We sometimes do a friendly wine tasting. The idea is to discover good, well priced wines available locally - something that you might not have bought yourself. Everyone brings a bottle, they are taken away by who ever is acting as sommelier for the evening, and then given a number. So, the whole thing is 'blind'. Scores are given etc etc... And eventual winners and losers announced (everyone also brings a small prize, so prizes are handed out as well). The amount tasted is basically no more than a thimble or two, there is no spittoon. Would we get different results if we did, or is it OK to do this in our friendly tasting sessions.

  • PS: The prizes make it fun, and we have found some great wines at silly prices which we normally wouldn't have bought - the party works. Feb 14, 2017 at 6:01

2 Answers 2


The primary effect a spitoon would have, is less alcohol recpetion (some alcohol will get into the blood via the mouth-mucus). The alcohol could lead to different results for the later wines.

You might get a more intense taste of the wine if you could take more of it into your mouth and "wash" with it. Even more if you take a sip, wash, gulp/spit, take another sip and taste.

Maybe you want to try it, when you drink a glass of wine next time and then decide if the bigger sips / double sipping makes a difference to you.

If it does but you dislike the idea of a spitoon, try reducing the number of wines per evening, so the increasing intoxication is not a problem.

I really like your version of private tastings and might adopt some ideas from it. Have fun!

  • Hi. I live on a boat, normally for these tastings we have no more than 12 people, which of course means 12 bottles. We have had so much fun, the prizes make it a great evening - only a couple of bucks a throw! Feb 14, 2017 at 16:23
  • We tend to tell people that the spittoon is over the side of the boat - but sailors being what they are.......! Feb 14, 2017 at 16:24

It's fairly common in the wine trade to spit wine when evaluating wine as a buyer, winemaker, sommelier because you will get trashed if you drank everything.

So there are two ways to spit. There is the common spit "bucket" and the paper coffee cup methods. When I taught at our local community college, they had every student spit wine into white paper coffee cups. Some people don't want to touch a common spit bucket and not everyone one is good at spitting with precision, so I recommend the coffee cup approach for beginners. You should see real professionals, they can spit into a bucket from 20 feet!

There is a technique to it that takes a little bit of mastery so you don't end up dribbling wine all down your chin and clothes, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.

  • If I let people try the 20ft spitting thing our neighbors would complain! Feb 18, 2017 at 7:46

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