Discover the Magic of Wine Tasting In San Jose

Ah, wine tasting…What could be more enjoyable than sipping on a glass of your favorite varietal and taking in the subtle notes of its flavor profile? For many people, the concept of wine tasting evokes an aura of sophistication that can be intimidating – something reserved for veteran connoisseurs. But worry not! Though it may seem daunting at first, diving into the world of wine appreciation is all about savoring the fun. So, whether you’re an absolute beginner, or just looking for some helpful pointers in order to navigate these events with confidence, this guide will set you up with the etiquette essentials. Grab your glass (by the stem) and let’s explore the Do’s and Don’ts of a delicious wine tasting!

Wine Tasting

 We’re in wine country after all, and what’s the cherry on top of a Northern California day besides enjoying a glass of wine?

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The best way to experience Sierra Vista’s Winery and Vineyards is by joining one of our exclusive Wine Clubs! 

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 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Wine Tasting –

DO Dress for the

When deciding what to wear, consider the winery’s grounds. It may have paved walkways, grassy picnic areas, or uneven terrain. It’s probably a good idea to wear comfortable shoes, and avoid heels, during the Vineyard Tour portion of the day.

And, though there’s bound to be beautiful weather, you’ll want to avoid pastels and white clothing. Spills do happen, and you don’t want to walk around looking like you just guest-starred in a horror movie!

DON’T Wear Perfumes of Colognes

Wine tasting is a full-on sensory bonanza – you’ll use sight, taste, and (perhaps most importantly) your sense of smell.

So, here’s a handy tip: Avoid dousing yourself in heavy perfumes, colognes, or fragrant body lotions before hitting up a tasting room.

While you might assume it won’t ruin your experience, think about the poor soul next to you who’s stuck gasping in your overpowering scent instead of appreciating their wine’s delicate aromas.

DO Give it a Swirl

Wine tasting is unquestionably enjoyable, but for those seeking to truly appreciate the full range of a wine’s aromas, mastering the swirl is key.

The simple act of swirling (gently rotating your glass) aerates the wine, allowing its fragrances to blossom.

If you’re new to swirling, don’t worry! Begin by placing your wine glass on a flat surface and lightly swirling while holding the stem.

It’s important to note that there’s no hard and fast rule dictating that you must swirl, but it’s certainly worth trying. Who knows, you may discover an entirely new dimension to your sensory experience.

DON’T Hold the Bowl

When tasting wine, it’s best to hold glasses by the stem. If you hold the glass by its bowl, the warmth of your hand can disturb the wine’s temperature and actually affect its taste.

Also, greasy fingerprints might obscure the look of the wine, and observing the wine is an important part of the exciting sensory experience that is a wine tasting.

DO Savor the Experience

Speaking of a sensory experience, use these tips to discover the subtleties that make wine one of the most complex and fascinating beverages:

  • Note the color. It’s more than just red or white. It could be purple or pink or a rich ruby color… The options are endless!
  • Take a quick sniff to form your first impression of the wine.
  • Give it a swirl, and take another sniff. Allow the aroma to unfold and reveal more of its secrets.
  • Sip and savor the wine. Let it roll around your mouth, noticing the texture as well as the flavor.

Exhale. Breathing out can help you assess how long the taste lasts. Does it have a short finish, or does it linger?

DON’T Chug the Wine

One of the biggest mistakes people make at wine tastings is attempting to chug every single wine placed in front of them.

If you don’t watch out, many small pours can add up quickly. While it’s important to have a good time, you probably don’t want to be wasted at an elegant public event.

DO Spit in the Bucket

Spitting in public is usually frowned upon. But, at a wine tasting, it can actually be an essential part of the experience. It allows you to taste multiple wines without getting drunk, and also helps you better appreciate the nuances of each glass.

Are you wondering how to spit at a wine tasting? It’s simple! All you have to do is grab a spit bucket (or “spittoon”), purse your lips, and let it fly!

Don’t worry about having to do it a certain way – everyone has their own technique. Just spit it out in the way that you feel most comfortable. Just try not to dribble!


Now that you’re acquainted with the etiquette essentials, you’re ready to tackle wine tasting events with confidence! The goal is simple – savor the experience. Nobody’s expecting you to be an expert. All that matters is enjoying the delightful journeys that different wines have to offer.

And if you’d like a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of life or simply somewhere to learn more about wine tasting, why not make a stop by the Sierra Vista Vineyard & Winery today?

Not only do we boast our own collection of fine wines, but we also showcase a carefully curated array of varietals from all corners of the globe. We’ve been wowing wine enthusiasts with our award-winning vintages year after year. Our legacy of premium grapes combined with the expert craftsmanship of our expert winemakers produce special, hand-crafted wines of unparalleled quality.

Come and see us for yourself and discover why we are one of the longest-running wineries in the Sierra Foothills. Cheers!

Wine Specials

We’ve been wowing wine enthusiasts with our award-winning vintages year after year. Our legacy of premium grapes combined with the expert craftsmanship of our expert winemakers produce special, hand-crafted wines of unparalleled quality.

About Sierra Vista Winery

“An El Dorado Original”

​Over 45 years ago, Sierra Vista pioneered the way for the Sierra Foothills when it purchased it’s property in 1972.  Once the land was cleared, the first vineyard was planted in 1974. The topography, soils and altitudes in the vineyard create varied micro climates consistent with some of the best known grape growing regions of the world including Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux and Burgundy. After 3 years of production, construction and wine making, the winery was open for business in 1977 as one of the first El Dorado County wineries in modern day history. Sierra Vista have been creating award winning wines year after year. Today, the legacy of their premium grapes together with fine artisan wine making produce quality hand crafted wines and maintains its status as one of the oldest continuing run wineries in all of the Sierra Foothills.




Voted Top 3 Winery

 Sierra Vista Winery was voted one of the Best Wineries in the   region!

 Thank you Style Magazine and EVERYONE who voted for us!!

 For nearly 50 years we have been producing legacy fruit and   award-winning wines.