Wine tasting breaks and holidays in the UK have seen incredible growth over the past few years with over a quarter of all vineyards in the UK providing hospitality services. At Three Choirs Vineyard, we developed an environment where our customers can stop by for a bite to eat, tour our 30 Hectares of beautiful vineyards or take a relaxing holiday away from home with our luxurious rooms and lodges.
Wine Tasting Etiquette
Although your holiday is a time to relax, it's a good idea to keep some considerations in mind for other guests on the tour as well as the vineyard itself. We have included some of our top tips for below:
Be courteous and polite. Your tour guide or wine representative will appreciate you more and the tour will be more enjoyable for everyone. If you want to re-taste a specific wine, ask to "re-visit" it rather than "can I have some more", more often than not it will be received much more effectively resulting in your request being fulfilled.
Ask plenty of questions! There is no question too big or too small, the servers are often educated greatly in the wines they are serving for taste ad will gladly answer your questions. You never know, there may be others that also want to know the same but are too afraid to ask.
Try something new! We all know different grapes and different climates make different wines, if you're fond of a Spanish Rioja, try a English Pinot Noir! Although the taste may be far different to what your used to it could well surprise you.
Take notes as you progress. At the end of a tasting session it can be hard to recall exactly which wine you preferred so make notes of the name and year of the wines as your progress. This ensures that you purchase the correct bottles at the end of the day.
Feel like you have to finish the glass of wine. It's better to leave some behind in your glass, it's literally growing outside the building your in so leaving some is completely normal.
Wine taste on an empty stomach, the wines won't taste as good! You'll also be effected by the alcohol sooner. Pop into our restaurant and have a hearty meal or carry plain snacks, and be sure to stop for lunch!
Smoke, other than ruining your palette, the residue smoke can interfere with the other guest senses. You may get some dirty looks from the other guests
Lather on scented perfume, aftershave, hair shampoo or any other odorous lotion. Similar to smoking, foreign odors can interfere with your own and other guests ability to detect wine's aroma. Although you won't get any dirty looks, unless the scent is strong, it's good etiquette not to do so.
It's courteous to not volunteer an opinion about a wine until other tasters have had a chance to taste it themselves. Serious tasters like to savour the taste and come to their opinions without influence, direct on indirect, from others.
To Spit, or not to Spit
You're brought up to know that spitting is rude and for general day to day purposes this may be the case. When wine tasting, it's perfectly acceptable to do so, as the alcohol in the wine can soften your senses quickly. This means by the fourth or sixth wine your possibly having a great time but you're no longer able to discern the unique taste and aroma's of each wine.
It is, of course, up to you which your drink and which your spit, you can always enquire about our rooms and lodges ahead of schedule negating the requirement to drive home at the end of the day.
Wine, Dine, Taste & Sleep, the perfect getaway
For those romantics among us, a vineyard break is a new and unique experience. With everything in one place, you'll want for nothing in our glass-walled, wooden-framed cabins, tucked away from view in the base of the valley giving you remarkable views overlooking tranquil, willow tree-fringed ponds.
With our spacious and comfortable rooms you'll find inspiring south facing patio's glancing down across the vineyard come rain of shine, as well as all the mod conns you've come to expect; TV, DVD player, direct dial telephone, hair-dryer, tea and freshly ground coffee making facilities and our own home-made chocolates. Each room has its own south facing patio and views over the vines in the valley below. They are spacious, light, and very comfortable with king size beds or two single beds and seating area.
Depending on the time of year you visit, your vineyard experience can differ. From a winter retreat to a summer basecamp, you'll always remember the first time you step through the glass doorway into your own home away from home.