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To spit or not to spit?

“Sorry, I forgot to spit”. That’s what Sam told me yesterday. Sam was coming from Amsterdam and it was his first wine tasting class. He was a little embarrassed; he saw me spit out the first wine as he spontaneously swallowed it. This exact same situation has probably happened to me more than one thousand times but it still makes me smile.

And the question which immediately came right after still makes me smile too… “Do I have to spit?”

At first it may seem weird to write an article about spitting. But if you think deeper about it, that’s an obvious difference between professionals and amateurs. Because there is no doubt that tasting rhymes with spitting out for professionals.  

No, I don’t consider that it’s a “faux-pas” when non-professionals swallow. Nobody will blame you not to spit.

But there are several reasons why people don’t spit out or don’t dare to spit out:

  • “I prefer not to spit, I’m afraid to spit on myself” In this case, practice under the shower, you should feel comfortable fairly quickly.  

  • “Spit out? Isn’t it a little dirty?” Well, it is. My parents always told me not to spit out, that it was very bad manners. But I also learnt that there were plenty of exceptions to the rules. Wine is a good exception.

  • “Spitting? No way, the winemaker worked hard to produce this wine, I won’t waste it, I respect his work.” That’s a good point. But rest assured that the winemaker won’t be offended if you spit out his wine or won’t think that you dislike his wine.

  • “I like wine. It doesn’t make sense to spit out what I like, does it?” Yes, it does make sense especially if you plan several tastings during the same day or several visits to winemakers. When you swallow, you get tired faster and you could easily exceed the legal limit to drive. Not easy in these conditions to enjoy wines properly.

Whatever you prefer, swallowing or spitting out, I’m sure you will enjoy your next glass of wine to the fullest.