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What Questions you should ask at a Wine Tasting Party

wine tasting

  • Don't be scared to ask the simple questions, to really know your host and the wine you're drinking; ask plenty of questions to get to know what you're drinking.
  • There's no set list of questions to ask; express what you're tasting and how it smells.

There is no definitive set of questions or phrases to use/say during a wine tasting. Instead, it would help if you approach a wine tasting party with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. We know for beginners, the thought of a wine tasting session with experts, either side of you, can be daunting and often overwhelming.

The best way to learn about wine is to taste it and then ask the questions that first spring to mind, even if they sound obvious. Wine tastings are fundamentally about sharing knowledge and enjoying wines. Above all else, they are lots of fun!

So whether you are unsure about what temperature to serve a bottle of red or what the wines 'legs’ means, remember our simple motto: take a sip of wine and ask away. In fact, guides at vineyards or those hosting a wine tasting party like to be challenged.

Questions to ask at a wine tasting party

  • We always like to know why the host chose that particular theme, or perhaps that region of wine to taste. This helps you get to know your hosts likes and dislikes whilst learning more about wine.
  • There are different views on whether you should share your opinion on wine during a wine tasting party. This is because others may feel influenced by your thoughts on a particular bottle, or you indeed may feel less inclined to say you enjoyed that wine if the person next to you is strongly against it. We say, see how the evening goes. Some wine tasting parties are formal and structured whilst others say, ‘keep the wine flowing and conversation going’.
  • What foods would go well with it? If your host is familiar with a particular bottle, it is always useful to know what food they pair with this wine. That way, if you like wine, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home alongside a delicious meal or snack.
  • If you are enjoying wine and would like to sample it again, ask politely. “May I please revisit…”

 vineyard tour

Questions to ask at a winery

Winery trips are extremely worthwhile and if you get the chance, go on one! It is a great way to learn about wine as well as the winery’s business. Here are a few questions you may find yourself asking (if you can tear yourself away from the wines):

- What kinds of varietals are grown at this winery? Which are most popular in the local area?

- What have been the best vintages?

- What is the winery’s volume of production? The answer will generally surprise people!

Tour tips

  • If you go early then, you will have the chance to speak to the owners or winemakers. You probably won’t have as much time or the opportunity once on tour.
  • Small wineries give you a fantastic insight into the production of wine from a small business or family-run point of view.
  • Be open-minded and try new, unfamiliar wines.
  • Genuine questions are always appreciated. If you show interest and enthusiasm towards the winemakers, they will be more than happy to answer your questions. Phoney questions, however, are pointless, so don’t feel that there is a need to ask anything.
  • Never feel pressured into buying huge quantities of wine. It is also important to note that wines will never taste quite as they did in the winery when the smells and sights surrounded you, caught in the wine moment. It is not so easy to replicate this atmosphere and to set when you are back at home.

Learning about wine is an on-going experience, and it cannot be answered or covered in a few hours or by a couple of quick-fire questions. Enjoy yourself and be curious; this is the best way to enjoy your wine tasting.

We suggest hosting your own wine tasting party at home as this can open up a whole world of wines (literally) and is an enjoyable evening with a close group of friends. See our ‘Wine Tasting Party at Home Guide’ for more information.