Swirl, sniff, sip and spit was the phrase used in the 1980s and 1990s by our Sonoma County Wineries Association to help people in a humorous way to taste wine responsibly. Easy to remember not always easy to do especially the last word.
When visitors stop by tasting rooms they happily swirl the wine in the glass, take a sniff to enjoy the aromas and then sip a bit of the wine to get the full enjoyment of the tasting experience. Spitting, not so much. They ‘don’t want to waste the wine’ or are uncomfortable spitting something out in front of others. I am here to say it really is the best thing you can do in order to maintain yourself at a good pace at each winery. Getting blotto by the end of the day shouldn’t be your goal. Getting educated about what you like and don’t like, trying new wines, spitting or pouring out what is left in your glass is completely acceptable at any tasting room anywhere in the world. I prefer to bring a plastic cup with me-the popular red cup is great because it isn’t see-through. Many tasting rooms offer cups to use as an important responsible hospitality tool. As we get ready to welcome our visitors to Barrel Tasting over the next two weekends, I’ll be reminding everyone not to be afraid to swirl, sniff, sip AND spit. Cheers with a splash of vino in my Dino-the original plastic cup!
Swirl, sniff...sip and spit.