What to Wear for a Wine Tasting in Napa, California

Stay comfy but fashionable in Napa.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

If you're an oenophile -- aka a wine lover -- then you need to hightail it to Napa. Some of the best grapes in the nation call Napa home, which means wine tasting is serious business over there. If you've already booked your trip to wine country, all that's left is for you to choose your wine tasting attire.

The Napa Style

When it comes to fashion, remember that you may be in California, but you're not in Hollywood. Napa Valley is way more laid back than its sister to the south, so leave your L.A. duds at home. Napa is all about loose, flowing skirts, not severe mini-dresses. The Napa Valley Trip Planner says to stay casual, but still fashionable. Think about what you'd wear for a shopping trip to Manhattan -- something with plenty of style, but also something that's going to feel comfy during a long day. Go for a loose cotton sundress or a cute blouse and pants combo and you'll fit right in. (See Ref 1)

Layering Up

Wine tasting in Napa is an indoor/outdoor affair, which means you're going to need layers. Bring a cardigan or a wrap to throw on in case you get a chance to tour a wine cellar, because it's probably going to be crazy cold down there. Later, after you're tipsy from all that tasting, you can throw on a sun hat, wrap your sweater around your waist and stroll the winery grounds or frolic through the fields and get a good dose of that warm Napa sun.


Comfortable shoes are a necessity in Napa, especially if you're going to take a winery tour. Teetering around half drunk in stilettos while trying to navigate wet floors, stacks of barrels and random hoses is not a good idea, so slide your feet into something sturdier instead. You want shoes that can take you around stone pathways, hardwood floors and squishy Napa soil, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to stick with sneakers. To stay fashionable Napa-style, wear loafers, oxfords, riding boots or ballet flats.

Napa Weather

Napa is pretty darn pleasant in the summer, with temperatures in the 80s and low 90s. Springtime fluctuates a lot -- it could be warm, it could be chilly or it could rain. The same goes for fall. And just because it's California doesn't mean winter doesn't exist -- Napa temps range from the 60s to the 40s in winter. Basically, don't just bound out the door without checking the weather first. Dress accordingly; if it's chillier, throw on some tights and a sweater twinset. Bring a pretty scarf or an all weather jacket. And don't get caught in a vineyard rain shower without an umbrella.

Wearing Scents

If there's one thing you shouldn't wear to a wine tasting, it's heavy perfume. Since part of your sense of taste comes from smell, heavy scents are a major faux pas at a wine tasting. Wine aficionados want their stuff to taste like grapes, not the eau de toilette you got for Christmas last year. This same rule goes for cigarette smoke as well, so don't show up to a wine tasting smelling like an ashtray.

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