Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

When visiting a winery for a tasting, I always tip the server in the tasting room. If I buy bottles to take home, is it customary to tip on those as well?

—Connie, Fredericksburg, Texas

Dear Connie,

Tasting room experiences vary, from simple belly-up-to-the-bar tastings to much more informative sit-down experiences, and the expected etiquette can vary as well. Overall, I’d say that tipping at wineries isn’t expected or necessary, but if you get good service, it’s very kind of you to hand someone a $5, $10 or $20 bill, depending on the size of your party, the duration of your tasting and the quality of the service. But no, you do not need to provide an additional tip on any bottles of wine that you purchase to take home.

Back in the olden days, tastings were usually free, with the hope/expectation that you’d buy a bottle of wine. With the addition of fees, the expectation that you'll buy a bottle seems to have faded. But pay attention to your tab: Some wineries may include a gratuity on the bill. And if you’re not sure, it’s always OK to ask.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 365,000+ ratings.