Whether you are visiting one of our 25 plus area wineries, participating in a class or diner at the Lodge or at one of our wineries offering these opportunities, your day and that of your fellow wine lovers will be enhanced if you consider just a few points of “etiquette.’’
• Heavy perfumes and colognes: Don’t wear them. They will dull your ability to enjoy the wine — and possibly offend others in the room.
• Dump buckets: Use them. Pour excess wine from your glass into a container provided. While it may be appropriate to “spit,” if you are so inclined, ask for a small individual cup rather than lean over the community dumpster.
• Getting Tipsy: Pace yourself and consume reasonably and/or bring along a designated driver. But in any case, sip responsibly. No one appreciates an overbearing, loud patron.
• Scarfing up food samples: Appetizers offered during the wine trail programs or at a tasting bar are designed to compliment the wines and are not meant to replace dinner.
• Screaming kids: Wineries are all family owned, but long drawn out discussions about the nuances of wine appreciation will make even the best-behaved children restless. If you bring kids, have items to keep them amused.
• Petty pilfering: Lovely wineglasses make wine tasting more enjoyable. Some wineries use those glasses on purpose. There is a difference when wine is offered into appropriate stemware. But the next time you visit, if glassware disappears, wineries might feel they need to use either less expensive glasses — or resort to plastic or raise their prices.
• Chewing gum: Leave it at home. Those flavors and aromas will mask even the most complex wines and ruin your experience.
Now that we’ve reviewed most of the “don’ts,” remember the important “do’s” are to relax, make friends, learn and have fun.
DONNIELLA WINCHELL is executive director of the Ohio Wine Association. She can be reached at dwinchell@OhioWines.org.