Do You Tip At Wine Tastings?

Tipping is part of many cultures when it comes to things like restaurants, bars, cafes and other services, but wine tasting is one of those things that you may be unsure of. 

Do You Tip At Wine Tastings?

Whilst you don’t have to tip at a wine tasting, it is always appreciated – but of course, the choice is really down to you. 

However, when it comes to wine tastings, there are lots more things that you should do and should not do. 

This guide will look at these things in more detail. So, if you’re planning on a wine tasting soon, read on to learn more! 

Tipping At Wine Tastings 

So, as we said, tipping is not a requirement at wine tastings. Having said this though, your pourer and other staff members will absolutely appreciate it if you were to give a generous tip. 

If you have had a particularly good experience at a wine tasting, then consider tipping around $10 to $20.

This will go down very well and your wine tasting experience may even be further benefited with happy staff members! 

It’s important to note though that most wine tastings have what is known as a tasting fee, which effectively allows people to try different wines for the cost. 

This fee however is often waived if the customers purchase enough bottles of wine, or an especially expensive bottle of wine. 

European Wine Tastings 

Much like the US, tipping is not required in most European wine tastings. In fact, tipping in general is not obligatory in most European countries, although it might be customary in others. 

The UK for example offers many wine tastings (among other types of tastings like whiskey and ale), and there is no request for tips.

However, donations are often happily accepted for charitable events. 

Tip Or Buy?

You may be wondering if you should tip at a wine tasting if you’re spending enough money on bottles of wine.

In essence, one of the major points of wine tasting is to get the prospective customers to purchase the wine.

If you have decided to make a purchase, then tipping is certainly not required. As we said, even the tasting fee is often waived if you’ve made a purchase. 

If you do purchase wine at a tasting and still want to give a tip to your pourer, then you may decide to reduce the tip.

This is totally fine and the staff will be happy for any tip you wish to give! 

Wine Tasting Etiquette

However, it’s not all about the tipping at wine tasting. There’s lots of things you should be aware of in terms of the dos and don’ts.

Here’s what you should remember:


Remain Open Minded 

If you go into a wine tasting thinking you’re going to be unhappy with a particular taste or aroma, you will not enjoy your experience as much. 

However, if you attend with an open mind – you may surprise yourself with some of the wines you try! After all, you’re there to taste various wines, so why limit yourself? 

Do You Tip At Wine Tastings?

Cleanse Your Palate 

Wine tastings will usually offer you things like water and crackers. You should always accept these, as they are there to help cleanse your palate so you can enhance the wine experience. 

Additionally, some foods on offer will work as a way to pair the wine. Try to follow all of the advice of the staff, as it will seriously improve your overall experience.

Use The Spittoon 

Using spittoons is something that many novices will be unaware of. In some cases, their use is encouraged to try to limit the amount of wine you are drinking. 

They are there to be used, so if you feel it is a good idea – always use the spittoon! 

Ask Questions

Whilst you’re at a wine tasting, this is your opportunity to ask as many questions as you can. The staff will always invite as many questions as possible – this is their life and their job! 

They are passionate about what they do, and if you share that passion, you will have a pleasant experience!


Wear A Fragrance 

If you decide to wear a particularly strong fragrance, you will ruin (or at least reduce) your wine tasting experience.

This is because a big factor in wine tasting is the aroma – and if this is limited due to your perfume, you will not get the most out of your time. 

Drink Too Quickly 

Wine tasting is about the whole experience and has an art to it. Don’t simply drink the wine in one swoop. It’s encouraged that you take your time and listen to what the experts are telling you. 

Hold The Glass By The Bowl 

Always, always, always hold the wine glass by the stem. Holding it on the bowl not only is terrible etiquette, but it will also affect the temperature of the wine – limiting the potential of the wine. 

Act Like An Expert 

There always seems to be one person at a wine tasting that claims to be an expert and says really obnoxious things. 

Unless you are an expert, try to limit comments that are unnecessary. It’s totally fine to have an opinion on the taste or aroma of a wine, but don’t act like a snob! 

Trust us when we say that you will be one of the worst people in the group – at which point, tipping would be mandatory for this behavior! 

The Bottom Line 

Tipping is not a requirement at wine tasting, but it is always invited and always appreciated if you do tip.

This is especially true if you have had a very good and informed experience at your wine tasting. 

Aside from tipping though, ensure you follow the correct wine etiquette and as always – make sure you enjoy your time there.


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Christina Day
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