To spit or not to spit? That is the question.

Approaching a tasting table decked with fine wines, the prerequisite mouth-cleansing crackers, stained tasting notes and often poker-faced, intimidating wine experts, the whole experience can be absolutely terrifying for some. What often causes this terror and distress? The dreaded spittoon.

Using a spittoon can lead to embarrassment and humiliation; will the wine drip down my chin? Will I accidentally spray my neighbour? Or the worst case scenario – will I miss completely?

With our helpful tips, you can learn to spit confidently and with purpose. So read on….
1) The first thing to remember is: it’s not always necessary to spit. If you have particularly enjoyed the wine, are only tasting a few drops and are not tasting in a professional sense – why spit? Just take small sips and enjoy the taste of the wine. We’re not Robert Parker – so no need to act like it.

2) When required to spit, check the state of the spittoon. If the wine company holding the tasting has prepared correctly, there should be a scrunched up napkin in the bottom of the spittoon to catch any splash back. If there isn’t one there, pop one delicately in.

3) Think about your positioning; you don’t want to get caught short so make sure you are positioned comfortably close to the spittoon before you sip the wine so that you don’t have to scramble across other, more aggressive wine tasters, to make sure it captures your spittle in time.

4) Now it comes to the spitting itself. Position your head a reasonable distance from the vessel – and don’t rush. Make sure you’ve collected the wine at the front of your mouth and your mouth is relaxed. In a smooth motion, push the wine through your lips at a medium pressure and aim for the centre of the spittoon. Have a tissue ready in the other hand to catch drips.

5) What about making noise? There is absolutely no need to make noise. No one else wants to hear the bubbles and gurgles coming from your mouth. So be discrete.

6) Finally – all these things come with practice. Don’t be embarrassed to try this at home using a pot from the hob. Before you know it your friends will be patting you on the back and calling you Bobby P!


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