Have you ever found yourself getting ready for a day of wine tasting with friends, standing baffled in front of your closet, wondering what to wear? You’re not alone. While outfit selection may seem trivial, poorly planned apparel has an uncanny ability to ruin a fun-filled day of wine tasting. After all, you don’t want to be stumbling through Texas Hill Country vineyards muddying up your favorite pair of pumps. Nor does shivering your way through a barrel tasting in a Napa Valley wine cellar sound enticing. So, let’s explore what to wear to a winery in every season to help you make the most of your next wine tasting experience.
Regardless of the time of year you’re headed to wine country, there are certain rules of winery fashion that should never be broken.
1. Never Wear Strong Perfumes
Wearing perfume when wine tasting is like wearing a bikini to church. It’s distracting for others and just plain bad etiquette. Wine tasting is an olfactory experience, which simply means our sense of smell plays a major role in how we perceive aromas and flavors in wine. Perfume and other products with strong fragrances, such as aftershave, body cream, hairspray or deodorant, can really distract from the wine tasting experience. Not just for you but for those around you, too.
2. Wear White with Caution
While white is a classic, effortless look and makes for a chic outfit amidst the vineyards, wear at your own risk! There’s nothing like a splash of red wine from an overzealous swirl to ruin your wine tasting outfit. Unless the winery has some Wine Away on hand, that red wine stain is there to stay.
3. Always Dress Up
When in doubt on what to wear to a winery, merely remember to always dress up. Going wine tasting is a special experience some might consider a luxury. So, dress for the occasion. Definitely skip the sweat pants, but don’t feel you need to put on expensive slacks or get decked out in a cocktail dress.
4. Skip the High Heels
Let’s face it, wine country and high heels don’t really mix. You’re likely to find yourself meandering through vineyard rows, wandering through a wine cellar filled with winemaking equipment, or winding through caves filled with wine barrels. Opt for flats, sandals, sneakers, loafers, or boots instead.
5. Smudge Free Lipstick is Essential
For women who enjoy wearing lipstick, choose a smudge free brand when getting ready for wine tasting. You’ll spend less time reapplying between sips of wine. Plus, you won’t need to constantly search for a mirror to make sure your lips are in order.
6. Apply Sunscreen and Bring a Hat
It’s hard to resist relishing in the outdoors when surrounded by stunning vineyard views. So, be sure to apply SPF to protect your skin. Even on cloudy days, don’t skip the sunscreen. Just remember to be mindful of any fragrance your sunscreen might contain. Nobody wants to get a whiff of Banana Boat alongside their Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, consider bringing a hat along for extra shade and sun protection.
7. Leave Clutches and Handheld Purses at Home
Your hands will be busy as you swirl, sniff, and sip your way through a wine tasting experience. There’s typically not much room on the wine bar for you to set your purse down. A small-to-medium sized crossbody bag is ideal for wine tasting. It can stay strung across your shoulder or hung on a hook under the wine bar while you taste.
When selecting what to wear to a winery, first consider what wine region you’ll be visiting. Wine regions like Napa Valley often have higher-priced or more luxurious wine tasting experiences. In Napa, women might consider dressing up in a flowy sundress or long skirt with an elegant blouse. Whereas men might opt for a stylish button down shirt or pull over sweater. A blazer provides a bit more sophistication for truly high end tasting experiences.
In Texas wine country, expect high hospitality with a warm, inviting, laid back vibe. Here you can dress more casually compared to a Napa Valley wardrobe. Think jeans with a simple top and a trendy scarf, sundresses with denim jackets, cowboy hats, and boots.
If you’re exploring wine regions in Washington or Oregon, the level of fashion formality falls somewhere in between that of Texas and Napa. Though the climate in these regions is frequently cooler and wetter. In the Pacific Northwest, you’ll want to layer up with flannels, sweaters, or vests especially in the fall and winter months.
There are always a couple of considerations to make when planning your wine tasting outfit. First, consider what type of terrain you’ll be walking on and what you’ll be doing while there. Heading out for a vineyard tour requires a different look than a wine tasting experience standing at the bar or seated on the outdoor patio. Secondly, consider the season and what the weather will be like while you’re there. For example, light and breathable fabrics are ideal for the hot summer months. Yet it’s always a good idea to bring a light sweater or jacket, as wineries tend to be cooler and wine country temperatures drop at night.
Sleeveless Mid-Length Dresses with Wide-Brimmed Hats
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Sleeveless mid-length dresses in light, breathable fabrics are a great outfit option for women wondering what to wear to a winery during summer. For destinations like Napa Valley and Sonoma, reach for a graceful hemline and fabric with delicate stripes or a subtle print. Whereas a mid-length dress in a bold, vibrant color is a great option for a lively Texas tasting. Pair your dress with a wide-brimmed or floppy hat and classy flats to complete the look.
Maxi-Dress with Bright Colors and Bold Accessories
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Alternatively, make a statement in any wine region with a vibrant maxi-dress in an airy fabric that will keep you cool in the summer heat. You can’t go wrong with colors that complement your skin tone and the dynamic colors of summer in wine country.
Summer Dresses with Sneakers and a Light Jacket
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A summer dress in a pretty floral print matched with your favorite comfortable sneakers is a great option for casual wine tasting experiences. Bring a jean jacket or a light sweater along in case you get cold and enhance your look with some of your favorite pieces of jewelry.
Flowy and Floral Dresses with Boots
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If you’re headed to wine country when harvest is wrapping up in early fall, it will still be warm enough to rock a flowy, floral full length dress or one with long sleeves for a little added coverage. In this season, throw on a pair of boots with your dress for a complete fall look that will take you from the tasting room to the vineyards. This wine tasting outfit is perfect for autumn wine tasting experiences in California and Texas where the weather is likely to be a bit warmer.
Jean Jackets Layered Over a Long-Sleeved Blouse with Pants
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A jean jacket is the ideal garment to work into your fall wine tasting wardrobe. It’s perfect for completing a wine tasting outfit with black pants and a neutral top or for layering over a lengthy floral dress.
Wrap Sweaters with Pants, Boots, and Chic Accessories
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Wrap sweaters in knit fabrics are also wonderful for fall in wine country when styled with pants and boots. They’re especially cozy in the cooler wine regions of Washington and Oregon. For a higher-end tasting experience, opt for a cashmere version wrapped with a stylish belt and accessorize with an upscale bag or hat.
Turtleneck Sweater with Full-Length Coat and Pants
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Winter in wine country can get chilly and grey, especially in regions like Washington and Oregon. Bundle up for a cozy wine tasting experience with a turtleneck sweater, full-length coat, and pants. Keep your look neutral or brighten up winter with a colorful sweater.
Sweater with a Full-Length Skirt, Boots, and Your Favorite Accessories
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When determining what to wear to a winery, don’t rule out skirts just because it’s winter. Full-length skirts paired with boots, a cozy sweater, and glamorous accessories make for a great wine tasting outfit in Napa, Texas, and beyond. If the weather is really chilly, wear a pair of tights for added warmth.
Layer Up with a Plush Vest or Wrap
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Layers are always a great choice for winter and the same rings true for winter wine tasting. Whether you're rocking a pair of pants, or a skirt with tights, add a cozy yet stylish wrap or vest to your look. You’ll be able to transition from a warm fireside wine tasting experience to the chilly outdoors with ease.
Keep Your Look Classic with a Striped Sweater and a Full-Length Peacoat
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A striped sweater worn with a neutral peacoat and fashionable accessories is a chic outfit ideal for a variety of wine tasting experiences. This look transitions effortlessly from an upscale wine tasting to a more casual setting.
A Printed Blouse with Jeans and Sandals
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When deciding what to wear to a winery in spring, remember that vineyards are bursting with life and color again following budbreak. It’s the perfect time to style a blouse with a lively print with jeans, sandals, and your go-to cross-body bag.
Flared Short Skirt with Long Sleeves and Ankle Boots
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A bouncy flared skirt with a long sleeved shirt or sweater and ankle boots is a quintessential spring wine tasting outfit for when days are getting sunnier, but there’s still a little chill in the air.
Keep It Casual with Denim and Linen
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As summer approaches, wine tasting experiences are enjoyed outdoors or amongst the vines. It’s a great time to embrace more casual outfits with denim or linen. Whether you're donning a denim button up with a lightweight skirt or a linen blouse with bluejeans, you’ll be set for an eventful day of wine tasting.
When choosing what to wear to a winery, men can rely on straightforward options to ensure their attire is appropriate for the occasion. If wine tasting in Napa Valley, lean towards a more formal style. For example, choose slacks instead of jeans or a sweater rather than a flannel or jean jacket. Whereas jeans, flannel shirts, and other casual garments are suitable for wine regions in Texas, Washington, or Oregon. Read on for additional fashion advice to help men craft the perfect look for wine tasting.
No matter the season, men can rest assured that a collared shirt will always be in style in wine country.
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In the heat of summer or for a casual outdoor tasting experience, a short sleeved collared shirt is always a great choice. Let your personal style shine with colors or a unique print. Then throw on a pair of shades and your hat of choice to really make the look your own.
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For chillier months during fall and winter, layer up with a collared flannel shirt and jean jacket. You’ll be set for heading into the cellar or out into the vineyards and can always peel off a layer or two if you get too warm in the tasting room.
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A premium wine tasting experience in Napa Valley or Washington calls for a more upscale look. Layer a neutral sweater over a colorful collared shirt with a nice pair of jeans. A full-length coat is a great addition to your wine tasting outfit during winter.
Regardless of what wine region you’re discovering, boots will level up your winery apparel. As an added bonus, you’ll be ready for wherever your wine tasting adventures lead you. You can’t go wrong with cowboy boots at a Texas wine tasting. While suede or lace up boots work in any wine region.
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Although you can get away with wearing shorts in wine country, particularly in the heat of summer in Texas or California, pants are certainly dapper and lend to a more sophisticated look. Whether slacks, jeans, corduroy, or linen trousers are more your style, all are perfectly suitable for a day of wine tasting.
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If you’re headed to a tasting room, you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable for whatever wine tasting experience lies ahead. For tastings where you’ll be standing at the bar indulging in a flight of wines, skip heels, wedges, or any elevated shoes since you’ll be on your feet for an extended period of time. Large, bulky purses can also be left at home to avoid unnecessarily knocking over glasses of wine or bumping your fellow tasters. For elevated wine tasting experiences, you’re likely to be seated. Opt for one of the more elegant looks mentioned above and make sure your skirt length is befitting of a seated occasion. In general, you’re likely to receive better service, and perhaps a few extra special pours, if you dress up rather than dress down.
Now that you’re well-versed in what to wear to a winery, it’s time to head out wine tasting in style. Come check out Texas’ best wine tasting experience at Barons Creek Vineyards.
Visit us in Fredericksburg in the heart of Texas Hill Country.
Enjoy our award-winning wines in the historic Georgetown downtown square with seating in our piano bar lounge and at our 50-foot wine bar. Or book your experience in the historic downtown Granbury square.
Savor wines in our leisurely tasting room at our newest location in McKinney in the downtown square off Louisiana Street.
Alternatively, visit our locations page to make wine tasting reservations at a Barons Creek Vineyards location near you. Walk-ins are welcome, but subject to availability. See you soon!