8 Tips for Wine Tasting Like a Pro

8 Tips for Wine Tasting Like a Pro

Group of unrecognizable caucasian adults tasting wine in wine cellar. Comparing appearance, smell, aroma,taste,aftertaste. The man in focus is holding a glass of red wine and looking at its color.

Monterey County is one of the top wine destinations in the world. Ocean breezes, towering coastal bluffs, and hilly interior terrains all contribute to a unique microclimate that makes varietals and blends all the better. For novice visitors who want to enjoy the local flavor, here are seven tips for wine tasting like a pro:

Find the Best Tasting Rooms

Home to nearly 200 wineries, Monterey has plenty of excellent tasting rooms to choose from. Take a look at this list by See Monterey for details on costs, varietals available and amenities at the best local establishments. We’re partial to Pierce Ranch Vineyards and Carmel Ridge WInery.


Have a breakfast basket delivered to your room at The Sanctuary Beach Resort, and be sure to fill up before your wine tasting. Even if you spit, the experience is sure to give you a buzz that’s better curbed with a full stomach.

Swirl the Glass

Swirling the glass brings oxygen into the wine, releasing different flavors.

Stick Your Nose In

The delicate flavor of wine stimulates all of your senses. Sticking your nose in the glass before taking a sip gives you a more familiar understanding of what you’re drinking, letting you enjoy the aroma.

Enjoy the Taste

Whether you’re trying your first Pinot Grigio, or you’re a seasoned subscriber of Wine Spectator, the taste is yours to enjoy. Forget for a minute about notes and hints, and be sure to actually examine what the taste says to you.

Spit Some of the Time

Wine tastings can involve a lot of wine, and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and drink a little too much. The trick: taste the wines and spit some of the time (spittoons and receptacles are available and accepted at all tastings). Getting a little buzzed is fine, but drunkenness at any winery or tasting room is frowned upon.

Keep a Budget

The more you drink, the more likely you are to want to purchase the wines. Setting a budget at the beginning of the day will help you avoid spending too much on the region’s delicious wines.

Stay Local

The city of Monterey is just a ten-minute drive from The Sanctuary Beach Resort. Home to many local tasting rooms, it’s an easy destination for Ubers and taxicabs, so our guests can drink safely while enjoying one of the most scenic towns on the Central Coast.