How to go Wine Tasting
Never been wine tasting before? Don't know what to wear? Relax! We've put together a few useful tips about what to expect. And please know that while the wine might be world class, you won't find any snootiness here. Wine tasting is a no-pressure way to explore your wine horizons, as well as confirm the styles and wines that you already know you like. So get comfortable!
Tasting rooms in Willcox Wine Country are open to the public, so just come right in and make yourself at home. You'll pay around $7 to $10 dollars for a tasting flight, and that usually includes the wine glass to take home (if you want to keep it). Bring that wine glass to the other tasting rooms and you will often receive a discount on the wine tasting charge. Or stock your cupboard with a very nice assortment of souvenir wine glasses. Tip: Bring something to stow the wine glasses where they won't break in your car.
A tasting flight is typically 4 to 6 pours from the selection of wines available at the tasting room. Each pour is 1 ounce of wine, so keep in mind that you will be drinking the equivalent of about one glass of wine during the wine tasting.
It is very handy to have a designated driver, and regardless, you should limit yourself to a small number tasting rooms on a given day. Plan on spending from 30 minutes to an hour at each tasting room, and add travel time to plan your day. There are several hotels and B&Bs in the area, so if you can stay for a couple days, that allows you to visit more tasting rooms, and at a more leisurely pace.
Most tasting rooms are open from Thursday or Friday through Sunday, from about 11am to 5pm. Some tasting rooms are open on additional days, or even all week. Check the Wineries page where open hours are posted for all of the tasting rooms. If it's a 3-day holiday weekend, most stay open on the Monday. Check tasting room websites and Facebook pages for extended hours around other holidays. Sign up for newsletters at your favorite wineries so you can keep up with what's happening there.
Here are 5 more tips for wine tasting in Willcox Wine Country!
Tip 1. Purchase a few bottles of the wines that you like. This might be your only opportunity to purchase that wine! Even if the winery can be found closer to home in a retail store or restaurant, that merchant may not carry the exact wine you want. And wineries here are low production, so the wine might be sold out by the time you return. Tasting rooms sometimes offer a discount on multiple bottle purchases.
Tip 2. Bring along a cooler or blankets for stashing your purchases where the bottles will remain cool in your vehicle, especially on warmer days. On hot days, take your wine purchases inside with you to the next tasting room so they don't bake in your car. Avoid putting wine in your trunk where temperatures could soar, even when the ac is on.
Tip 3. No appointment is needed as long as you are visiting a tasting room during its advertised open hours. But if the tasting room is closed when you want to visit and they offer appointments, give them a call. Or ask the tasting room where you are at to make the call for you.
Tip 4. Only a very few tasting rooms offer food, and the food is usually just snacks, so plan accordingly. You may want to schedule a lunch or snack break at points between tasting room visits, or bring a picnic (see next pointer), and for sure, start the day with a good meal.
Tip 5. If it's a nice day, bring a picnic. Several tasting rooms have a terrace. And you can purchase wine by the glass, or purchase a bottle to enjoy with your lunch. Keep in mind that Arizona liquor law allows you to consume alcholic beverages only from the particular tasting room you are at.
Remember some key points. A designated driver is a very good thing to have when wine tasting. Follow posted speed limits. And of course, drink responsibly and have a good time!