Spitting – Not Reserved Solely For Alpacas

by Miki, This Is The Life Winer



The Event

The Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 (WBC14) Paso Robles Pre-Conference Excursion

2014 Wine Bloggers Conference


The Setting

Various vineyard & winery locations throughout Paso Robles



The Activities

Multiple educational sessions covering the terroir of Paso Robles, micro-climates within the AVA, typical grape varietals found in Paso and tasting wine after wine after wine…and then start again



Biggest Lesson Learned

Spitting is not done just by Alpacas but is also an accepted (and some might claim necessary) behavior when wine tasting.


My Account of the Experience

I have never seen so much wine in my life as I did at the WBC14!  And since I am not usually one to turn down wine, especially free wine, I did partake of my fair share.  However, sometimes too much of a good thing…well, you know the rest.

During this 24-hour event, we tasted about 150 wines.  There were three sessions that presented wine in what I would call a fairly formal setting in that it was seated, educational and very well organized.

Other sessions were walkabouts, tasting at various stations, or even a new event to me, quite similar to speed-dating, was speed tasting (taste multiple wines at one table, hear a bell, move to the next table, rinse and repeat).

In my relatively short wine-tasting life, I think the only times I have spit out a wine was when I tasted one that I really did not like.  And I have to say that I don’t remember doing this very often.  However, call me a quick learner (or perhaps slow, depending on your perspective), because this 24-hour event began at 3:00 pm and by about 5:30 pm this winer was imitating all the more experienced wine tasters and spittin’ wine into little plastic solo cups!  I had to!  The wines were coming so fast and furious that they all started to taste….like wine…but lacking anything distinct.  And to be completely honest, I was also trying to avoid that “too much wine sour stomach” feel that I could tell was imminent.

spit cup

Cut to day two, our first educational and tasting session began at 9:30 am (hmmm….the “hair of the dog…” ) and during that session, there were some exceptional wines, I do recall.  However, this very smart winer did not allow one single sip to slide down her throat!  Every bit of it went into the spit bucket.  Well, the spit solo cup, actually.  What was the result of these actions?  A much happier stomach and much more alert palate.  It was truly amazing to me how by simply spitting during a wine tasting that one can preserve their palate so that when reaching the last wine on the list you are still able to taste the different layers within the wine as freshly as if it were the first wine tasted.  I was blown away with my new discovery.


My husband, Tom Joe, the ever-wandering video guy, almost deserted me for the entire trip as he was always off taking pictures or videos. Watch below and see me demonstrating my newly learned skill of spitting. Alpacas – move over!  There’s a new game in town!


Thanks, WBC14, for the great time and educational experiences!


If you would like to follow me on my wine education journey, CLICK HERE.  Next stop is the Level 1 course through the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in Colorado Springs.  So glad I learned to spit BEFORE stepping foot in this classroom!  Might have been a catastrophe!




Miki “This is the Life” Winer


  1. I wasn’t much of a spitter before WBC14 either, but it’s definitely a must at events like that. I have always thought it was a little weird, but it’s so necessary. I even invested in my own ‘spit cup’ recently, after seeing some of the pros using the bottom of a martini shaker – a bit more classy than a red solo cup!

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