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How To Dominate Day Drinking In Wine Country

by Meg · 8 comments

Some epic day drinking in the movie Sideways

Let’s face it. Movies like Sideways, Bottleshock, and French Kiss glamorize wine tasting to be a romantic and whimsical event and have us yearning to traipse through wine country on a sunny day drinking to our heart’s content.

While going on wine tours can be all these things, it can also turn into a disastrous day if you don’t do it right.

The combination of booze and hot sun have a funny way of getting you royally hammered and putting an immediate halt to your epic day drinking plans if you don’t pace yourself!

Tony and I have done many wine tours from Napa, to Upsate New York, and most recently, Mendoza, Argentina, and I am confident to say that we have day drinking around wine country down to a science.

Ladies and gentleman, you can ignore this article if you want to be like the character Miles in Sideways and belligerently dump a bucket full of secondhand wine over your head (before inevitably passing out, or worse, barfing) on your next wine excursion.

However, keep reading if the sound of classily dominating wine country and tasting delicious wines from 11AM to 7PM (with room for more) is appealing to you… I know it is for me!

The 7 steps To Dominate Day Drinking In Wine Country

  1. Get a good night’s rest the night before your wine tour:This is game time baby.  Go into your day drinking well rested  and ready to dominate. There is nothing worse than starting your day sluggish or hungover from the night before.  I personally recommend a full 8 hours of beauty rest.

    Fresh faced for our first wine tasting of the day in Mendoza

  2. Have transportation lined up prior to your tour: Whether it’s a limo, a tour bus, your mom, or Hoke Colburn driving your ass around, make sure you have a designated driver.

    In Napa in 2009 getting ready to tour the wineries in style!

  3. If you do not have a designated driver, rent bikes: While in Mendoza, Tony and I decided to rent bikes with our friend Lauren as a way to see all of the wineries in the region. It was such a fun day riding around to all the wineries… and it also was a great workout.  As a result, we managed to sweat out all the toxins and sober up when riding to and from the different wineries, which allowed us to stay strong all throughout the day.

    After some coordination issues (and marital bickering) we decided to rent single bikes

    As a warning, be careful on the bikes – especially if you are feeling tipsy. We managed to survive the day injury-free in Mendoza, but I imagine falling on your face isn’t too far out of reach given the circumstances. Also, if you rent a bike, ride the furthest distance of the wine trail (often to the beginning or end of the wine trail) at the start of the day when you have all your strength.

    Remember: Water before wine, you'll be just fine!

  4. Hydrate and Refuel: Bring LOTS of water and snacks. Drinks and food are expensive at the wineries and you are going to want to eat and drink often to absorb the vino in your belly. Pack a bag full of water, snacks, and sandwiches and be sure to open it frequently!  Plus, there is nothing more romantic than a homemade picnic lunch amongst the vineyards.
  5. Drop winery tours into the mix: Wine tastings typically only last 15 at each winery, so you can get drunk VERY fast if all you are doing is jumping around from tasting to tasting. Slow the day down by selecting a few baller wineries to take a tour of.  These often last around 30 minutes and help you sober up in between sippings – and allow you to see some beautiful wineries and learn about wine making in the process.

    Tony (in Napa, 2009) clearly needs to take a wine tour to walk things off

  6. Mix in Food Tastings:Yes, wine regions are known for their wineries but many wine regions also have estates that produce olive oil, chocolate, and much more.  If you have gone heavy on the wine tastings for several hours, get some food tastings into the mix and venture to places that offer samples of their delicious artisanal concoctions.

    It wouldn't be a LandingStanding day in Mendoza without some food tastings mixed in!

  7. End with a Bang: Save the best stop for last. In Mendoza, this happened to be a hippie beer garden at the end of the wine trail. We were looking forward to visiting the beer garden all day and it kept us motivated to keep venturing down the wine trail when we got tired. It was a great place to grab a beer, sit outdoors, and relax after an exhausting day of touring the wineries.

Kicking my feet back with Lauren at a tranny beer garden in Mendoza

While in Mendoza, Tony and I followed these 7 crucial steps and managed to explore wine country for 8 hours in the sweltering heat, and still made it back to our hostel for an evening wine tasting event where we drank 3 more glasses of delicious Mendoza wine. After all of this, we even managed to wake up the next day with no hangover…

Now that’s what I call Landing Standing.



About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

Emily in Chile March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

You guys are champs! I think I’d be scared to rent bikes since I would probably end up crashing, even though I know that’s the thing to do in Mendoza…maybe we’d need the tandem so that Rodolfo could just do all the steering and pedaling.

Meg March 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Yeah it definitely was scary a couple of times. I did actually fall once but it happened to be at the beginning of the day when I was completely sober – go figure! But don’t be fooled by the tandem bike. I thought it would be so cute to ride around with Tony on one all day but it was soooo tough to coordinate and really hard to balance… I made it a block before freaking out haha.

CW March 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

You two on the bike is priceless. I want that to blow up and put in your room.

Meg March 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

haha it looked adorable but it was soooo awful! A photo on the wall may bring back bad memories!

Lauren March 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Love it guys! Been looking forward to this one for a while :)

Happy treking!!!

Meg March 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Oh just wait… the Facebook album is being posted shortly – Such great photos! Hope all is well with you! Drinking vino in South America isn’t the same without you!

Steven September 17, 2016 at 10:22 pm

Do you have any recommendations for must haves/necessities on a bus to the wineries besides the pregame wine/morning mimosas and snacks or water?

Meg September 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

Water and coconut water is a must! Maybe some snacks, like bars or fruit would be good too!

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