Wine Festival Preparation And Etiquette

I love a wine festival and I have been to one or two so I think I have a pretty good routine when preparing for a wine festival and how I act once I get there.

I want to make sure that I and the people around me have a great time and by the time we leave I can’t wait for it to happen all over again next year.

So, today I am preparing for Wine and Food’s Unwined Subiaco, WA’s premium wine and food festival.

I have been kindly gifted a couple of tickets for the VIP Club Lounge from the team at CMS Events and I am super excited.

But, before heading off to any wine festival, I make sure to have a couple of things under wraps.

Don’t Forget To Prep

1. Dress For The Occasion

It is currently beautiful Springtime weather here in Perth, and today, we’re expecting a high of 28 Degrees celcius and tomorrow a high of 33. That’s a little warmer than what we have been used to recently.


With any festival that is outdoors, make sure to SLIP on a long sleeve shirt, a cardigan or a scarf to protect your shoulders and arms. SLOP on some sunscreen. Don’t worry if you forget. Most festivals will have this available for you, and SLAP on a hat. You will always find me at festivals with my wide-brimmed black hat on.


As for shoes, a lot of festivals are held outdoors and on grass so a stiletto heel may not be the best option. Opt for a wedge or flats, but if you must wear stilettos, then I would suggest packing some stiletto stoppers in your bag (just in case you start to sink)

2. Have A Big Meal Beforehand

Line the tummy, so you can enjoy the wine and last the full day.

Food Truck Deliciousness at UnWined Subiaco

3. Brush Your Teeth Early

If you’re about to run out the door and decide to quickly brush your teeth, then your first drink or two may taste a little weird.

Opt to brush your teeth as soon as you wake up for an enjoyable wine tasting experience later in the day.

4. Decide How You Will Get There

I am a big fan of rideshares like Uber and Ola, however, events like Unwined Subiaco are conveniently located close to public transport.

If you’re lucky, you may have a designated driver. If you do, make sure to scout out where the best places to park are and if you’re early you may be able to snag a spot conveniently close to the entry.

5. Keep the Smells At Home

This includes all types if smells…

But in this instance, I’m talking mostly about fragrances.

Avoid wearing fragrances or spraying fragrances when at a wine festival, or try for something a little more subtle. As we know, smell is a huge part of the tasting experience and spraying fragrances may disrupt the wine tasting experience for those around you.

6. Know Before You Go

Come up with a plan.

Know which wineries you would like to visit and which new ones you would like to try. You can always change your mind once you get to the venue.

*Bonus* Practice Your Swirling

If you’re a little nervous about swirling your wine in front of others, have a go at home first with a glass of water and then have a go at the festival. You may even want to watch some tutorials online first to help.

At the Festival

7. Be polite

Don’t leave your manners at home. This includes lining up to get into the venue, waiting for a tasting and when talking to winery staff.

Don’t forget, winery staff are working, so try and make the day as pleasant as possible for them.

The Lake House - UnWined Subiaco 2017

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Winery staff love to talk about their story and their wines, so don’t be afraid to ask.

It is a great way to learn as you drink.

9. To Spit Or Swallow?

If you know that you will be trying quite a few of the wines, then I would suggest the spit option so you remain standing throughout the day.

It also helps to make smart buying decisions.

There have been plenty of times I have tried a wine thinking it was hot stuff, only to get it home and wonder what exactly was I thinking?

10. Go Big (Glass) Or Go Home

One of the perks of attending Unwined Subiaco is the option to purchase a Plumm Glass Ticket. This glass is taller and has a wider opening.

This helps with your swirling and you can really get your nose into for sniffing.

Plumm Glass - UnWined Subiaco 2017

11. Try Something New

I love a wine festival as it brings together a range of wineries, each with their new vintages or perhaps you will get to try some of their museum stock?

A wine festival is a perfect place to try something new, or maybe try something that you wouldn’t normally drink. You might find yourself a new favourite wine variety!

12. Visit The Water Station

Not only to help with how much wine you may be drinking, but a water station is also a great way to remain hydrated throughout the day.


Especially on hotter days like today and tomorrow.

13. Red, Red Wine (Lips)

If your tipple for the day is red wine, then you will want to make sure your lips aren’t staining.

Naomi Fuller and Rebellious Wine from Riverbank Estate at City Wine Perth

Make sure to have some chapstick handy, a lipstick that doesn’t attract red wine stain or red wine wipe.

The Travelling Corkscrew has some fab tips on avoid all things red lips. 

14. Don’t Overdo It

Take some time to enjoy the live entertainment – most festivals will have music or entertainers. Take a break from all that swirling and enjoy.


15. Finally, Make Sure You Enjoy Yourself!

Wine festivals are meant to be fun and enjoyed with others.

bryce and a group of friends hugging

Do you have any other tips that you would suggest when attending a wine festival, or will you be heading along to Unwined Subiaco? Maybe I will see you there.

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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