Yes, the best things in life are often free. The smiles of our children or loved ones, warm summer evenings, and the beach (except in NJ where it is not free until after 5PM).
Even wine offers a couple of freebies we should all know about.
With that, I wanted to talk more about wine country travel, a subject so near and dear to my heart. For me it is more than a small passion. I actually have trouble imaging going to places that do not include a stop or two at local wineries. I love to meet the people behind the labels. It is such fun to hear their stories and taste the fruits of their hard labor.
More specifically, many wineries offer their visitors free tastings. Often times, these tastings are even accompanied by goodies like chocolate, small snacks, bread, etc. Yes, they give it all to you, the visitor for free.
Does that sound too good to be true? Well, it is not…at least for you. However, there is something you should keep in mind. Many of the wineries that offer these free experiences are owned by small producers and not major corporations. In addition, these small producers rely on the sales of other nonwine items to help make ends meet.
In fact, my wife and I have lots of small craft items and other cool stuff we picked up in our wine country travels. We have also brought back plenty of gifts so our family and friends can experience some of what we have.
So, the next time you stop for a free taste be sure to keep all this in mind. No one will stop you or look at you the wrong way if you do not buy something, but it is a nice gesture if you do. Plus, you don’t need to feel obligated to buy the wine. There are plenty of other things you can buy from one of these wineries. After all, it is the polite thing to do.
PS – No offense to all of the corporate owned wineries. There are many great ones out there and some even offer their own free tastings!