The Rules of Wine Festival

“Life is the only game in which the object of the game is to learn the rules.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

Rules, rules, rules they're everywhere and, just about anywhere one may look and, if you're ever in doubt about what the rule is, then there's the "rule of thumb" 

But what about the "rules" for going wine-tasting? What are they? Should there be any? I think there should be and so do many other seasoned vino-sapiens.  So whether it's a wine festival, a portfolio tasting, or just the average garden-variety wine tasting, it's important to understand a few rules before the next tasting.

Seeing I have just come back from a wine-festival of sorts the other day, I thought it would be a good idea to help the average vino-sapien understand the rules-of-engagement sort-a-speak and, more importantly the view-point from the other side of the tasting table. 

This somewhat humorist list of rules, which will have many of you laughing and, following out your chair. This list is being republished here, courtesy of my friends at the Hedges Family Estate and you can find the original posting here via their trade dispatch.

Rules at a Wine Festival:

- Don’t tether your wine glass to your neck.

- Don’t pinch your fingers and say, “Just a little.”  Dump it if you don’t want to finish it, but I’m going to pour as much as I damn well please.

- Don’t violently lift your glass mid-pour and say, “That’s enough.”  Same deal as above.

- Don’t say, “Give me the biggest thing you have.”  This isn’t NASCAR.

- Let “smooth” take the day off from your vocabulary… the whole day

- Don’t shove.  [I mean… really]

- Don’t say you hate Merlot. We all saw Sideways. Guess what: Miles didn’t want to drink Merlot because it reminded him of his ex-wife. That bottle he drank in the end—his most precious bottle—had a ton of Merlot in it.

- Don’t tell every winemaker about the winery that was down the street while you lived in Lodi.

- Don’t ask how the wine scored… ever.

- Do wear a “Wine’er, Dine’er, 69’er T-shirt

- If you are going to wear one of the those little food trays that has a cutout for your glass, you better be damn sure you are cool enough to wear it.  Note: no one is that cool.

- Over-buff late thirties guy: Don’t try to impress your date by contradicting me.  You’re going to fail.  Yeah, try me!

- Don’t lick your glass… pig!

- Don’t talk about your sulfite allergy.  There is a good chance you have no idea what you’re talking about.

- Don’t dump into the water pitcher.  And always look before you drink out of it.

- Practice spitting at home; it will come in handy.

- Don’t talk about the legs after you swirl the glass.  Here’s a tip: the legs don’t matter.

- Don’t take your heels off and puke in the lobby. [purple cookies are gross]

- Don’t ask what the most expensive wine on the table is.

- Keep the rim of your glass food free. [Ewww]

- If you proclaim that you don’t like white or rose, we will make fun of you when you walk away.

- NO Perfume!  And go light on the lipstick, honey!


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