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Taste Nice

Mind your manners, but have fun.

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Every month, there are multiple wine tastings across the city. These are perfect opportunities to sample new wines and break outside of your comfort zone.

Events like this are fun, of course, but that doesn't mean politeness and manners don't still apply. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you attend a wine or spirits tasting:

1) Don't say "fill it up." This is a "tasting" not an opportunity for you to get sloshed. Most events have multiple wines, and if you tried all of them (and swallowed), you probably would need a taxi. If you want to go back and resample any particular wine, there is ample opportunity to do so.

2) The spit bucket is your friend. Just because your glass has wine in it doesn't mean you need to shoot it back like a fraternity boy does tequila. Pour out what you don't want to finish, and by all means spit it out every once in a while.

3) Don't treat the pourers as if they are your own private spigot. Interact with them, and if interacting isn't your thing, then step aside to make room for other guests.

4) If there is food at the wine tasting (and there almost always is), don't hoover up as much as you can as quickly as you can.

5) If you show up late, don't complain that the wine and food are running low. Arriving at 8:15 p.m. at a tasting that ends at 9 is considered late.

6) Don't pretend you know something you don't. No one is going to judge you based on your lack of wine knowledge. That's the point of tastings: to educate, increase awareness, and expose you to new wines. Ask questions, be curious, try grape types that you've never heard of or can't pronounce.

7) Open your mind. Think you hate white wine or only drink red? If you are at a tasting, take it upon yourself to try as many different wines as you can. You might just find some new favorites. If you have a wide array of wines at your disposal, why wouldn't you want to try as many different ones as possible? You paid your admission, so make the most of it.

8) If you enjoyed yourself at any particular event, ask to get on the e-mail list of the retail store or restaurant that hosted it. Whenever they put on any future tastings, you will be the first to be notified.

Wine tastings are immensely fun, and if you keep in mind the previous pointers, they will be even that much more fun for everyone.

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