Advice Needed - Tips on Pouring Wine at a large Wine Tasting Event

I’ve been to many wine tasting events over the years as a consumer, but this will be the first time as an exhibitor!

The event will be held next month at a hotel (Four Seasons Westlake Village) and exhibitors will be placed inside and outside.

My booth is composed of the following; 6ft long, linen covered table, 2 chairs , 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 space. My business partner will be working the booth with me.

I would love to hear any tips those of you with experience can share!!

Also, I have a few specific questions.

  • Pours are regulated to 1oz; do the measured pourers used for liquor bottles work on a bottle of wine?

  • What kind of signage or decor do you recommend for a booth or is that a waste of time, money? I was thinking of having a laptop computer available at the booth so people can check out my website.

  • What is the best method for storing and keeping wines close to proper serving temperature (ice will be provided)? I will be pouring a viognier and a syrah.

Thanks so much for the help!!



make sure that the Viognier is not tooo cold! one of the things that I cannot stand is when I go to a trade tasting and the whites are too cold. Just masks the flavors and tastes.

Agreed, I hate that too!

The 1 oz pour spouts do work on wine bottles, but they generally suck. But if there are restrictions, they are necessary.

I really like having a sign, because a lot of the time, the signage provided sucks or is confusing. A banner hanging across the front of the table usually works best because sometimes there is no space for a free standing sign.

I have never seen anyone with a laptop at a tasting, and I would highly suggest AGAINST it. There is much spilling during a tasting. You are likely to ruin your computer.

The best way to keep your wines at proper serving temps is to rotate them in and out of ice. For whites, if the ambient temp is mild, we usually keep them on ice until just before we need them, and then just leave them out until poured, or if that is too long, put them back on ice from time to time. If it is hot, keep them on ice most of the time. You just have to play it by ear. Same with reds- we have poured at outdoor events when it was 100+ degrees, and you have to rotate the reds in and out of the ice as well.

Good luck!


Bring a clip board for mailing list sign ups, extra wine keys, your own signage, and maybe something that you want to drink- h20, sparkling, (kept below the table)

i would ask if there’s something behind your table from which you can hang some signage or a banner. In the busy tastings the info on the front of the table often gets lost. I would also recommend 2 simple plastic 8.5"x11" stands (simple base, 30 degree angle displayable) and inserts stating who you are representing, what you are pouring and what table # you are. This will help (but not cure) the with the stoopidity factor that is often present at these tastings and should help make your day an easier one.

Excellent advice already. As I’ve experienced, the exhibitors usually stand at these events, even if they are provided chairs. Depending on where they place you, you might want to buy a rubber floor mat (can buy at Staples for $30 or so). Beats standing on a concrete floor for 4-6 hours in one spot. Your feet will thank you.

You can certainly get something like that and have it at hand if needed (and for future events), but I have poured at tasting that just didn’t have the space for something like that. For instance, an outdoor event held in a tent, where they have you right up against the back of the tent, and the tables are too close together to put something in between. It’s really hard to know what is going to be thrown at you ahead of time.

AWESOME info everyone, thanks and keep it coming!! grouphug

I will leave the laptop at home; it was a cool addition at a release party, but it was stationed away from the bar at that event.

Linda - what’s the problem with the pourers? Do they not seal properly or something? I could also just gauge the pour freehand, but I’d rather not have to think about while I’m talking to a bunch of people.

They often only work inhtermittantly. You will pour successfully several times, you start pouring again, and nothing comes out, so you have to right the bottle and start again. Nothing earth shattering, but annoying nevertheless. We use pour restricters, but if they are being strict you might have to use the pourers. ,

Dana and I will be at this event. Got a deal for 1/2 price tickets on Groupon, and couldn’t pass on the event. We will stop by and say hi. Not ITB, but consumer observations.

Watch for people behind the group that packs in and takes over the table front. I have walked away from lots of tables becuse these people do not move or make any attempt to let others approach the table. Big tasting pet-peeve. [swearing.gif]

Minimize clutter on the table so there is room for people to place their glass down, and water, tasting book, food, etc.

Like others have said watch the wine temps, no too cold whites, or too hot reds. [cheers.gif]

THIS is the best advice. If they don’t provide folding chairs, bring one. You can only stand on your feet for so many hours, especially since you won’t be walking beyond one step or two. You might even consider a bottle or two of tonic water to reduce the onset of cramps in your calves and tops of your feet. If you are pouring more than four hours, bring a second pair of shoes too.

Bring as few bottles as possible so you can pour out quickly! Ha, j/k.

I keep the ice tray on one side of the table, so you’re not constantly bending down to get your wine. Also, keep a small towel handy to catch the water dripping from the bottles when you pick up your bottles from the ice bucket to pour. And laminated pics/tech sheets/maps are the best as they wipe clean easily.

Good luck! Remember not to punch anybody in the face, even though you’ll want to!


Hey Mike,

It’s been a while since I’ve seen you guys at an off-line so please be sure to stop by!



Bring a boatload of business cards and lay them out on the table. It’s the best way for people to remember you and hit your website later.

Nothing earth shattering here and I don’t know about outdoors in Los Angeles, but indoors in DC I have found that simply being the best dressed guy in the room is helpful. Most exhibitors seem to wear “wear business casual”. I am no clothes horse but I always wear slacks, French cuff shirt, tie and blazer to these events. I think it has helped sales and traffic to my table.

French cuffs with blazer = fashion felony. French cuffs with suit = WIN! [berserker.gif]

This is a great tip- Don’t bring too much wine. When you are the last dude pouring, you get the last people drinking.

And the last people boozing are usually the people you want to punch in the face.

I usually go full-on Plaid Stallion