Our blog includes updates from the vineyard and winery, wine features, specials, products and much more. Elkton, Oregon is a special place and we like to brag about it from time to time. 

Wine Tasting 101


Allow me to start by clarifying: I'm not going to get into how to swirl or swish or spit. This post is less 'mechanics-focused' and more 'ettiquette/attitude-focused.' And don't let those terms intimidate you. Wine ettiquette and attitude sounds pretentious to its core, but I assure you I'm fighting the good fight here. 

There are many different kinds of wine drinkers. Some claim they only like reds, some want drier, some want sweeter, and as far as I'm concerned, all types are welcome. My family's philosophy has always been, "Drink what you like!" And I would like to challenge that philosophy only slightly today. I say, drink what you like, but do your fair share of exploring. Allow me to provide an example:

I recently was pouring for a small group and one individual was the classic, "I only like reds," type (and let me clarify that I have nothing against this type of person). In fact, I largely am this type of person. When I taste, I like to taste reds primarily as I find that is what I tend to drink more. But to completely rule out white wines, seems a bit extreme from my personal experience. However, I try to not argue and just trust the customer to lead me through their world as much as I try to lead them through mine. So I offered a sample of dry, white wine, as is often the starting point in a tasting, and all participated except the lone 'reds only' drinker. As I have come to expect, the reaction to this wine was tremendous. The group really loved it and spent quite a bit of time pressuring the red drinker to try it, but there was no budging. So we moved on to a dry rosé, which also received plenty of positive buzz. 

Let me put it this way, a friend of mine explained his attitude toward music to me as follows: I'm not a frequent listener to things like country or rap, but to say I don't like those genres is pretty closed-minded. Every genre has it's best stuff, and I have found that even in the country and rap worlds, there is music that is creative, poetic, moving, relatable, etc. 

Now I know I'm younger than a lot of the seasoned wine drinkers out there, and that many folks have been drinking wine much longer than I have. So maybe they have found that there are no white wines, or no sweet wines, or no dry wines that they like and that's that. But a lot of people who stop in Elkton have never been before, so I know they haven't had this white, or red or sweet or dry. And if there is one universal guidepost from which to base all wine tasting, it's: every wine region and vineyard and winery is different. So don't rob yourself of finding your next favorite thing!

If you have ever been so bold as to say, "I 100% do not like [insert wine here] and will not be sampling it nor drinking it ever," then I am going to ask you shift that paradigm slightly. Let's adjust to, "I have not yet found a [insert wine here] that I like, and am still on the hunt for the one that knocks my socks off." If you try it and like it, you win! And if you don't, you are only about 30 seconds and less than an ounce of wine in debt from the experience. The potential reward far outweighs the risk. 

That's really all I'm driving at here.