

Most tasting rooms pour a 1-ounce glass per tasting (look out for larger amounts). If you get 5 tastings per site and visit 3 wineries, you can do the math. It can be a lot of alcohol entering your system, especially if you’re what I affectionately consider a “light-weight.”

On my Sonoma tour, there was an older woman that needed to be carried back to the tour bus because she had consumed too much wine. And as a more seasoned drinker, I wasn’t too far behind her! It was so easy to lose track of all the tastings and extra pours wineries kept dishing out, it eventually became a blur. Keep track of your intake and stop when you reach your limit. Or better yet, STOP while you’re ahead. In other words, know thyself!

Happy tasting!

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