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Wine tastings

Shirley Mabe noses a white wineTasting wine is one of the most simple yet pleasurable experiences your senses can enjoy. Whether you're at our mountaintop winery in NC or at home, get the most out of your wine by using all your senses to embrace it.

Tastings are offered each day we are open; please arrive at least 40 minutes prior to closing to allow proper service.

Parties of 6 or more MUST call ahead to make a reservation; an automatic 20% gratuity is added for 6 or more people in a party. Thanks for understanding.

The tasting fee costs $15.00 per person, which includes tastings of up to 5 different wines. Souvenir wine glasses are available at a reasonable cost.

Follow these steps to taste your wine:

  • Swirl it - Hold the wine to a light and observe the color and clarity in the glass; make a note of any legs present.
  • Nose it - Put your nose directly over the glass and close your eyes; inhale the wine deeply and enjoy the aroma. What does it remind you of?
  • Sip it - Take a small bit in the mouth and swish it around; let the wine come in contact with all the areas of your tongue and palate.
  • Breathe it - While the wine is still in your mouth, slowly breathe in and out a couple of times through your nose. Observe the mouth feel; how does the wine feel on your tongue?
  • Swallow it - Notice how the wine tastes as it departs the rear of your tongue and passes the back of your throat. Make a note of any astringency.
  • Breathe out - What kind of aftertaste do you observe?

As you can see from the tasting method described above, it is not necessary to drink an entire glass of wine to discover its taste and character. Quite a lot can be learned about a wine by just a sip or two!

Believe it or not, wine will taste better if it's served in a glass designed to enhance its particular varietal and/or character. For instance, white wines are generally served in glasses with a taller, narrower bowl than red wines, so as to concentrate the aroma and intensify the taste. When you take the tour at our winery, be sure to ask for the "glass test", where we pour a big red wine in two differently shaped glasses. The same wine tastes markedly different in a glass designed for a red wine... see for yourself!

If you wish to sample a wide variety of wines at Thistle Meadow Winery, we suggest you start with the driest wines first, and slowly work your way to the sweetest ones. Be sure to cleanse your palate with crackers or bread between wines so you can enjoy each wine on its own merit.