Becoming a Vino Wine Connoisseur: How to Develop Your Palate

Become a Vino Wine ConnoisseurHave you ever witnessed a wine sommelier demonstrate their wine tasting expertise? It’s amazing, actually, and quite intimidating. But in reality, wine tasting is not that complicated. You can become a Vino Wine Connoisseur. If you have the passion to learn and your senses are intact, you can develop your palate for wine tasting. You just have to sharpen your eyes, nose and taste buds as you go through the learning process. Be patient, and in no time you can be the next vino wine connoisseur demonstrating your wine-tasting skills to your own group of amazed wine enthusiasts.

Inspect the appearance of the wine.

What a wine looks like can yield plenty of information. Does it look sparkling or dull? Are there any floating particles in the wine? Excellent wine should always have clarity without any particles floating in the liquid. The color of the wine also reveals its variety. White wines don’t necessarily have to be white. Their colors can range from clear to yellow gold or even a hint of green if they are not as aged.

Use your sense of smell.

Sniff the aroma coming from the wine. Is it pleasant to the nose and full of fruity scents? A good wine can smell fruity or emit a hint of spice and herbs or fresh wood. It can even be odorless. What you need to be wary of is an unpleasant wine that smells like cork or metal that may be a byproduct of a faulty method in the wine aging process. A wine that smells stale or acidic like vinegar is unsuitable for drinking. To becoming a Vino Wine Connoisseur, :)…

Taste the wine.

Swirl your wine glass. Put a reasonable amount of wine in the mouth of the glass for tasting. Notice a certain flavor that lingers in your taste buds? The taste of the wine will also depend on its variety. It can be sweet or acidic and sometimes, acerbic as if you’re drinking bitter medicine. Red wine is usually acerbic in nature. A fine wine should also be balanced, not too sweet, acidic or acerbic. Excellent wines leave a lingering taste or flavor in the mouth while average or lesser quality wines do not. An average wine does not have a long-lasting aftertaste after the wine has been ingested. It falls short on flavor and lacks a satisfying finish.

Vino Wine Connoisseur

While you become familiar with different wines, as a result you will gradually develop a palate and be able to differentiate an excellent wine from an average one.

Mercedes-Benz Convertible Sprinter Limo

Convertible Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Limo

Unparalleled panoramic views of Napa and Sonoma Wine Country!

Our gorgeous Convertible Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Limo will luxuriously whisk you away to fully enjoy our valley’s bounty. Join us for a wrap-around view, rain or shine, seeing the sights of Mother Nature in between visiting celebrated wineries within the county’s 16 appellations.

With almost 500 wineries to choose from, Napa Valley Wine Country Tours will assist you in every aspect to make your day and visit a memorable one!

To Book the Convertible Sprinter Limo
Call 707-226-3333

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25 Dos and Don’ts of Wine Tasting

Whether you’re a culinary adventurer or a thrill-seeker, Sonoma County is a place like no other. Known for is selection of some of the nations best vineyards, Sonoma County is the perfect place to get away from it all. If you are going on your first wine tasting venture, it can be a little intimidating. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of very short tips to make sure you have the best and most comfortable experience possible.

  1. Go tasting with a group. Everything tastes better when you’re in good company.
  2. Pace yourself! It’s about the tasting experience, not the amount you can consume. Let your senses take control.  A good rule of thumb is to not have more than two glasses on your first stop.
  3. Swirl the wine around before tasting. Not only will you be able to analyze the wine’s legs, but it will allow the wine’s  aroma to rise from the glass.
  4. Sniff the wine. Let your nose be the judge and don’t worry about what others are thinking. Wine tasting can be objective and your personal experience is the priority.
  5. Don’t be put off by odd descriptors. Grassy, earthy, forestry, and even cat urine are all a part of the wine game.
  6. Be polite with the pour buckets. If someone wishes to spit their wine instead of swallowing it, allow them to do so without commentary and be polite by not asking if you can finish their glass.
  7. Don’t wear strong perfumes. Scent is such a crucial aspect to wine tasting and even subtle perfumes or colognes can overpower the experience.
  8. Make sure to plan when you are going to eat. Some wineries have small plates, cheeses, and Charcuterie, but don’t make assumptions. Tasting wine on an empty stomach will enhance the alcohol’s effects, so even carrying a small bag of snacks along can help prevent being over served.
  9. Make sure to think ahead when it comes to transportation. Be safe and secure a limo service, designated driver, or cab.
  10. Don’t chug your glass of wine down and demand refills.
  11. While it’s in good form to purchase your favorite wines (especially if you have tasted multiple wines), only go with your favorites and don’t feel pressure to buy every, single wine you taste.
  12. Pay attention and don’t veer off into side conversations when your wine is being poured. It is rude to not be engaged when the wine’s origin, vintage, and other specs are being told. You’ll have plenty of time to socialize after.
 Stay Tuned to Napa Valley Wine Country Tours for more tips and industry news.

Top Tips For Choosing A Wedding Limousine

Limos are a great way to arrive and depart in style, which explains why they are such a popular transportation option for weddings. Since a wedding is such a momentous occasion,  you won’t want to hire just any limo service for your wedding transportation.  The last thing you want to do is rent the wrong type of limo – or experience a subpar limo service. The following are a few tips to help you choose the right limo service for your wedding:
  • Research their reputation – Always do your research when it comes to choosing a limo service. Not every service is the same, and some have better reputations than others. These days, it’s not difficult to find user reviews online that will give you a good idea about the quality of the limo service.
  • Ask about pricing – Having a stretch limo waiting outside    the church for the newlywed bride and groom would be absolutely amazing – as long as it doesn’t cause you to go over budget. Weddings are expensive, which means you can’t afford to go over budget when hiring a limo service. Be sure to ask about specific pricing for various vehicles as well as services. For example, hiring a luxury sedan to take you to the airport may cost a lot less than hiring a stretch limousine for a wedding service. Also be sure to ask if all fees are included. Some services have hidden fees, such as the cost of gas. You may want to ask if the tip for the driver is included as well.  Find out whether the limo company has a minimum number of hours for their service.  Many have a minimum of 6 hours on a Saturday.
  • Ask about vehicle options – How many people need to be driven to the site of the wedding? If you’re looking to fit all of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, a four-door sedan won’t do. Most services will have a variety of different vehicles in their fleet. Make sure they have a vehicle that fits all of your needs – especially when it comes to space. You’ll also want to consider the location of your venue. A stretch SUV limo may be appropriate for a mountain side wedding, but maybe not so much at a regular church-based wedding.  Be sure that the vehicle you request can access the wedding venue and turn around:  No tight curves, low-hanging foliage or one-lane roads.  Also is there parking available for the vehicle?
  • Check for safety – Safety should be one of your main priorities when hiring a limo service. Be sure that whoever you go with has proper certification. Ask them if they carry liability insurance as well. You should also ask about their chauffeurs – do they conduct background tests on prospective drivers? How thorough is their training? Are they tested periodically for drugs and alcohol?  These are all indicative of a high quality limo service.
  • Ask about limos for weddings – Many limo companies provide specific services, including limos for weddings. A wedding service could include a tuxedo-wearing driver, a just married sign on the back of the limo and complimentary champagne on board.  And don’t forget a vehicle for the bride and groom to return to their hotel at the end of the festivities.

Limos can really add a touch of luxury and elegance to make a wedding even more memorable. Be sure to use these tips in order to choose the one that fits your needs best.

Essential Qualities of a Limousine Chauffeur

Taking a limousine to an event or even just to the airport can make any trip feel luxurious. Just a mere search on Google can result in a myriad of limo companies to choose from. So how do you know which company to choose? While most limousine services have the sleekest, up-to-date fleets of vehicles in the industry, they do not all feature quality chauffeurs. After all the right chauffeur can make all the difference in the world. So what determines a great chauffeur?


The following are some of the qualities that make a great chauffeur:

  • A chauffeur must have the proper license and expert driving skills. Safety should be the chauffeurs’ first priority and they should have extensive experience behind the wheel. Ideally, they will have experience driving a variety of vehicles such as stretch limos, SUVs, party buses and more.
  • A chauffeur must meet the needs and desires of the passenger . This means adjusting the temperature within the limo, playing a certain type of music or taking a specific route as directed by the passenger. However, the chauffeur must draw the line at any requests that may endanger the passengers – such as exceeding the speed limit or driving recklessly.
  • A chauffeur must be professional, personable and helpful. They should always introduce themselves to the passenger and help them into the limo by holding the door open for them. They should be polite and address the passengers with respect, using Mr. or Mrs. and their last names unless instructed to do otherwise. If the passenger has luggage, the chauffeur should load it into the limo for the passenger. If the passenger is disabled or elderly, the chauffeur should assist them in anyway he or she can.
  • A chauffeur must show good manners. This means never swearing – even at cars cutting them off! They should never take calls while a passenger is in the car either.
  • A chauffeur should be well-dressed and groomed. Their appearance is a reflection on the limo service.
  • A good chauffeur should inspect the vehicle before every run. They should make sure that it is clean and that it is properly stocked. They should also ensure the vehicle is fully fueled and road ready.
  • A chauffeur should seem confident and in control, only deviating from the proposed course when absolutely necessary. A limo service is expected to provide a worry-free and stress-free ride and the last thing a passenger wants to do is provide directions to a chauffeur that doesn’t know where they are going.

Need a limo for your next trip or event. Let the experts at Napa Valley Wine Tours get you to where you are going in style and luxury.

Beringer Vineyards Celebrate 140 years

Beringer Vineyards is one of the most storied wineries in the Napa Valley. Located at Highway 29’s Elm Tunnel, the vineyard recently celebrated its first annual Founders Day. This year marked Beringer Vineyards’ 140th anniversary. Well over 600 wine aficionados showed up to the lavish party that took place on April 24.

Celebration Details

The Beringer Vineyards’ 140th anniversary party featured an array of Beringer wines, music, historical presentations and even tours of the famous vineyards. It all kicked off with a morning hike through Beringer Vineyards. Party-goers then enjoyed a tour of the Rhine House mansion with a special focus on its unique 1880s stained glass windows. The event transitioned to a tasting of the Beringer Vineyards’ 2013 vintage, led by Mark Beringer. Mark is the great-great-grandson of the vineyards’ founder, Jacob Beringer.

Wine lovers sipped away while enjoying the tunes of Whiskey & Honey & Bocce. Later in the afternoon, party attendees enjoyed a speech from St. Helena Society’s Mariam Hansen. She spoke about Beringer Vineyards’ history, with a special focus on Fritz and Jacob Beringer, both of whom emigrated to California from Germany in the mid-19th century. Hansen spoke about the property’s Rhine House at length. Designed by Albert Schroepfer, it is the estate’s signature symbol. His architectural designs are considered to be the defining structures of Napa Valley vineyards. According to Hansen, the Rhine House had such an elaborate design that it took nearly two years to erect.

After Hansen’s speech, party-goers enjoyed vineyard hikes, tours, wine tastings and small talk. The 140th anniversary celebration was capped off with a tasting in the property’s library. Guests enjoyed six unique vintages of Beringer Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines were from each of the past four decades, from 1980 to 2010.

Interested in visiting the Beringer Vineyard yourself? Contact the experts at Napa Valley Wine Country Tours to make an appointment and travel in style.


5 Etiquette Tips During Limo Service

Riding in a limousine is a treat that some people never have the pleasure of experiencing. Those who are lucky enough to be in a financial position to rent a limo should understand that there is an unspoken limo service code of etiquette. Let’s take a look at a few quick tips before delving into limo behavioral taboos and beyond.

Make your request known in advance

Let the limo service know the size of your party when making reservations. If the expected size changes, relay that information to the limo service to ensure safety as well as comfort. If you don’t smoke, be sure to request a non-smoking limo. Your professional chauffeur will load any luggage. If you would like to stop anywhere in particular, let your driver know before he embarks on the trip to your destination.


Most parties have a VIP who paid for the brunt of the limo cost or represents the focal point of the celebration/outing. The seat at the back right is referred to as the “power seat”. Let the VIP in your party sit in this seat. Though limo seating is quite plush, the seat that faces backwards, commonly referred to as the “jump seat”, tends to be the least comfortable. As you enter the limousine, sit down, swing your legs in and then slide on down. Don’t step in without quickly sitting as doing so gives already-seated passengers a close-up view of your rear end.

Exiting the Limo

Stay seated until the door is opened. Allow your chauffeur to assist you with your exit. The last person to enter the limo will be the first to step out. As you exit, take a gander around the limousine to ensure that there is no damage or debris left behind.

Mind Your Manners

Though limousines are luxurious vehicles with plenty of alcohol, uber-comfortable seating and other niceties, they are not a playpen. Do not get drunk, curse, scream, stick your head out of the sun roof or use illegal drugs in the limo. Act like a responsible adult at all times. Treat the driver with respect and kindness.


Do not hesitate to tip your limo driver in cash. Give it directly to him as a reward for his exceptional service. If you are wondering what percentage of the bill represents an appropriate tip, you are not alone. This is a common point of contention for limo service as well as service in other industries. A tip that equates to 15-20 percent of your bill is encouraged. If you are on the fence as to whether you should tip your driver, consider that there is plenty of work that goes on behind the scenes to make your limo ride a success. As long as your driver is on time, courteous and responsive to your inquiries, he deserves a tip.

Travel in style with Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

Whether it be for a wedding or a business event, renting a limo for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is not a lack of choice when it comes to limo rental companies and you must weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. When it comes to renting a limo you must first consider a few things such as the reputation of the limo service you choose.

Are their chauffeurs experienced drivers with clean records? Does the company have a valid license? All reputable limousine services are required by the state to have one. How old are their vehicles? Are they maintained accordingly? Limos should not be any older than four years old, and they should be kept in immaculate condition at all times. What type of limos do they provide? There are four different types of clientele in the limo industry: Business/Corporate Class, Leisure/Entertainment, Family/Private, and Non-Emergency Luxury Transportation.

At Napa Valley Wine Country Tours we specialize in Leisure/Entertainment. Different size parties determine what type of vehicle you will need. For small groups we have several different sedans available including Lincoln Towncars, Mercedes sedans, Lincoln MKS, Hyundai Equus, and the luxurious Mercedes Maybach.

Our Lincoln Navigators and Suburbans are available to accommodate up to seven passengers. Need more room? Our Mercedes Sprinter Limousines can seat 12 to 14 passengers comfortably. We also offers coach service with several different size limo buses that can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 56 passengers. At Napa Valley Wine Country Tours our experienced chauffeur’s priority is to ensure that your party has a safe and enjoyable day.

Interested in taking a tour of wine country, but not sure where to start? Whether it is your first time in the valley or you are a wine connoisseur, our chauffeurs are experts in the wine country of the Napa Valley and can help you plan the ideal tour.

In addition to visiting your favorite wineries during private tours, your chauffeur can introduce you to the small, boutique wineries with whom Napa Valley Wine Country Tours has a special relationship. Napa Valley Wine  Country Tours staff will even assist you in sending your wine purchases home.

Each of these services have different pricing and amenities, so be sure to ask those questions up front before making your selection. Having a clear picture of what your options are will help you to make a better informed decision.


Tips on How to Hire Limo Rentals

If you are planning a trip to a winery, renting a limo from Napa Valley Wine  Country Tours will make the experience much more enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about limiting your alcohol consumption or navigating the roads. If you are uncertain as to what you should look for when attempting to select a limo service, you are not alone. Follow the tips outlined below to increase the odds of a pleasurable limo experience.

Perform Your due Diligence

Dig into the background of each prospective limo company in your area. Take a look at the reviews posted to online directories to see if there is an abundance of negative reviews. Do not hesitate to ask limo services for references from past customers. Reach out to the Better Business Bureau to access reliability reports. If you find that numerous negative complaints have been filed against a particular limo service, don’t give them your business. Also, check to see if the limo service has proof of insurance. Insurance through a personal auto policy will not suffice as it won’t provide protection for your party.

Once you perform your due diligence on Napa Valley Wine Country Tours, you will find that we have over two decades worth of experience and all of the above referenced credentials. We specialize in wine tours of Napa and Sonoma wine country as well as tours of the coast stretching from Bodega Bay to Monterey.

Don’t be Afraid to ask What is Included

Too many limo-seekers make the mistake of assuming that certain luxuries will be provided with a rental. The truth is that each limo service offers unique services. These amenities also differ by each service’s packages and hourly rates. So speak up before making reservations in order to determine exactly what will be provided. Rent one of our limousine buses and you will have access to a wet bar, a big screen TV, CD/DVD players, ambient lighting and much more.

Check out the Fleet for Yourself

The typical limo service offers a variety of luxury vehicles like stretch limos, stretch SUVs, party buses, shuttle buses and beyond. You can learn about these vehicles on the world wide web yet you won’t get a true feel for them by looking at your computer screen. Head on down to Napa Valley Wine Country Tours and you will find that we offer luxury tour vehicles ranging from upscale sedans to luxury SUVs, stretch limos, luxury sprinters and even 50 passenger limousine buses.

The Quality of Chauffeur Matters

A beautiful limousine chock full of amenities will not guarantee an enjoyable ride to and from your destination. One of the most important aspects of a limo service is the chauffeur. If he is not prompt, friendly and professional, you will regret paying for the limo. Only do business with providers that place an extraordinarily high value on the merit of their drivers.

Put Your Specific Requirements in Writing

Riding in a limo is an experience typically reserved for special occasions. Plenty of customers have highly nuanced requests. If you have such specific requirements, make them known at the outset of the limo search process. If a limo service agrees to your requests, don’t simply take their word for it over the phone. Insist that they sign a written contract that explicitly states the details of your reservation. Also, be sure to get a copy of the company’s cancelation policy in writing.

Benefits of Choosing a Prom Limo

Prom is right around the corner and that means teenagers across the country will have to figure out how to handle the big night’s logistics. Driving to the prom or leaning on mom and dad for a ride might be somewhat practical yet it isn’t glamorous in the slightest. This is one of the most special nights in a young adult’s life. Opting to travel to and from prom in a limousine will make the event that much more memorable, comfortable and elegant.

A Prom Limousine Adds to the Romance

Imagine driving your car on over to your prom date’s house and asking her to hop in. Is this how you imagined the start to your prom night? If you are like most teenagers, you drive a used vehicle with a ton of miles on the odometer. There is nothing romantic about such a vehicle. Furthermore, you can’t have a face-to-face conversation with your sweetie when you are trying to focus on the road. Hire a prom limo and you’ll be able to keep your attention squarely focused on your prom date as your driver chauffeurs you to your destination. You can cuddle up with your date in the backseat, discuss post-prom activities and truly savor the moment.

A Limo Boosts the fun Factor

Perhaps you would like to drink a glass of sparkling grape juice with your sweetie on the way to prom. Or maybe you would like to hold hands and listen to love songs. Rent a limo and you won’t have to worry about anything but making your night as perfect as you have always imagined.

A Grand Entrance

If you want to pull up to your high school prom in style, you need a prom limo. Your driver will bring you and your date right up to the doors so everyone can see the two of you stepping out of your limo. This is your chance to feel like a celebrity. Perhaps more importantly, this type of grand entrance gets the night off to a proper start. You and your date will be in a fantastic mood off the bat.

A Prom Limo Impresses Your Date

Rent a limo and you will make your date feel quite special. You’ll score some major points by offering to drive her to prom and surprising her on the big night with a luxurious limousine. This lovely surprise will undoubtedly put her in a romantic mood from the get-go.

A Prom Limo Extends the Night

Take a moment to consider how you’ll feel when the music stops and it is time to go home. Heading on out to your car or waiting for mom and dad to pick you up won’t put an exclamation mark on the night. Alternatively, a prom limo will keep the evening alive. You’ll slide into your limousine, enjoy its array of luxuries and maybe even direct your driver to take you to an after party or someplace to get a bite to eat.