How Much to Tip at a Wine Tasting? Quick Guide

how much do you tip at a wine tasting - guide

Headed out for a day of wine tasting? Take me, please!

Wine tastings have different setups, so you will want to tip based on your service and tasting experience. Good etiquette is to tip $5 for a basic bar-style wine tasting. Tip 10%-20% on a full-service tasting. You don’t need to tip on purchased bottles.

Different wine experiences will call for different tipping amounts. Here’s a breakdown to help you answer the question: Do you tip when going wine tasting?

Do I Tip at a Wine Tasting? 9 Scenarios

should I tip at a wine tasting - wine glasses

Tasting Pricing Information

Tasting Type Cost per Person
Standard Bar-Style Tasting $5
Seated Table with Service $5-$10
Complimentary 2 for 1 Tastings $5-$10
Free Tastings for Members and Guests $5
I Joined the Wine Club Optional
Group Tastings (6+) 20% discount
Large Tours Optional
VIP Experience $10-$20
Boutique Winery Private Tasting $10-$20

1. Bar-Style Tasting – Always Tip

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Bar-style wine tasting is probably what you think of with wine tasting. There’s a bar with stools where you sit and the host will present the tasting flight menu and go through the wines. The server usually attends to different guests at the same time who are also tasting the wines. You won’t have the server’s unconditional attention, but they’re still attentive enough.

STANDARD TIP: $5 per person

2. Seated Table with Service – Always Tip

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At a seated tasting, you sit down at a private table and the server brings you different wines to try. This is usually more intimate and you get more one-on-one attention from the server. This person’s usually a wine educator or hospitality expert focused on providing you with a memorable experience. These tastings usually last for 90 minutes.

STANDARD TIP: $5 – $10 per person

3. Complimentary Tastings – Always Tip

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Wineries frequently give away 2-for-1 tastings hoping to get you in the door and that you’ll buy a bottle of wine. They may even wave tasting fees if you’re a cheery and chatty customer who’s helping to create a pleasant atmosphere for other guests. If you get comped a free tasting, definitely tip.

STANDARD TIP: $5 – $10 per person

Helpful Tip: Check out this post on 8 things you must know before going wine tasting for the first time.

4. Free Tastings for Members & Guests – Always Tip

If you sign up for the winery or tasting room’s wine club, it will come with complimentary tastings for you and your guests. This may be weekly tastings, monthly tastings, or even quarterly tastings – whatever the setup is, tip when you go in.

STANDARD TIP: $5 per person

5. I Joined the Wine Club – Maybe Tip

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If you go wine tasting and decide to join their club, your host will likely get a commission. You’ve just increased your long-term value as a customer. Don’t feel obligated to tip your server unless you had a great experience and want to show your appreciation.

STANDARD TIP: $5 per person (optional)

Helpful Tip: If you’re thinking about joining a wine club, then I absolutely encourage you to check out my post: Are Wine Clubs Worth It? There are some things you want to watch out for before handing over your credit card.

6. Group Tastings – Always Tip

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If you’re going out with a group of friends or celebrating some sort of party event, you’ll want to tip your host. A good rule of thumb is to tip 20% for groups of 6 or more. The extra attention and orchestration needed to pull off pouring many different wines for a large (probably semi-intoxicated) group always deserves my tip money.

STANDARD TIP: 20%

Group Wine Tasting Tip Example

Item Details
Tasting Fee $30 per person
Number in Party 10 people
Total Cost $300
Total Tip $60

7. Large Tours – Maybe Tip

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If you are part of a large tour group (one of many) for a big, industrial winery, don’t feel obligated to tip. If your tour guide was outstanding, then, by all means, show your appreciation.

STANDARD TIP: $5 per person (Optional)

8. VIP Experience – Always Tip

Some wineries now offer immersive experiences where you make a reservation to tour the grounds or even have a tableside meeting with the winery staff where you get to taste their wines.

This may even include a full food and wine experience.

If you get exceptional 1-on-1 service where the staff spends an hour or more with you, then consider a $10-$20 tip.

STANDARD TIP: $10-$20 per person

9. Private Tastings at Boutique Wineries – Always Tip (And Buy Wine)

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Small, boutique wineries are often limited in how they can do customer outreach for tastings. They may only be able to offer a certain number of tasting room visits per week or day.

They may also be geographically removed from the main wine roads where you find bigger wineries.

If you get a reservation to taste wines at a boutique winery, expect excellent attention. Tipping isn’t required, but it is strongly recommended.

Better yet, they want and need you to buy their wines. Please buy their wines.

If you don’t like their wines and choose not to buy a bottle, then absolutely tip generously.

STANDARD TIP: $10-$20 per person

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Do You Tip After Wine Tasting: FAQs

What If There’s No Tip Line on My Receipt?

  • While it’s become more common post-COVID for the wine service industry to include tipping lines on their receipts, not all do.

I recommend carrying around $5 and $10 dollar bills if you plan to go out wine tasting.

What If There’s No Tip Jar?

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If you are doing a bar-style wine tasting and there’s no tip jar, just leave your tip next to your empty glass.

But No One Else Is Leaving Tips, Do I Still Need to Tip?

I mean… technically, no. But we’re talking good wine tasting etiquette, not technicalities.

I Bought a Lot of Wine, Do I Have to Tip on the Wine Purchase Price, Too?

No. Don’t tip on the purchase price for any wines that you buy. You’re only tipping for service. Also, if you go to a winery and just buy wine (no tasting) and see the tip line on the receipt, you don’t need to tip.

How Much Should I Tip a Private Driver?

do you dip a private driver for wine tasting - winery - how much do you tip at a wine tasting

Yes, you should tip a private driver. If you’re headed to wine country, it’s common to hire a private driver to get you from Winery Point A to Winery Point B. These are gig workers.

Plan on tipping 10%-20% for their services in getting you (and everyone else) safely home. And good for you for thinking ahead!

Thirsty for More?

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Wine tasting can seem like a decadent affair, but it’s actually quite affordable with a little planning. Check out this post on how much it costs to go wine tasting in different regions of the US and here’s one on how to save money on wine tasting if you’re the frugal type (I am!).

Going wine tasting is probably the best way to learn about wine. Check out this post that covers what you should do at a wine tasting, and be sure to check out what not to do at a wine tasting.

Before you head out, make sure that you have a food plan for wine tasting. Most tasting rooms won’t offer food, so here’s what you need to know.

And if you’re new(er) to wine tastings, here’s a great list of questions you can ask to get the most out of your wine tasting adventure.

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