Post wine tasting excursion with my son! We're both still smiling:)
Yes, successful wine tasting with your children IS possible. Below are a few tips to keep both parents AND children smiling during a wine tasting excursion.
1. Look for tasting rooms that are “kid-friendly.” Many tasting rooms, especially on the Central Coast, are family friendly and have grounds / activities that will keep your kids interested and engaged. I like tasting rooms / wineries that offer have outdoor space for games like bocce ball or cornhole that are fun for kids and parents. Some wineries have animals (e.g., sheep, llamas, dogs, goats) that are fun to check out. *Note: I would NOT venture out on a wine tasting adventure if the weather was poor or rainy (which would keep my son cooped up in the tasting room).
2. Bring a back-up activity for your child (just in case the cornhole boards aren’t out, etc.). Coloring/activity books are always good. If you have a bookworm, bring a book. My son LOVES music and is pretty content (for a bit!) to listen to music we’ve downloaded onto our phones. Card games can be fun for adults and children.
3. Make sure your child is fed before heading out. I always bring snacks / drinks that my son can also enjoy while we taste wine. Most tasting rooms offer food (crackers, cheese, nuts, chocolate, etc.) and non-alcoholic drinks for purchase.
4. Split (share) a tasting with your partner. This keeps the tasting experience moving along and allows one adult to be with your child at all times. My husband and I tag team it—one of us interacts with tasting room staff / gets the spiel on each pour while the other hangs out with our son.
I really enjoy working for a winery that has always been family friendly! We here at Harmony Cellars love kids and offer outdoor games like cornhole, croquette and chalk for budding artists to “create” on the cement patio (actually, quite a few teenagers AND adults like this activity, as well). For older kids, we have quiet nooks outside that are perfect for reading and/or listening to music. Families will enjoy watching the cows graze in the surrounding fields or bird watching—you might even see a bald eagle! And of course, our tasting room is stocked with snacks and drinks that will please the palates of hungry adults and kiddos.
Cheers to wine tasting WITH your kids!