What should you not do at a wine tasting?

What should you not do at a wine tasting?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/28/2021

Reading time: 3 mins

Wine tasting etiquette to a budding connoisseur might seem stringent, but in reality there are nothing more than a few regulatory guidelines for you to follow if you wish!

Pouring Wine in Glasses

It doesn’t matter if you’re tasting Cabernet Sauvignon in Margaret River, Shiraz in the Barossa or Semillon in the Hunter Valley, here are a few relaxed guidelines regarding wine tasting etiquette around Australia…


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we approach cellar doors, with wineries in some states now requiring booking before attending the winery. For this reason it is always best to check the local requirements and the individual websites of the wineries you would like to visit – you wouldn’t want to drive all the way out to a winery only to find out you were supposed to make a booking!


Wine tasting in Australia is always an elegant affair, and is often reserved for special events like birthday and engagement parties. Therefore, it is common that people like to dress in smart casual when visiting a wine region, especially as it compliments the gorgeous surroundings of the cellar doors and vineyards.

However, there is no rule regarding attire – if you’re a wine connoisseur who regularly goes for tastings then you probably won’t feel the need to wear something overly stylish and that is also fine!


A wine tasting is probably one of the only events where spitting is perfectly acceptable! Why? Because you may be visiting numerous wineries in one sitting and actually trying to find a favourite (as opposed to getting absolutely sloshed off sips of 10 different vintages).

You should also not be ashamed to ask for your own personal spit cup if the winery doesn’t have a bucket on-hand.


Wine tasting is a bit different from a winery tour in which you may be there for the very purpose of having a messy time! Therefore, it’s important to pace yourself throughout the day and, of course, use the spit bucket early on so that you don’t find yourself getting a bit queasy by midday.

Remember, full-bodied red wines typically have a higher alcohol content than white wines and light-bodied reds, so you may want to hold off on swallowing these early in your session!

The main thing is to remember to have fun: wine tasting is about finding the wines you like and want at your home – it’s not meant to be a stressful, rigid experience, and we doubt your hosts will try and make it one!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

Previous article: