Oregon Wine Tasting

You can make a whole vacation doing Oregon wine tasting in the various regions of the state that have wineries. The two areas with the highest concentraion of wineries is the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon.

The most popular way to go about wine tasting in Oregon is to visit the wineries themselves. Not all of them, especially not the smaller wineries, have wine tasting rooms. There are plenty that do however.

Oregon wine
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Most wineries will give you a taste of two to four different wines. A lot of these tastings are free but some charge and some wineries charge a high price. For those that charge, some will give you a refund if you buy a bottle or two.

Now if these wineries are giving tastings in order to attract customers for their wine, why do they charge? The number one

reason is that these tasting rooms are expensive to operate. They have the cost of the building or room, the cost of waiting staff, the cost of the wine itself, the cost of insurance and so on. Another reason they charge is to cut down on those people who are just out for a cheap afternoon's entertainment with alcohol and don't really have an interest in the wine itself. Also, charging cuts down on the tour bus thing where again the people don't really have much real interest in the wine.

Spring Morning King Estate
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In Oregon wineries are only allowed to pour 1.5 ounces for a taste. And that is all 1.5 ounces is--a taste. But if you down five of those that's 7.5 ounces.

The wineries in the northern Willamette Valley are close enough together so that you could hit four or five in an afternoon. I

do not recommend doing more than three. If you do three or more in one afternoon, you probably need to appoint a designated driver. Wineries do provide cheese and/or crackers but even so by the last winery you will be tasting on an empty stomach.

You can avoid this and relax by taking a wine-tasting tour taking a wine tasting tour and just enjoy yourself.

Oregon Wine Country
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A lot of winery tasting rooms are only open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Some open as early as 10:00 am. Some wineries are only open on weekends. It is best to know before you plan your trip. The Oregon Wineries page will give you the opening times.

It is best not to attempt to visit too many wineries in one day because a while your taste

becomes less sensitive and it is difficult to distinquish the suttle differences in the wines.

Oregon Vineyard
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When going on an Oregon wine tasting outing be sure to take notes on the different wines. You may think you will remember you favorites later but later you find yourself standing in the wine store thinking, "Was it this one we liked so much? Or was it this other one over here"? You don't have to write volumes on each wine but try to get enough down to jog your memory later. If you are new to drinking wine, it will
help to learn some of the vocabulary before you go. I recommend that you buy a book on wine. Maybe even get one small enough to easily take with you so you can refer to it if you need to while you are tasting wine.

Oregon Winery Wine Casks
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Here is a tip if you are new to this.

Taste wines in this order:

  • White before red
  • Dry before sweet

If you are tasting both white and red wine, rinse the glass between the two. If you rinse the glass be sure to get all the water droplets out of the glass before pouring the next wine. It doesn't take much water to affect the taste of the wine.

One fun way to taste wines is to go to an Oregon wine tasting event. These almost always include food in the form of a dinner or buffet. They can be expensive but in my opinion they are worth it.

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