Tasting room gratuities?

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Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Alan A. » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:20 am

I have a question concerning tipping your server at winery tasting rooms. What's the appropriate etiquette? In the past, if there was a tip glass I would throw in a dollar or two, but if there wasn't a glass, I didn't know if I should tip or not. If so what is an appropriate tip? How does everyone handle this?
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Re: Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:59 am

Alan A. wrote:I have a question concerning tipping your server at winery tasting rooms. What's the appropriate etiquette? In the past, if there was a tip glass I would throw in a dollar or two, but if there wasn't a glass, I didn't know if I should tip or not. If so what is an appropriate tip? How does everyone handle this?


Alan, I have never seen a tip jar in a winery tasting room, and it honestly has never occurred to me to tip the server. I'm not anti-tipping. In fact, I tend to overtip substantially in restaurant settings because I know enough about the business to understand (if not to approve of) its economics.

But in many years of wine travel to most of the world's wine regions, I don't believe I've ever noticed a tip jar, and my instinct would be to say it's not necessary or even appropriate. Mind telling us where you've seen this? I'm occasionally oblivious ... and as a wine writer, I'm usually visiting wineries on an interview basis rather than as a tasting-room drop-in, so I may have missed something.
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Re: Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Alan A. » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:11 am

I encountered the tip jar thing last summer in Oregon. Several of the tasting rooms in both the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge areas had a tip jar on the tasting room bar (Ponzi and/or Cooper Mountain seems to come to mind.)
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Re: Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Bob Ross » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 am

Alan, I've noticed tip jars in certain areas and not in others -- in Virginia and New Jersey wineries they are common, and I've seen some in Oregon and California and South Africa.

My own practice is to tip one or two dollars unless the owner is pouring in which case I don't tip. And to tip, whether or not there is a tip jar, unless the pourer treats us badly.

The great majority of pourers in my experience are really nice people and eager to help me and my family enjoy the wines on offer.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:35 pm

I'm not exactly Scrooge, but I do pinch a penny here and there so I definitely would notice a tip jar in a winery. I've noticed nary a one. And, to be honest, it never really crossed my mind to tip someone who is pouring ... and not because I'm cheap but simply because most, to my mind, are salespersons and not servers per se. And I imagine that many receive a commission on the sales and club memberships they transact. A purchase would probably be the more appropriate recognition of their hospitality, but a tip would seem odd to me. Now, with the explosion of wine tourism ... and here I'm thinking especially of Napa ... maybe the many folks hired on just for "the season" have a different concept of what they're doing and wouldn't mind a tip. I'd be curious to hear from folks ITB about this.
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Re: Tasting room gratuities?

Postby Lou Kessler » Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:33 pm

I really don't spend much time in the tasting rooms here in the valley but this is the first mention of tipping that has come to my attention. When I get a chance I'll ask around. :?:
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