4 Activities for a Delightful Day in St. Catharines

CP7.jpegNiagara Falls has enough attractions to fill months of vacation fun, but if this isn’t your first trip to this particular natural wonder of the world, you may start to wonder what’s waiting just down the river. In fact, just a short drive down to Lake Ontario is one of the most rewarding day trips from Niagara Falls, as long as you visit the charming community of St. Catharines.

1. Explore Downtown

While not nearly as quaint as Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines is a cute town, and downtown is filled with stylish and darling shops as well as fun pubs and restaurants. St. Catherines’ main street, Jordan Village, is packed with boutiques peddling antiques, vintage clothes, superb art, and more to fill countless hours of shopping. Then you can stop in the renowned Inn on the Twenty Restaurant for lunch and Cave Spring Cellars for a wine tasting at happy hour.

2. Watch the Ships

St. Catherines is home to one of the many platforms for trading located around Lake Ontario, and as such gargantuan ships regularly make port in town. The careful guidance of these colossal crafts is a fascinating procedure, and tourists and locals alike regularly gather to watch the methodical and artful movement of these metal behemoths. The best viewing platform is near Port Dalhousie, but you can get even closer to the ships just off Lock 3 on the Welland Canal while they’re traveling in and out of the lake.

3. Traverse the Escarpment

CP8.jpegThe Niagara Escarpment is the huge ridge off which the Niagara River careens to create the Niagara Falls, but it extends hundreds of miles in either direction. Just outside of St. Catharines, you can explore an entirely different section of the escarpment.

The Bruce Trail is Canada’s most thrilling trek that extends all along the escarpment, but rather than endure a month’s worth of backpacking, you can take a hike for an hour or two on the trail. Alternatively, you can wander around the Balls Falls Conservation Area, which has a couple water falls of its own as well as historic buildings and beautiful picnic spots.

4. Learn St. Catharines History

Most Americans are familiar with the plight of African Americans enslaved in the South and struggling for freedom and equality throughout the 1800s. Many black slaves escaped from their white masters and attempted to flee to Canada, where slavery was already illegal, with the aid of white sympathizers and freemen along the Underground Railroad. Most Americans don’t realize that this historic secret trail terminated in the Niagara region, which subsequently developed a rich black community and culture that has left its mark even today.

The BME Church of Salem Chapel is National Historic Site that commemorates the plights of black Americans throughout the continent. Additionally, the St. Catharines Museum boasts a permanent exhibit on Niagara’s role in the Underground Railroad and the greater abolitionist movement.

In between activities in Niagara Falls, branch out to the surrounding communities, like St. Catharines, to discover what they offer interested visitors. The Niagara region is rich in culture and history — not to mention natural beauty — and devoted travelers would do well to explore.

Going Stag: Celebrating Your Bachelor Party in Niagara

CP5.jpegYou’re getting married, but before you get to “I do” you need one more weekend of debauchery. Sate all your bachelor party desires in Niagara Falls, where a pack of dudes has complete freedom to fully enjoy the last moments of bachelorhood. Check out what the city has to offer, and plan your Niagara trip like it’s the last night of your life.

World-Class Golfing

Course designers flock to any region that has immense natural beauty, which is why Niagara is rife with so many excellent golfing opportunities. Spend a few days exploring the great Niagara Golf Trail, which boasts seven of the world’s top courses. Here are a handful of the courses you absolutely can’t miss:

  • Seneca Hickory Stick. Because of the presence of the rare Seneca hickory tree, this course more than any other integrates elements of the natural landscape, including native plants and ancient trees. Well-groomed and pleasing, though quite a challenge to any player, this course is simply the best in the region.
  • Thundering Waters. Adjacent to the Falls, you can hear the roar of rushing water throughout your game. However, don’t let the serene atmosphere trick you — this course is the toughest in the region, filled with sand traps, thick woods, and rolling greens.
  • Legends on the Niagara. If you’re more interested in variety and community than landscaping, this is the place for you. Comprised of three different courses (Battlefield, Usher’s Creek, and Chippewa) this complex has excellent bar and restaurant facilities to refresh you after a few hours’ play.

Old Fashioned Gaming

Much of what you’re looking for during your bachelor party is good, old-fashioned fun, which is why the arcade is such a draw. The Great Canadian Midway at Clifton Hill has all the games you’ve missed from your childhood — Skee-ball, Whack-a-Mole, etc. — complete with blinking lights and chiming bells. You can make the arcade more interesting with a challenge to collect the most tickets; the loser must buy dinner or drinks for the rest of the night.

Endless Gambling

CP6.jpegCasinos are more than gaming tables and slot machines — but that doesn’t mean you have to waste time watching shows and shopping. Fallsview Casino is massive, bigger than three football fields combined, and contains more tables and slots than even we can count. If the floor is too busy or you can’t find your lucky game, head to the Poker Room with tables devoted to Texas Hold ‘Em or Omaha. Alternatively, if you like the exclusive feel of high-limit games, reserve a place in the Salon Prive. Then, if all else fails, the forest of slots should keep you busy for hours on end.

Quality Drinks

To round out the weekend, pay a few visits to the world-class vineyards, distilleries, and breweries around Niagara Falls. The nearby town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is dotted with wineries that offer free tastings and inexpensive meal pairings. There are also plenty of micro-breweries in Niagara Falls where you can find excellent pub food to match the ales and lagers. However, when whiskey is warranted, you can’t find better Canadian flavors than at Forty Creek Whisky and Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery.

Niagara Falls is more than a family and honeymoon destination; in fact, there is plenty for a footloose group of dudes to do. You certainly won’t regret a bachelor party spent in Niagara Falls.

Amazing New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Niagara Falls

lights

Lights

Ring in 2015 right at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview! Guests can stay in a beautiful Fallsview room that offers sweeping views of the Niagara Falls, New Year’s Eve fireworks shows, and the dazzling excitement of the city. Staying at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview will also put you close to the excitement of ET Canada’s televised New Year’s Eve celebration, which will feature performances from Grammy award-winning artist Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, Lights, and Shawn Mendes.

The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra Dining Package is also available, which offers one or two nights accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview hotel and a table d’hote dinner at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. Dining only options are also available and guests will have access to an incredible view of the city’s celebrations and fireworks shows.

Book your stay now to be a part of the excitement of New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls!

Niagara Dreaming on Such a Winter’s Day

CP3.jpegWith this winter chill in the air, there is nothing more exciting than planning a spring vacation. Niagara Falls is a stunning winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights and glittering icicles. However, visitors looking forward to Niagara’s warmer temperatures may enjoy ruminating on the spectacular spring scenery soon to appear.

1. Niagara Parks

Queen Victoria Park is on the edge of the bustling tourist district of Fallsview, and it looks out on the most dazzling view of Horseshoe Falls you’re likely to see anywhere. The park itself is lovely, with hanging baskets filled with blooms, a serene rock garden, and perfectly kept lawns ideal for picnics and lounging.

Currently, the dark, bare trees and shrubs are striking against the bright white landscape of Niagara, but in the spring, the city decorates Queen Victoria Park with 500,000 daffodils, as well as countless tulips, and other flowers. As a bonus, at the entrance to the park, concerts, shows, and other events are held throughout the spring and summer, so you can get some culture to go along with your beautiful scenery.

The Niagara Botanical Gardens is open to the public year-round with rotating beds of seasonal buds, but it is especially stunning during the spring when the brightest and most fragrant flowers are in bloom. The rose garden is world-class, with almost 2,500 elegant roses, but along every pathway you’ll spy perennials and annuals sure to make your day. See the famous Floral Clock — a timepiece crafted entirely out of plant life — and experience the Butterfly Conservatory, where thousands of winged insects flitter about every day.

2. Lake Ontario

If you rent a car (maybe a convertible?) you can take a few day trips to visit more beautiful scenery in the greater Niagara region of Canada. Just a quick trip down the highway will take you to the gorgeous shores of Lake Ontario, where the Niagara River empties its waters. Along the drive, you’ll see a patchwork of orchards and vineyards making use of the abundantly fertile soils; you can stop and enjoy a tasting and lunch.

However, looming deep blue in the distance, Lake Ontario beckons with its whitecap waves. Surrounding the lake are parks and beaches perfect for picnics and sightseeing. On the south shore of Lake Ontario you can find Grimsby Beach, which is dotted with whimsical cottages of bright colors, transforming the world into a fairytale landscape. There is certainly plenty to explore in this region of Niagara.

3. Panoramas

CP4.jpegJust a few minutes outside Niagara Falls proper, visitors can gain some altitude for excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Queenston Heights Park is the most popular place folks go to see far and wide, mostly due to its proximity to the city. After just a short climb on the infamous Bruce Trail, you’ll catch sights of Niagara Falls, the snaking Niagara River, and Lake Ontario in the distance.

However, the best birds-eye you’re likely to get in the region is at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area, which offers true panoramas of the region, including the mountains, escarpment, Falls, river, and lake. Take your camera, and you might bring home a masterpiece to hang above the mantle.

The cold weather of December might bring winter blues, but you can banish chilly thoughts by thinking about your warm spring trip to Niagara Falls. The birds will be chirping, the flowers will be blooming, and you’ll be soaking up the sun in the most magnificent scenery in North America.

The Majesty of Marineland

CPblog7.jpegIf you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls, there is one attraction you absolutely cannot miss: Marineland Canada. This magical place houses countless marine and land animals, but it is so much more than zoo or aquarium. You could easily spend your entire vacation exploring everything Marineland has to offer, from its exhibits, to its shows, to its thrilling rides. Read on for more information about this winning attraction in Niagara Falls.

Beluga Whales

These beautiful arctic mammals are one of Marineland’s most popular exhibits, and it’s easy to see why. Beluga whales are spotless white, huge, and extremely friendly; they love meeting guests and playing in their tanks, which makes for excellent viewing. Marineland Canada has more beluga whales than anywhere else in the world, largely due to the abundant wild population in and around Canadian shores.

In Marineland, you’ll have the opportunity to learn everything and more about belugas, and for an additional fee, you can get up close to feed and interact with them. Guided by a trainer, you may have the opportunity to perform tricks with the whales — a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Killer Whales, or Orcas

The recent documentary “Blackfish” showed Sea World’s poor treatment of their orcas, but in Marineland, the animals are treated with much more reverence and respect; in fact, researchers at Marineland continue to study these important creatures to learn more about their unique social behavior and requirements. Killer whales have an especially developed emotional system in their brains, which means they are intensely social animals. You can observe Marineland’s orcas interact with one another in their tanks, and see for yourself how emotionally advanced and friendly these sometime fearsome creatures truly are.

The King Waldorf Stadium Show

You can watch and be amazed as Marineland’s marine mammals put their intelligence to work during this entertaining and awe-inspiring spectacle. Dolphins and whales jump, swim, and execute other feats impossible to humans, and sea lions and walruses perform hilarious acts that will see you doubling up in laughter. The show occurs many times during the day, so if you miss one while you’re oohing over the exhibits or rides, you can easily wait around for the next one.

Amusement Rides

CPblog8.jpegAfter being inspired by the high-flying mammals of the sea, you can see yourself soaring through the air on any of Marineland’s myriad thrill rides. However, all rides aren’t built the same; you’ll get the most out of your experience if you know your limits when it comes to death-defying acts.

Visitors who prefer gentle rides or who are accompanying small children shouldn’t miss:

  • Trivioli Wheel. A unique and exciting Ferris wheel designed with any and all guests in mind.
  • Boat Carousel. A sea-themed merry-go-round to entertain kids of all ages.
  • Lady Bug Coaster. A short and moderate coaster suited to younger children
  • Space Avenger. A self-controlled whirling ride where you decide when to go up and down.

Those who can tolerate a bit more adventure may enjoy:

  • Ocean Odyssey. Another whirler to amuse all family members.
  • Viking Adventures. A rocking Viking ship that will throw you around like the high seas.
  • Orca Screamer. A tower ride for those not as tolerable of heights.

Finally, adrenaline junkies can’t miss out on these world-class thrills:

  • Skyhawk. A ride that takes you well into the atmosphere for excellent views of the park and surrounding areas.
  • Flying Dragon. A coaster to scare even the stoniest of thrill-seekers.
  • Dragon Mountain. The world’s largest steel roller coaster, spanning 30 acres and traveling through countless tunnels.
  • Sky Screamer. The highest triple tower ride in the world, moving at breakneck speeds and jaw- and stomach-dropping heights.

Seeing a Safari in Niagara Falls

CP1.jpegWhen planning a visit to Niagara Falls, you probably expect to see some specific flora and fauna. Native birds are easy to spot, and you could get lucky and see a moose or a bear amongst the trees. However, what if there was a guaranteed chance you would see a lion or a tiger? What if, when you plan a trip to Niagara Falls, you could promise your kids they’d be able to watch apes play in the mud?

Safari Niagara can offer access to the most exotic animals that you wouldn’t expect to find in Ontario, Canada. On your next visit to the Falls in the summer and early fall, take a ride to Safari Niagara to view and learn about the wildest beasts in the world.

Watch Animals in Their Natural Habitats

Safari Niagara works hard to create habitats that reflect the wild and natural environment of each animal. This means that the animals at the park are comfortable and happy, so you can see how they might behave outside captivity.

In the Silent Forest, the zoo offers sights of the world’s most majestic big cats, while in the Mellow Marsh, you’ll be able to spot creatures indigenous to wetlands, like geese and turtles. Safari Niagara has dozens of wild animals to enjoy — you’re sure to find your favorite among the plethora of habitats.

Learn About Animals of All Types

The zoo is more than a place that houses exotic beasts — it is a center of culture and learning to encourage proper behavior and give aid the animals that need our help. Safari Niagara has several exhibits and presentations to educate visitors about creature care and conservation.

For a more hands-on experience, walk through Safari Niagara’s new aviary filled with more than 500 budgies. Listen to their song, and feed them with special seed to see birds in a whole new way. You can also pay a visit to Papa Steve’s Family Farm, where a handful of farm animals, including horses, chickens, deer, and others, can be seen, heard, and even touched. Zookeepers here encourage visitors to communicate through sounds and facial expressions to learn what it’s like to be an animal.

Go Wild in the Adventure Zone

CP2.jpegAfter a long day of seeing wild animals, most people feel the urge to go wild, too. That’s why Safari Niagara has its amazing Adventure Zone, filled with rides and play areas designed to test your courage and drain your adrenaline. Defy gravity and free fall like birds on the park’s Bungee ride, or crawl to great heights like monkeys on the multi-level ropes course. Alternatively, if you’re more of a water animal, cool off in the Splash Pad or explore the lake in the paddle boats. There is fun for kids of all ages in the Adventure Zone.

It is thrilling to see a wild creature wandering around the forest, but you must have keen eyes and a soft step to spot anything more exciting than a squirrel in Niagara’s well-trodden wilderness. Instead of trying your luck, bet on a full day of beasts and birds at Safari Niagara the next time you’re hunting for wild adventure.

Having a Sweet Vacation at Niagara Falls

CPblog5.jpegNo matter how well you plan, some vacations just turn sour through no fault of your own. Fortunately, you can totally avoid that possibility in Niagara Falls by visiting any of the city’s sweetest attractions. From a world-famous chocolatier and candy maker to some must-visit locally owned shops, you’ll be so overcome with sweetness that you won’t have time to be bitter.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

This world famous chocolate master has set up shop in Niagara Falls, much to the benefit of locals and tourists alike. With a waterfall to rival Niagara’s — or at least fictional Willy Wonka’s — this decadent store is packed with 7,000 square feet of treats. As soon as you walk through the four-story chocolate bar door, you’ll be hit with the sweet scent of chocolate, much of which you can sample. Head over to the gourmet fudge bar where custom flavor creations are made every day, or revive your senses with a mouthwatering milkshake made thick with Hershey’s chocolate.

Kids will love interacting with life-size versions of their favorite Hershey’s pals like the chocolate bar and the peanut butter cup amidst their edible lookalikes; the Hershey’s Kiss is a fan favorite for his death-defying stunt over the store’s waterfall! Alongside the familiar candies made by the legendary brand, you will find baked goods like cookies and cakes fresh out of the oven. You can buy any of these treats to share with your friends — if you can — or ensure them a souvenir by purchasing a keepsake instead, like a plushie, mug, or signature cookbook.

Pop & Lolly’s Candy Shop

Classically trained confectionary chefs toil day and night to churn out the vibrant and delicious treats in Pop & Lolly’s. Such candies you’ve never seen anywhere else: Mountains of chocolate, rows upon rows of dipped fruit, and a full wall of bulk candy will stop you dead in your tracks as soon as you enter the shop. While you shop, you can watch the candy makers at work pouring hard candies or pulling taffy; it certainly takes skill to craft the sweets you love and crave. You can easily take home pounds of candy — for your friends and family, of course — and you can customize each parcel with the unique and entertaining containers.

The Fudge Factory

CPblog6.jpegChocoholics will face the biggest temptation of their lives in Clifton Hill’s legendary Fudge Factory. With more than 20 unique flavors of fudge, this shop has perhaps the highest concentration of chocolate in all of Canada. Your mouth will water as you watch skilled chocolatiers whip and pour the store’s fare right in front of you.

The recipes these candy makers use are traditional and decades old, perfected and passed from chef to chef to delight generations of visitors to Niagara Falls. While fudge is what the shop is known for, you can also partake of delectable candied apples and chocolate covered fruits, as well as other specialty confections like toffee, brittle, marshmallows, and more. You can even bring your friends and family home some of Canada’s infamous maple candies.

By the end of your trip to Niagara, your sweet tooth might be sore — but your vacation will have been anything but bitter.

The Future of Cinema in Niagara Falls

cpblog1.jpegIn the past few years, 3-D has exploded. With amazing new technology, 3-D movies are more realistic than ever, allowing for a completely immersive experience during a feature film. However, outside the theater 3-D is starting to catch on as well, as 3-D televisions gain a real foothold in the market. 3-D video game devices and tablet computers allow users to see deep into their screens like never before.

3-D is certainly a phenomenon — but what if we told you that it’s already outdated? For years now, Niagara Falls has boasted a cinema that employs a technology that puts 3-D to shame. The next time you come to Niagara Falls, bring your family to iWerks 4-D Moving Theater to experience the future of movies, television, and video games.

Amazing Effects

3-D technology allows the audience to see more detail than traditional films, but the unique 4-D experience gives the audience the opportunity to feel, smell, and taste movies like never before. Iwerks’ one-of-a-kind multi-sensory movie studio will bring the action to life with water spray, gusts of wind, floor rumbling, and more. You can safely feel the worst of nature’s most intense weather, from tornadoes to volcanoes to hurricanes. As much a ride as a show, this 4-D experience is top-notch fun for kids of all ages; it is easy to lose yourself to the fun when you’re in such an immersive environment.

Iwerks has been developing its amazing 4-D technology for more than a decade, and it continues to add to the plethora of effects in its theaters. Every day, Iwerks brings audiences one step closer to entering the scene and truly feeling a part of the on-screen action.

Excellent Entertainment

cpblog2.jpegIwerks puts you right in the middle of some of the best family entertainment around. This winter, treat your family to the heart-warming and foot-tapping excitement of “Happy Feet,” where you’ll see your favorite dancing penguin Mumble get into all kinds of musical trouble in astounding 4-D. Feel the chills of the Antarctic and the beats of Mumble’s rhythms with Iwerks’ multi-sensory theater.

Alternatively, if the December chill makes an icy movie sound unappealing, venture deep into the tropical jungle in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with top stars like Dwayne Johnson, John Hutcherson, and Michael Caine. Experience nature’s most deadly phenomena as you follow them deep underground to the lost city of Atlantis.

Convenient Location

If you and your family are staying in the popular Fallsview region of Niagara Falls, you won’t need to travel far to experience amazement at Iwerks. Simply head to the Adventure City neighborhood of Clifton Hills to find the theater, where you can purchase tickets and take your seats for the movie experience of a lifetime. Then, after you’ve been sufficiently wowed by the film and effects, you can continue your amazing vacation at any of the district’s fantastic attractions: Tackle any of the other rides like the Skywheel or Ghostblasters, visit Clifton Hill for its top-notch shopping and arcades, or simply take it easy after your 4-D experience by seeing and feeling the falls in person.

The Outstanding Orchids of the Niagara Escarpment

CPblog3.jpegMany people know orchids as those finicky flowers that are almost impossible to keep alive for more than a few days, but orchids are beautiful and unique in the world of botany for their distinct shapes and bright colors. While in your home it may seem that orchids are too delicate to survive — they have exceedingly specific temperature, humidity, and food requirements — orchids thrive in wild environments around the world, including the Niagara region.

If you are an orchid admirer, a trip to Niagara Falls is well worth it. The Niagara Escarpment is home to no fewer than 37 different species of orchid, all of which can be spotted on a series of hikes within Niagara Falls’ surrounding areas. Check out a few of the more recognizable wild orchid varieties, and get excited for your trip to Niagara Falls.

Yellow Lady’s-Slipper

This orchid’s name is a perfect descriptor of this jaw-dropping bloom. These orchids are a striking bright yellow, and the lower part of the bloom contains a distinct bulb that looks just like a tiny shoe. The surrounding petals of the orchid may be yellow as well, but some have dark leaves and petals that make the lady’s-slipper even more striking.

Calypso Orchid

Also called the fairy slipper or Venus’s slipper, the calypso orchid is usually pretty easy to spot. Most often appearing in bright pink or purple, the bloom also has accents of dark, white, and yellow along its spiky petals. To find this beauty, search sheltered areas along the forest floor.

Alaska Rein Orchid

CPblog4.jpegThis orchid is one of the more difficult to see in the wild because its buds are much smaller than more familiar-looking orchids. Growing about two feet tall, the Alaska rein (otherwise known as slenderspire or Alaskan piperia) has widely spaced blooms of greenish-white flowers toward the upper part of the stem. In the evenings, these blooms emit a distinct musky, honey-like smell.

Spotted Jewelweed

Vibrant orange and flecked with fuchsias, yellows, and other orange hues, the spotted jewelweed orchid is anything but an unwanted intruder. With three lobes curled into a distinct shape, this orchid is one of the most striking to find in the wild. When held underwater, the plant appears to turn a silver color, allowing for its “jewel” name. Look to the streams and ditches to find this bottomland soil–dwelling bloom. If you’re lucky, you might find it alongside its less-common relative, the yellow jewelweed, as the two like to grow near one another.

Orchid Festival

If you are having trouble spotting the wild orchids on your own, or if a hiking-filled vacation sounds unappealing with the luxury of urban Niagara Falls so close, you don’t need to fret. Every year, the Bruce Peninsula National Park hosts an Orchid Festival to celebrate the beautiful diversity of plant life in the Niagara Escarpment. Keep abreast of their plans by visiting their website, and make sure to book tickets to the best orchid experience in North America.

Wine Tasting Etiquette Tips for Wine Month in Niagara

CPblog1.jpegThis November, Niagara Falls is celebrating its rich wine country by giving travelers unique access to the region’s most impressive wineries. Every weekend, one renowned winery is inviting visitors to wine and dine with them to experience world-class food and beverage. If you love your nightly tipple and are heading North this month, you simply cannot miss this outstanding and delicious opportunity.

However, if you don’t often tour vineyards and sip the world’s best wines, then a refresher course in tasting etiquette is likely in order. Practice these simple tips while you’re still at home, and during your November Niagara vacation you’ll be as refined as everyone else.

Wear the Proper Attire

While much of Niagara is well-suited to casual outfits, wine tastings tend to be more elegant affairs. While you don’t have to don a tuxedo or a pearl necklace, your clothing should be quietly sophisticated while remaining comfortable. Think dark wash jeans, and choose a button-up shirt instead of that tank top you wear to the gym.

Take Advantage of Spitting

If you’re enjoying your wine during a paired dinner, you aren’t likely to overindulge, but if you do feel a buzz coming on, use the spittoon or spitting cup provided by the vineyard. When you become drunk, you lose the ability to distinguish the fine flavors of the wines, which discounts the purpose of the tasting. Plus, when you’re drunk, you’re more likely to become rowdy and commit obvious social faux pas, like being rude to the server or annoying fellow guests.

You should also be pacing yourself throughout the tasting, and know that you are never obligated to finish what has been poured. The goal is not to become inebriated, but to taste the world’s best wines.

Don’t Cloud Your Nose or Mouth

CPblog2.jpegYour senses of smell and taste are the most important when it comes to wine tastings, so you don’t want to do anything that will impede the functions of your nose and mouth. This means you should avoid wearing strong cologne or perfume, and in the days leading up to the tasting, avoid meals with lingering flavors like garlic or onion.

Follow the Technique

There’s more to tasting wine than simply drinking it. While every sommelier tends to have his or her stylish quirks, the general method of tasting a glass of wine is the same across the board.

  1. Hold the glass by the stem. Whether it’s white or red, your wine is affected by the temperature of your palm and fingers on the bowl.
  2. Cup the glass around your nose and mouth, and inhale deeply. Many flavors of wine are experienced only through aroma, and you miss out on these subtle notes if you don’t take a whiff.
  3. Sip and swirl. The wine should coat every area of your mouth, including the roof, cheeks, and under the tongue; different areas of the mouth experience different textures and flavors.

As long as you are courteous, it is unlikely the winery will throw you out, but if you want to have a proper tasting experience, use the proper etiquette.

Sign up for our newsletter