Thursday, November 06, 2014

It's Fall Release Weekend: No Fallout on Etiquette

Yeah-yeah-yeah, it's been awhile since I have lectured y'all on tasting room etiquette, but in my couple of years of being away from my wine blog, but still behind the wine counter, a few of you have gotten a bit rusty on your tasting room etiquette.  

I would like to say, "You know who you are ...," but you obviously don't know who you are or you still wouldn't be such a .... never mind. 

Now, if this is the first time for you to visit our area, welcome. We hope you enjoy your visit,
but might I recommend that you first read up on the wineries and what to expect? Last summer we had an influx of tourists asking for "sweet red wine" and "White Zinfandel." Noooo ... chances are you won't be finding that style of wine around Walla Walla. 

However, if you are a worthy tasting room attendant, you will encourage this customer by giving them suggestions about other wines and even a history lesson on how "White Zinfandel" got its start.  Okay, so I was guilty of laughing at a tourist when he asked where the Walla Walla White Zinfandel was. Then I asked, "Where are the hidden cameras? Is this a reality game show?" But I quickly apologized, shared with him the knowledge I had regarding White Zin, and ended up selling him a bottle of rosé from Walla Walla. The point is, these potential wine lovers have to start sometime, right? They are in your winery. You have a captive audience. Capture them. 

So here goes my list of what not to do in a tasting room if you are a visitor: 1.) Put the damn cell phone away. We don't want to hear your obnoxious, but clever ringtone; nor do we want to hear you blab that Junior made poo-poo in his diapers or listen to you boast to Tad and Buffy this is your seventh winery visit before noon. And besides, your loudness is ruining the ambiance of the winery. Seriously you are not that important that you have to be tied to your phone, and if you are, let the Secret Service answer the phone for you, and 2.) Cut down on the fragrance. Or as my beloved father (RIP) use to say, "You smell like a French whorehouse."
You too, men. You are often the worst offender. Now, I have no idea what a "French whorehouse" smells like or if they smell any different than an "American whorehouse," but I guess my dad knew the difference - - he use to bring up French women a lot from his days as a soldier ... who knows, maybe I have a half-sister somewhere in France ... okay, I am rambling. Never mind, and ... 3.) Don't name drop. So, you know Gary Figgins. Cool. You know Christophe Baron. Cool. Yeah, so do we and no - - you are not going to get in their wineries, no matter who you are, or you would already have an invite and 4.) You are there to sample wine, not drink a 8-ounce pour. Not too many businesses where you get to sample before you buy. Use the spit bucket, but don't walk around with it. Other people would like to use it, too. 

Now this next paragraph goes out to the Tasting Room Attendants: I feel for you. I really do.
You are what I often refer to as the "bank teller." You are the face of the winery, and like in a bank you more than likely have the lowest paying job in your company. Then you have to put up with the jerks who loudly and rudely blab on their cell phones, smell like a "______________ Whorehouse," fill in the blank: a.) French b.) American c.) Irish. Not to mention the boorish name dropper. 

No doubt you, the tasting room attendant, has been on your feet all day, and for several hours getting ready for Fall Release. So, you drank too much the night before, this is your second job, you aren't getting a lunch break, and you are pissed off at your boy/girlfriend, but here is the deal - - BUCK UP! If you walk into the winery that morning reporting for work or coming back from a break and you are not feeling it, here is what you do.  Go to a quiet room where there is a mirror. You look into the mirror, and with the best of the "jazz-hands" pose, you wipe the grumpy off your face, put on a smile and say, "It's showtime, folks!
It's showtime, folks! 


barb clark said...

May I add, please don't walk into the tasting room slurping on a Big Gulp from 7 Eleven or your Venti size pumpkin spice latte. Spit out that wad of grape bubble gum before you walk in the door and leave your twin size stroller along with your twins in your land rover.

Catie said...

Here! Here! You tell 'em, Barb!

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