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Spitting Out Wine versus Pouring- Proper Wine Tasting etiquette or...?

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

In the Wine industry and culture, there's always something to be learned. Even if you know wines -you still don't know wines...not entirely at least. There's still a new way to decant, a new wine to pair with your steak- there's still ways to comprehend the regions and how grapes are grown-and what the hell are tannins anyway??? There's simply so many different things to consider with understanding the beauty wine..


This post is indeed a tough one for me to write-I love wine, the culture, tastings, the food pairings, the savoring of multiple delicious wines. However, there is one thing that I am still struggling with-spitting at wine tastings!!


A few months ago, we were invited for a second time, by our friends at Vias Wines Imports, to their Grand Tasting in New York City. We were excited, eager, and ready to learn.

Well this second time around was another amazing experience and there were many more regions, countries, and types of wines to taste. What I noticed, however, and could not grasp or decipher, was the spitting out of wine in the pour buckets on each table station.

Now, I have attended tastings prior to getting into this business-I have enjoyed wineries, the knowledge, and stories attached to every bottle, grape, and winery.

One thing I had never seen was spitting (not even at our first invitation by Vias Wines).

SO my confusion was legitimate (at least in my mind). I remember walking out of there and feeling queasy and grossed out. I kept saying this must be normal etiquette- this wasn't the same person spitting-it was multiple people and it seemed to be ok with all distributors and vendors.


After some research- it seems like spitting is the way to go-you should have a strategy when entering a winery, (know if you want to taste by regions, countries, or grape style-think red or white) and have a specific way of spitting out the wine. Oh- and DON'T WEAR WHITE if you're a spitter.

Now I understand the concept of spitting-there's no way you can taste 200 wines (like at our last grand tasting from Vias Wines) without getting wild drunk-even if you only swallow like 50 wines.

However, there was something that still didn't sit right with me. I believe that if I'm not trying to get drunk at a wine tasting-there's nothing wrong with taking small sips and imply pouring out the unwanted wine into the pour bucket.

So Why spit?

Can you still taste the wine with one sip- then pour out and move on to the next wine?

This wine loving, non-spitter wants to know!!!

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