Where I’m from in the south, there’s not a whole lot that goes into drinking. All you really need to know is your answer to the question “bottle or draft”? However, after living in California for a year and spending the last month exploring Northern California wine country, I’ve come to find that there’s a lot more that goes into drinking wine than drinking beer. If I walk into a tasting room and tell ’em I want a glass of whatever they have on tap, then I’m going to get some bizarre looks. But while I’m learning something new every day about what could be considered the “art” of drinking wine, at least I’m starting to get the look down. I might not always know what I’m talking about when it comes to wine, but I’m at least going to look like I know what I’m doing. So today, with the help of Mark Vogler from Out in the Vineyard, and Grady Beard from Mercury Wines, I show you how to drink wine.

While you might not know what exactly you’re talking about when it comes to wine, you’ll at least now look like you know what you’re doing. However, don’t necessarily go doing all five of these things every single time you’re served a glass of wine or take a drink. I can’t be held responsible for any looks you get if you see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor every time you pick up your glass. But maybe give it a swirl and a little sniff as you bring it up to your mouth for a sip. But whatever you do, hold back the urge to go bottoms up. Stay classy.

What’s your favorite part of a visit to wine country?