23 Things That Happen Every Time You Go Wine Tasting in the Bay Area

If you live in San Francisco, at some point, you're going to find yourself in Napa or Sonoma (or Alameda [or Paso Robles]) for a weekend of wine tasting. In your head, this weekend is going to be grown-up and sophisticated, full of good food and even better wine. In not-your-head, you're going to have a hangover by 2pm, fall asleep by 4pm, and end up doing all 23 of these things.

Flickr/Dave Schumaker

You buy 12 bottles of Chardonnay...

... even though you don't even really like Chardonnay. You convince yourself that *this* Chardonnay doesn't actually taste like Chardonnay. Spoiler alert: it tastes exactly like Chardonnay.

You join a lot of wine clubs

Who cares that your apartment is 400sqft and that your only wine storage is in the closet next to your dirty sneakers?

You get a hangover...

... while you're still drinking.


You think all of the tastings are super pricey when you start out...


You decide you're going to rent wine storage

Because that’s something that someone who routinely searches out PBR happy hours definitely needs to do.

You get really annoyed with the person who is actually spitting the wine out

And offer to drink theirs if they really don’t want it.

You start abbreviating every wine variety

Chardonnay = Chard, Cabernet = Cab, Sauvignon Blanc = Sauv Blanc, Zinfandel = Zin. Merlot = Ew, everyone who watched Sideways knows you don't actually drink Merlot.


You smile, nod, and act like you understand what the host in the tasting room is talking about

But all you’re really wondering is when he’s gonna stop talking and start pouring.

You wine taste through a time when you'd normally be eating lunch or dinner

You decide it'll be fine and that you'll eat later. It is never fine. You never eat later.

You spend $20 for a plate that contains 3oz of cheese and four almonds

And you feel like it’s the best twenty bucks you’ve ever spent.

Flickr/Chuck Holland

You give your day a special tag on Instagram, like #ChardKnockLife

It's not wine tasting if there's not a selfie of you next to a gigantic magnum.

You become best friends with a bride-to-be

You’re just sooooooooooooo happy for her. CHEERS!

You start acting like you know a LOT about wine

How close is the vineyard? What’s the best release? Was this blended with other wines? How many cases were produced? What is the winery's average yield of harvest grapes per acre????

But then an hour later, admit you know nothing


Flickr/Nagarjun Kandukuru

You buy adorable little jars full of adorable artisanal foods

That you never, ever open.

You say things like "Next time we should toooootally do this on bikes!"

Please, for the love of wine, do not ever actually do that.

You get super self-conscious about your wine etiquette after three hours of tasting

“Am I holding this glass right?”
“Wait. How is everyone else holding their glass?”
“Crap, should I be holding my glass like that guy??????”

But six hours in, you DGAF

Flickr/Mike Goren

You become best friends with the vineyard's pet

Like rolling around on the ground saying how much you want to take it home. Even though it's a miniature goat.

You fall asleep

Somewhere. Anywhere. Everywhere. But most definitely in the hallway of your hotel at 6pm.

You decide the last stop of the day should definitely be a dive bar


You think port after dinner is a good idea

Port after dinner is NEVER a good idea.

You get back to the hotel and open one of the fancy bottles of wine you bought earlier

Only to wake up with a full glass next to your bed.

Sign up here for our daily San Francisco email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun SF has to offer.

Daisy Barringer is Thrillist's SF Editor. Tweet her @daisy if you want to help her drink all of these bottles of Chardonnay she really doesn't want.