Texas Wine Tasting Basics

So you’re ready to make a road trip to visit some Texas Wineries and do some wine tastings. Skies Over Texas Winery is one of over 430 wineries in Texas. Each one has its own uniqueness, story & beauty. The wine industry in Texas employs over 100,000 people and Texas wineries see over 1.7 million visitors per year. So when you buy Texas wines, you’re supporting the Texas economy too! So we created this into to Texas Wine Tasting Basics.

The most important to know is that you don’t have to be a wine expert to visit a winery. It’s all about finding something you like. On your first visit to a winery or if it’s been a while since your last visit, your best option is to try a tasting. A wine tasting gives you a chance to try samples of several of the winery’s wines. Although many grocery stores, liquor stores and even wine bars are carrying a larger selection of Texas wines, the only way to see all of their wine is by visiting the winery.

To find the best list of Texas wineries go to www.txwinelover.com. You can download their new Mobile App, which is an awesome resource for all things Texas Wine! Your first step is to determine where you want to travel. Then look at the wineries along your route. Before you leave is the time for some research. Go to their websites & Facebook pages to see their hours and what they have to offer. Plan an hour or two per winery. The tasting room staff is there to help you learn about the wine and hopefully find something you like. Get ready for a fun adventure and some great memories.

Pre-trip tips:

  • Be responsible – have a designated driver
  • Have an answer to the question, “What kind of wine do you like?” or let them know you’re new to wine tastings
  • Do your homework online before your trip
  • Bring a valid ID
  • There is a growing number of wineries that don’t accept walk-ins, you must make a reservation in advance
  • Verify their hours in advance
  • Don’t show up with a large group unexpectedly
  • Go early, especially on weekends (for Fredericksburg wineries, weekdays are usually slower)
  • Dress comfortably and bring a jacket
  • Avoid anything that interferes with your sense of smell (strong perfume)
  • Avoid eating/drinking anything that will impact your taste buds (gum / coffee)
  • Most wineries are non-smoking
  • Bring bottled water
  • If it’s hot, bring a cooler to protect your purchases
  • Most wineries are family friendly, but bring some things to keep them busy (Kid Friendly Wineries)
  • Some wineries allow dogs, check beforehand (Pet Friendly Wineries)
  • Plan to eat during your trip, some offer food, others allow you to bring food
  • Remember it’s a winery, other alcohol is not allowed

 

How to Taste Wine

  1. Take your time, enjoy it
  2. Look at the color
  3. Swirl & smell it
  4. Taste it, take a small sip
  5. Swirl and taste again
  6. Write your notes if you’re vising several wineries
  7. Cleanse your palate before each wine

At the winery:

  • Start at the counter to find out how to get started.
  • No cell phone use during the tasting
  • Consider sharing tastings
  • Try new, unfamiliar things
  • Don’t be afraid to use dump bucket
  • Ask questions, there’s so much to learn
  • Most wineries have relaxing atmospheres, be respectful of that
  • Take notes, you’ll want to look back at them
  • Share your visit on social media, it really helps
  • Leave reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google & Trip Advisor
  • Have fun, it should be a great experience
  • Ask the winery for recommendations for your next stop including local restaurants.
  • If you like it, buy a bottle or two
  • If you really like it, check into their wine club

 

Some Tasting Terms

  • Alcohol percentage: is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage.
  • Aroma: The wine’s total smell, including changes that resulted from oak aging or that occurred in the bottle.
  • Appellation: is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.
  • DRY: Having no perceptible taste of sugar. Most wine tasters begin to perceive sugar at levels of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent.
  • Vintage Date: Indicates the year that wine grapes were harvested.

If you’re coming up 183 North, make sure to stop in!

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