obligated to buy at a wine tasting

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Jan 29, 2010
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A local wine shop does a free tasting every Friday and Saturday. I have been going in just about every Friday and Saturday for their tastings for some time now, and typically buy atleast one bottle of something in the store every time I go. This Friday's wine is Italian and Spain, which I haven't really tasted much of and am interested. The Saturday tastings are not posted online because they put together the Saturday tasting themselves, and are typically what would be considered the classics in wine. Well, I have blown my wine budget for the week because I have two 6 gallon carboys of wine to bottle and a 5 gallon carboy of mead to bottle. That would be about 6 cases of wine. I had to buy a few cases of bottles, so there went the wine budget. If you attend a free wine tasting at the local shop, do you feel obligated to buy something?
Actually yes I do feel obligated but if I didn't have the money I would go and just be honest about. Tell them I blew my budget so I will have to wait until next time and buy extra. Or just go, smile, tell them thank you and leave.

I went to a tasting at a local winery last year and didn't like what I tasted, so I didn't buy any. On the other hand, I found a small winery that I liked some of his wines and bought a case.
I would say it's more of a good chance to buy a bottle or two, but not an obligation.
I think you should definitely go especially because since you go all the time . You will probably like the Italian wines they are nice , if you like it write the name down so you can buy it later on . Don't lie about why you can't afford it this week they will probably be happy that you came in anyways . Maybe they will save you the bottles from thier tasting so you can buy more wine from them . Speaking of bottles I just realized this afternoon I need bottles to do the 2 batches I was going to bottle this weekend . Think I'll go over to the recyclers tomorrow morning see if I can get some from them .
The folks know you and they know you're a loyal customer. Go taste and have a good time. They know you'll be back again. Did you you ever think about volunteering to do some pouring. Let them know you can't buy tonight but you didn't want to miss out on the fun and that you would actually like to help pour samples. Who knows, they may even give you a bottle on the way out.
I won't go to a tasting unless I have the intent to buy good wine. If nothing is good, I walk away empty-handed and with a clear conscience.
So RDavidP I hope you went to the tasting .What did you think or the wines ?
I won't go to a tasting unless I have the intent to buy good wine. If nothing is good, I walk away empty-handed and with a clear conscience.

agreed. i go for good wine, but don't want to leave with the bad stuff! believe me, there are a few wineries out here that aren't so good. one of them has a great lookout, so i've suffered through a few there. :se
Okanagon Wine country

We went to the Okanagon wine country last summer where we toured and tasted the wares of more than 20 wineries.

Some places we purchased a bottle or two ... others we just walked out.

Some wineries actually charged 5 or 6 dollars to taste their wines.

No obligations. No problems.

When you sample tastes of free samples in groceries and Sam's club ... do you feel you have to buy something?

I don't.
I see it as a contract.

They give me wine to taste, and if I like it, It should be expected that I buy some of the wine that I tasted. If I do not like it, then I should NOT be expected to buy any.

Entering into a wine tasting at a place that sells the wine, and not expecting to purchase anything is not to be considered as an honest act.

This dishonesty is why they now charge for wine tastings in Napa Valley. Too many times a bus load of tourists will pull up to a winery and consume the equivalent of a case of wine without so much as a single purchase.

In short, do not try to get something for nothing. Support the local business!
I believe that most wine drinkers who go to wineries and participate in tastings would buy a wine if they liked it. I would not feel obligated to buy a wine I did not particularly like and would, hopefully, let them know that was why I didn't buy. As for charging for a tasting, well, the cost of a couple of coffees doesn't seem too much for a chance to taste some different wines and probably get a chance to see and talk about the operation of the winery.
I spent a month at a small winery in New Zealand a few years ago and the policy was a charge of $5 for the tastings and if you bought anything the $5 was credited to your purchase, which I thought was quite reasonable. I would say about 2/3 of the tasters ended up buying at least one bottle.
A local liquor store has 3 tastings on Saturdays and 3 on Sundays.

I try to go to one of the tastings every week. I feel no obligation to buy, nor should you.

It was always that way. At least not in Napa Valley.

In the good old days, a wine tasting was considered a sales activity. The winery could not expect the customer to purchase a wine that was not tasted, and the customer would not purchase a wine without first tasting it.

In this line of thinking, there was NEVER a charge for tastings. In the old line of thinking, why should I pay to find out if the wine is any good? today, only a percentage of the Napa wineries discount the tasting fee from any purchase made.

Look at the movie bottle shock (a great make believe story, but I digress). There is a line "are we charging for tastings now?". This simply shows how uncommon a tasting fee really was (back in the day).

In talking to several wineries along rte 29 and silverado trail, they all said the same thing. They especially complained about how some senior citizen clubs organize bus trips to Napa. Each bus is filled with fixed income people looking for free booze. The buses would simply pull up, unload, the wineries would pour out a case or two of tasings, then they would all get back on the bus without purchasing so much as a single bottle. The tasting fee, although unpleasant, was adopted by most wineries to quell this type of free ride.

In short, I miss the good old days! (can I be this old?)
in NH, by law...wine tasting is free...however you can charge from what i have read for *tours* ...tours in which there are also tastings....but for a strict tasting alone it must be free...and i have no issue w that

i did a tasting last night and another today (not in my winery)...i hit 25 people each night and had18 on the spot sales which is a pretty good hit rate and i am sure some other tasters will eventually make a purchase, i say not bad because none of these people were present for a wine tasting..i was an *add on* at these locations...i have to look at it this way...i cannot go into the tasting situation expecting a purchase....the wine or the product must carry its own weight...and it is one offering of many in the world
I've heard, 2nd hand, that some states forbid free tastings. Here in MO, free tastings are still the norm.
Interesting, a wine maker/seller wants to move product, so they set out their stall and offer free tastes, some folk like the product and buy, then later they buy more of what they like, all good, as for coach loads of er "tourists" swigging wine for free, that is between the winery and the tour company, obviously they must charge the punters via the tour operator, after all it is a "pub crawl", at a tasting you taste, swill, suck and "spit", you cannot taste if you are drunk!.
Contractual obligation!, I do not think so, if you want me to try your wares and are offering samples I do not expect a bill!, if I want to pay to taste then I will be guided by my experience of wines, your "attractive" label, your description of the contents and my regional/grape variety/method preferences, and the possibility of my buying your out of my comfort zone wine will be .....1%, you better have a very nice label and a seriously good description of your wine on it!.
When I watch commercial TV I do not expect an invoice for the adds, if I am paying for a film I do not expect adds!.
Go and volunteer to serve at the tastings, talk wine with the host's and the guest's, build a rapport with people, get them talking with each other.
Finally never feel guilty when someone wants to give you something good.
Apologies for being long winded but I kept it as short as I could.:h
i expect the mass market wines to be free tastings or very reasonable (5-8 samples for $5-7) i do not expect wines from the library, or very fine wines with well known reputations to be free for tasting except for winery club members...

when i go to the supermarket, they may have ritz crackers with squirt cheese on it, but theyre not giving away free samples of caviar topped truffles. ya know?
A local winery near me has it on their website you can go for a tasting for just a few bucks. Then they up the price for cheese and wine plus a tour and then more for cheese, sandwich, wine and a tour. That is not more that about twenty bucks I think.
I've been wanting to go check them out, but like Clint Eastwood said in "heartbreak ridge" I couldn't get out of sight right now if it cost fifty cents to go around the world.