One of the most popular activities for guests at Te Whau Lodge are wine tastings and wine tours. With 18 vineyards and a fascinating micro-climate that allows vines to thrive, Waiheke is a truly unique wine region. A wine tour is the perfect way to experience stunning scenery while sipping your way through the island’s varietals.
There are a few simple guidelines to follow to ensure you have a relaxing and enjoyable experience at your Waiheke wine tasting.
1. Avoid strong flavours (such as coffee)
You want to keep your palette as clear as possible before you begin your wine tasting. You don’t want other flavours to corrupt your senses before you even have your first glass. This means, skip the morning coffee, avoid smoking cigarettes, and try to eat something light and bland if you are tasting wines within the hour.
For the same reason, it’s a good idea to wait at least an hour after lunch before tasting.
Some experts even recommend avoiding toothpaste for an hour before you taste! So do brush early in the morning.
2. Drink plenty of water
Alcohol will dehydrate you. On Waiheke island we often boast beautiful hot, sunny days – perfect for a holiday, but not the best day to be dehydrated. The vineyards should have free filtered water available, and will get you a glass or pitcher if you ask.
Water also helps to cleanse the palate between tastings, so you can better appreciate each glass.
3. The order matters (or does it?)
Wine experts hotly debate the order in which you should taste different types of wine. Some argue for beginning with the lightest white wines and moving through pinks to finish on the heaviest tannin reds.
Others suggest you should begin with the reds, and move to the more acidic whites as your palette gets fatigued, as acidity wakes up your palette.
One thing they agree on is to start with dry wines and move to the sweet. Sugar coats the palette and can sharpen the taste of dry wines, making them seem bitter.
Experiment and ask the advice of your tasting team at each vineyard. They’ll be able to suggest an order that works for their selection.
4. You can bring your kids
Many of the larger Waiheke vineyards offer plenty of activities for children to enjoy while you conduct your tasting.
5. Enjoy yourself!
A wine tour of Waiheke will be one of the highlights of your trip. Take the time to sit back, sample some of the top quality food served by world-class chefs, and enjoy the sprawling views of the vines, the rolling valleys, and the Hauraki Gulf. Don’t forget to purchase your favourite tipples to take home!
Contact Te Whau Lodge today to set up your personalised Waiheke Island Wine tour, or for extra indulgence, book in for our Gourmet Food & Wine Lovers Package.