Going wine tasting is always a great time. You have an opportunity to discover new wines and taste with people who are well versed in the liquids they’ve poured into your glass. The end of the tasting, however, can always be a bit tricky, as you wonder whether you’ll offend your hosts if you don’t walk away with a bottle or two in tow. So let me be clear, there is never an expectation for you to buy a bottle when tasting.

Wine tasting is the best opportunity for a winery to introduce you to their wines, so of course they would be thrilled if you walk away with a bottle, a case, or a subscription to their wine club. But taking part in the tasting does not mean you are expected to make a purchase at the end. Smart wineries will entice you to buy by offering to waive your tasting fee or by providing some other sort of discount or incentive. But even then, if you choose to just pay for your tasting and head to the next winery, there are no hard feelings. No one will think you are cheap. They may assume the wines didn’t speak to you or compel you to walk away with a few, but that’s the name of the game. After all, you should drink what you like.

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