Helpful Wine Tasting Tips

By Chris Thomas, Dowie Doole chief winemaker

  • Avoid wearing perfume or aftershave as it inhibits your sense of smell.
  • Avoid eating strongly-flavoured foods beforehand.
  • Enjoy a hearty meal before embarking on your wine tasting  journey.
  • Plan your journey. Pick out wineries that interest you and don’t be afraid to head off the beaten track to try lesser-known wineries. If you are travelling in a group, call ahead to advise the cellar door staff as to what time you will be arriving.
  • Evaluate colour. Many people launch into smelling and tasting the wine, but a lot of clues can be gained from inspecting its colour. Hold the glass of wine against something white and use the light available to see the depth of colour. Generally the deeper the colour, the more full bodied the wine. Examine the hue for an indication of the wine’s age. For example, Shiraz with a purple hue often indicates a younger wine versus a brick-red hue, which indicates age.McLaren Vale Visitor Guide
  • Swirl and sniff: swirl the wine in the glass to aerate it and bring out the aromas. Sniff gently to take in the fruit aromas and characteristics.
  • Take a sip and hold the wine in your mouth to feel the sensation of it on your palate. Breathe through the wine to bring out more of the wine’s characteristics. Don’t be afraid to make noise when taking air in with the wine in your mouth (all the pros do it!)
  • Wine tasting is a marathon, not a race. While it is tempting to drink all the samples, use the spittoons to make your palate last longer.
  • Get chummy with cellar door staff; they have a wealth of knowledge to share about the wines and are a great resource for recommendations about other wineries to visit. They may even open some wines for you that aren’t on the tasting list.
  • Be open to new wines. Try new varietals and blends. You may just find a new favourite.
  • Wine tasting is a personal thing. Everyone has their own preferences, so drink what you like and enjoy it unapologetically. Don’t take it too seriously. And have fun! 
    Have you got any top tips for a McLaren Vale visit? Share them on social media using the hashtag #mclarenvaleguideMcLaren Vale Visitor Guide

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  • Port Noarlunga South is just mesmerising 😍🌅 Which beach around #McLarenVale are you enjoying the sunset? Tag us #McLarenValeGuide - we'd love to see your pics. 📸 @coastmotelandapartments
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  • Looking for a fab feed around the Vale? @theshackaldinga will get you sorted - check out their amazing pizzas made from scratch when you're there 😋 They're open until 9pm every night. .
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  • Discover fine food and adventure with our delicious olive trail that starts at @Coriole in #McLarenVale all the way to @thefarmwillunga 😋 Sample the premium olives and olive oils, and take home a jar for later. To explore the entire trail, pick up a copy of the McLaren Vale Visitors Guide, or click the link in our bio. .
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 #SouthAustralia
  • Here's how the Vale is looking this time of year 🍇😍🍂🍁 📸 @__serio__ Come visit some wineries around #McLarenVale on your next road trip and plan ahead with our #McLarenValeGuide - click the link in our bio. #SeeSouthAustralia #SouthAustralia #ichooseSA #adelaidefoodies #adelaide #McLarenValeWines #McLarenValeWineries #Wineries #AustralianWines #SAwines #heapsgood #Adelaidefoodie
  • 🍇🍷 Through the wineglass...
📸 @travellerswill Are you heading to #McLarenVale for some delicious drops this weekend? Head to the link in our bio to read our #McLarenValeGuide online. .
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  • How about some art that you can eat? 😍 😋 Autumn  fruits with pineapple sorbet, house made yoghurt, crunchy nut crisp, aged sour tepache. Check out @serafino_wines new autumn menu by @chef_d_armon on your next visit! Click the link in our bio to read our #McLarenValeGuide. 📸 @adelaidefoodcentral .
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  • Come fill up your basket every week with fresh local produce while supporting farmers and producers of the #Fleurieu 🥕🥦 🍓🥒 See you at the @willungafarmersmarket this Saturday! They're open 8am - 12.30pm.
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  • 🍂 This autumn, explore the main street of McLaren Vale and find yourself in @Willunga_SA, brimming with eclectic shopfronts and delicious food 😋✨ Click the link in our bio to discover other must-see places in the region. .
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