10 Things Golden Retrievers Can Teach Us About Wine Tasting

  1. People, people, people! Goldens light up and smile when they see people. A day wine tasting is about the connections with friends and family, not just good wine. So, like a golden, love others unconditionally and, if need be, quickly forgive a friend if they get mad at you (a wet kiss is optional).
  2. Sniff, lick and move on: Drink the kind of wines you like. Be alright with that. If someone wants you to drink something totally different, maybe give it a lick/taste and then kindly decline. To give our retriever some medicine we put a small pill in her dinner. She would eat everything and leave just the pill in the bowl. Now THAT is a good palate.
  3. Take short sniffs. Why do dogs do this? We humans take big, long sniffs. Dog’s noses have 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. We have about 6 million. Try taking 2-3 quick sniffs of a glass of wine and see if you can detect more aromas. You’d be surprised.
  4. Take a nap. Could this be the secret of contentment for dogs? After a busy day of wine tasting, a nap can recharge your batteries. A recent study says a 20-30-minute nap is the perfect length.
  5. Drink water: Dogs seem to lap up a lot of water. When you drink wine, the rule of thumb is to drink a 12-ounce bottle of water for every glass of wine. You will enjoy the day (and the next morning) much more when you are hydrated.
  6. Lie down in the shade when you can. There’s something about finding a spot of grass in the cool shade. Don’t rush from place to place. Maybe just chill out at one location for a bit.
  7. Wear your dog tags. Bring your I.D. to each place. Don’t leave your wallet or purse in the car (break-ins happen). And if you drank too much and get lost, someone can check your “tags” and call someone for you.
  8. Let someone feed you. When wine tasting, enjoy a lunch at a nearby restaurant. Let someone do the cooking and serve you!
  9. Don’t drive. Dogs love to be a passenger. If you have been drinking, get an Uber or have a designated driver. This way you don’t end up in the dog pound. If you are the passenger, maybe stick your head out the window a little bit. Why not?
  10. Leave your worries at home for the day: Dogs aren’t anxious about tomorrow, or what they will eat, or where they will sleep. Dogs exist in the now.
  11. Don’t just go to the inside of tasting rooms. Walk through a vineyard and look at the vines, the soil, the birds. Take it all in. Breathe. Chasing rabbits or digging for gophers is optional.

– Mick Wilson

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