Wear comfortable shoes
In addition to the beverage itself, one of the best parts of a wine tasting is the ambiance—the sights, sounds, and smells that surround our taste buds as they fall in love with a particular vintage. For some, this can be exciting. For others, it’s an experience they’d rather not have.
I am personally very much in the latter category. I wish I could just sit back in my chair and enjoy a glass of wine while my thoughts wander to other things.* A lot can go wrong when you’re on your feet: wobbly legs, fidgety hands that want to spin yarn from your sweater vest (it happened once), clammy palms from nervousness or heat exhaustion…but when you’re hiking around a winery after hours for a tasting you really want to enjoy every second of it. To help make sure you don’t give yourself unnecessary grief by trying too hard to look cool while being uncomfortable on your feet all day long, here are eight tips on what you should wear at a winery.*
Wear clothing that isn’t too tight
If you’re going to visit a winery, it’s important to understand the culture. Wineries have a more casual atmosphere than most restaurants or bars, and they often serve food as well. This usually means that the place is going to attract families and couples out on dates. While you don’t need to dress up for a winery, it’s best not to wear clothing that’s too tight or revealing. You should also try not to wear something that will be uncomfortable or impractical once you’re actually inside the venue—spilling wine on your favorite dress is never fun.
If visiting an outdoor winery, keep an eye on the weather in case it takes a turn for the worse. If there’s a chance of rain, bring an umbrella—but don’t use it indoors unless you want everyone else at your table wet as well!
Wear layers so you can easily adjust to temperature changes.
When visiting a winery, it’s best to dress comfortably. You’ll be walking around outdoors and in indoor tasting rooms, so the right clothes will ensure you’re enjoying yourself instead of worrying about being uncomfortable. On top of that, you should always be prepared for temperature changes between morning and night—sunlight can quickly warm up your body while evening breezes may cool down your skin.
I recommend dressing in layers, starting from the inside out with a moisture-wicking base layer (like a t-shirt or tank top) on the bottom followed by an insulating middle layer (a light button up shirt or sweatshirt). On top of these wear a thin fleece layer (like a lightweight jacket or vest) to provide warmth without extra bulk weighing you down. Although this may seem excessive at first—I never thought I’d need more than one shirt when heading out for the day—you’ll soon settle into it as if those extra pieces were always there.
Don’t wear white or light colors.
Wine tasting is an increasingly popular activity, and a lot of it can be attributed to the romantic notion of pairing a leisurely afternoon of sampling wine with some scenic views. You’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve got your camera ready, because there’s nothing more Instagrammable than rolling hills set against the backdrop of vineyards. If you’re planning on attending a winery event in the near future, you’ll want to keep this list in mind: don’t wear white or light colors.
Let’s start with the easy part: white wine is delicious and we love it (ask any European), but if you spill it on yourself, you’ll be left with a piece of fabric that looks like something from Picasso’s most abstract period. Although stain removal magic has improved over time, there’s no way to get rid of that tell-tale ring around your leg when your pants are exposed for all their world to see.
How about those outfits that seem great at home in front of the mirror? If you’re planning on sitting on the ground or grass during your visit—and who isn’t?—you don’t have much visibility from behind, so don’t wear anything too short or revealing; it might not look as good once you’re up close and personal with your surroundings.
Finally, consider whether white is right for where you’ll be sitting because… well… let’s face it: eventually, everyone ends up sitting on the ground at some point during their wine tasting excursion. A lot can happen while enjoying a bottle out in nature; grass stains are impossible to avoid sometimes! We love how versatile white clothing can be—and if there aren’t any dirt patches available where you’ll be sitting or standing while enjoying your vino, trust us when we say that wearing all black can look just as chic.
Wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses and a hat.
There’s a lot to do at a winery, but at the end of the day, your main goal should be to enjoy yourself. This can be hard to do if you’re suffering from sunburn and regretting the decision to leave your shades and hat at home.
After hiking around the vineyard and sampling their wines, most visitors are thinking about two things: eating lunch and heading back to their car. But before you do those things, make sure you’ve protected your skin from the sun with a generous amount of sunscreen. Sunburn is no fun—it’s uncomfortable, unattractive, painful, and can even lead to long-term effects like premature aging or skin cancer. So when in doubt: put on more sunscreen!
If your skin isn’t used to being out in the sun for extended amounts of time (or ever), make sure that you don’t overdo it while you’re exploring vineyards. You’ll want some time in direct sunlight so that you can get some vitamin D without burning. If this is new terrain for you, start slow by visiting during cooler hours of the day or week (morning or late afternoon) when there is less chance of prolonged exposure to UV rays. You may want one visit as “practice” so that if any damage happens, it probably won’t be severe enough that it prevents future visits altogether.
Lastly but not leastly—wear a hat! Hats aren’t just stylish; they also keep out harmful UVA/UVB rays from reaching your scalp and hairline where they could pose an even greater risk for sunburn than anywhere else on your body.
If you’re going in the morning, bring a jacket.
It’s a common misconception that the best time to go wine tasting is during the hottest part of the day. True, you’ll have more access to seating, shade, and parking in the afternoon, but if you’re going for the experience then early morning is ideal. The winery will be quieter, and there’s plenty of opportunity to talk with staff and learn about their wines and practices.
What to Wear
If you’re going in the morning, bring a jacket. It can get cold inside most wineries so dress warmly depending on how early you go and how long you stay. Some places will sell coffee or tea while others won’t; it’s always good to remember this tip when visiting wineries: drink plenty of water!
Years ago I was inexperienced at drinking wine (and everything else) so I tried reds right away without my normal cup of coffee or bottle of water—I’m glad it was in the morning because I wasn’t nearly as drunk as I would’ve been later on. Some wineries also have food for sale like cheese plates or pretzels so plan ahead if that’s something you want to do too!
If you’re planning on having a picnic, don’t forget a blanket.
Wine tasting is a great way to learn more about what you like, and it’s a great excuse for getting out with friends and enjoying the evening air. Follow these tips on what to wear to wine tastings, and you’ll be able to look good and smell even better both inside and outside.
Wear Something Comfortable: Looking great at wine tastings is important, but so is comfortable. Wearing tight clothes or jewel tones will not only make you uncomfortable, but detract from your appearance as well—especially if you’re also trying to smell fantastic. You should wear clothes that are breathable (but not too light) and can easily be removed if the weather turns cold or inclement. Avoid bright colors because these tend to fade when exposed to sunlight. Any time possible should have accessories that don’t clash with your clothing—just think of it as a simple way of making sure you look unique instead of just wearing the same old thing every day.
Go Easy On The Perfume: Wines often score highly because they’re fruity, sweet, herbal, or otherwise flavorful—and there’s nothing worse than wearing perfume while wine tasting. Manufacturers often add scents so strongly that they permeate through fabric; in fact, some people even complain that the sweet fragrance lingers in their breath long after the wine tasting has ended! When choosing perfume—yes, even cologne has an effect on how wines taste!—go easy on it by using subtle notes like vanilla or citrus instead of going all out with heavy-handed notes like rose or jasmine .
Be Smart About Sunglasses: Wine tastes best when fresh from its glass bottle , whether you’re at a winery in Napa Valley or popping open a bottle at home yourself (wine does age). That’s why it’s important for visitors looking for glasses not only to select those made by wineries themselves but also opt for something classic (think Ray-Bans) rather than trendy styles such
Pack an extra shirt in your car to change into after your wine tasting.
As you embark on your journey to a vineyard, it is important to keep some things in mind. First of all, don’t forget to pack a change of clothes with you—just in case you need to ditch the ones covered with grape juice or wine, which would probably be unacceptable at your next stop. It’s also good to wear something that makes sense for the weather and season; it’s not too practical to break out your spring coat when it’s 43 degrees outside. If you plan on doing a lot of tastings (like we did), then make sure that your body feels comfortable where it is. The last thing you want is for the alcohol and heat from all those tastings to cause you physical discomfort, so wear what works best for you!
In the end, picking out an outfit for a winery can be challenging. You want to dress nicely, but not too nice, and you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. But with these simple tips, you’ll be clinking glasses of chardonnay in no time!
- Do follow the rules of business casual: wear a collared shirt and pants or nice jeans. This is basically the bare minimum for any job interview or office environment, but does double duty as appropriate for a winery visit.
- Don’t wear anything that’s overly complicated or detailed: no busy patterns, no bright colors that draw too much attention. A solid color—taupe/black/grey are good options—will do great here.
- Do watch out for wrinkles: one wrinkle in a white shirt might not matter at your desk on Monday morning; it will certainly matter when you’re trying to impress someone at the vineyard over lunch!
- Don’t overlook accessories: this is your best chance to show some personality! Nice jewelry can add a lot without distracting from your whole outfit (if you’re looking for something less expensive than jewelry, maybe consider snazzy socks). Don’t forget just one item either: make sure that if there’s something extra going on, it’s balanced by another level of simplicity elsewhere so there aren’t two competing focal points on your person.
- Do try wearing something related to wine culture: if all else fails (or even if it doesn’t), showing up wearing something related to wine is bound to break the ice with whoever you’re meeting at the vineyard—and they may even think better of you before they’ve had any wine!