Packing for a wine country vacation requires a little thought, but not as much as the online searches for this topic allude to. Did you know thousands of people search for “what to wear wine tasting” every month?!? So, you’re not alone if you’re reading this… It’s important to be comfortable when you’re on a wine trip so to help you pair your wine country outfits with comfort, I’ve pulled some easy tips to follow on what to wear wine tasting as part of Carpe Travel’s Wine Vacation Guide to a Great Grape Escape.
Layers are key for all wine country outfits. A winery may conduct the wine tasting on a patio outside the vineyard, but if you’re also doing a tour then you will find yourself in the cellars sipping from the barrels. In other words, you’re going from warm to cold in a matter of a few steps. A jean jacket and a scarf tend to be my best friend when visiting wine country. Not only can a scarf be a fashion statement or brighten up a maxi dress, but it can double as a blanket for an impromptu picnic. For guys who may not be into scarfs, a vest or lightweight fleece can do the trick.
No matter what wine regions you’re sipping-in wine country is just that – country. You’re in the land of farmers and ranchers so most of the locals will be sporting causal to business casual attire. Stick with that. For guys, you’re safe with jeans or shorts with a golf shirt. Ladies, you have a lot more options for wine country outfits. Think jeans and a nice shirt. A cute dress with a cardigan and boots or flip flops. Dress things up with a few chunky bracelets and fun necklace.
If you plan to have an outdoor picnic along the way- wearing a short dress, may not be the most comfortable thing to sit down in.
While bright colors are cute and festive, you might want to opt for something darker for your main outfit. Especially if you tend to have a hole in your lip. Think wine spills…
Shoes can make our break any wine country outfit. But style isn’t king here, remember comfort is key in regards to what to wear wine tasting. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing when you’re visiting wine country so comfy shoes can make or break your mood…at least it does for me. I never suggest wearing athletic shoes outside of the gym or the jogging trail so you can pack them for your workouts but please don’t wear them for wine tasting. Instead, opt for causal tennis shoes, boat shoes, boots, sandals or even flip flops. The latter might be rough if you plan to hike out among the vines but it can be done. I do it all the time!
OMG! Always have a pair of sunglasses – no matter what your wine country outfits are. Going in and out from the tasting room to the vines kills my eyes… I can only assume it’s not only me.
I have a problem with bags and purses, there I’ve admitted it. But, when it comes to what to wear wine tasting I don’t. The heavier the bag, the worse the experience. Ok, not really. But, I hate carrying and keeping up with a huge bag so either skip it all together or carry a cute, cross-body bag or clutch that pairs with your wine country outfits. I prefer the cross-body bag since after a little wine the clutch might be left behind. (I may have done that a time or two.) Better yet, find a cross-body bag that doubles as a clutch.
When it comes to what to wear wine tasting, ALWAYS skip the perfume and cologne. You want to smell the wines…and so do the people around you. Perfume and cologne can impede this from happening. And ladies, either do an all day lip-stain that won’t rub off when you sip or skip the lipstick altogether. It pairs terribly with wine glasses.
Portable Chargers: Another item to plan to pack and bring with you for any wine trip is a portable charger. Wine country is just that – country. So, don’t expect great cell coverage. Either turn your phone off to keep it from draining the battery or plug it in. And, with all the awesome selfie opportunities the latter is my recommendation.
Something for Notes: Visiting a winery can be a huge learning experience if you let it (and if the person in the tasting room is knowledgeable) so having a way to take notes is huge for me. I personally always have my pocket-sized Moleskin with me so I can write down my tasting notes and fun facts about the winery that I can use for Instagram or articles I write later. It’s also a great place to keep up with any business cards you get along the way.
I’ve also been using the wine app Vivino a ton on my wine trips to keep track of all the wines I’m sipping. As I outlined in the best wine apps post, Vivino allows you to take a picture of the wine bottle, it then searches its database to match the label with details about the wine, how much it costs, where to buy it and gives you the chance to rate and review the wine and read what others have shared.