NAPA, CALIFORNIA. It’s not about what you know, but who you know. However, in Napa, CA knowing what to do keeps the wine flowing.

The wine professionals who control the open bottles of wine should be a priority when wine tasting — they hold the power after all. Here are a few tips from Galen Becker Drace, Wine Club Manager of Corison Winery in Napa, CA on how to stay on the good side of the wine hosts .

DO: Call ahead. Make an appointment when possible to ensure the tasting room has time to accommodate you and your guests — or your furry friend, Fido.

DON’T: Bring an empty coffee cup to the tasting room. That is a sign of a novice, but also someone who only wants to get drunk. Smoking and drinking coffee ruins the palette and the wine will not taste as intended. “I might as well give them the spit bucket to taste from” said Drace.

DO: Ask questions. No question is a stupid question. Wine tasting is about learning and expanding knowledge about wine. Most wine hosts will welcome questions, and if they don’t, then move on and take your money elsewhere.

DON’T: Wear lipstick, lip gloss, perfume or cologne. The lipstick and lip gloss makes cleaning the glasses much harder at the end of the day. And the excessive amounts of perfume and cologne worn by patrons distracts from the aromas and the bouquet of the wine.

DO: Be courteous. It’s more than likely that if you are nice, then your host will be nice, and your experience will be nice.

DON’T: Posture or name drop. If you have to list off what is in your cellar to feel important, then the conversation that could have spiraled into something beautiful and informative has become a competition. That is NOT fun for anyone.

And by following these simple guidelines, the wine tasting experience anywhere will be more enjoyable and the host might “pour you an extra taste or let you revisit a wine, or bring something out of the back,” said Drace.

Wine tasting in Napa is about relaxation, but also education. If you are familiar with some of the wines, then maybe visit a winery you’ve never heard of before or order a bottle and see how different it tastes from the last time you enjoyed that wine.

For the foodies who love to pair wine with food, Domaine Chandon Winery in Napa, CA, is a great stop — which has a restaurant and an outdoor tasting patio. I suggest ordering a bottle of sparkling wine and enjoying some oysters, cheese and charcuterie. And if you really want to indulge, eat some caviar that Domaine Chandon offers for $100/ 20g.

After enjoying a bottle of wine at Domaine Chandon, hit one or two more wineries. The objective is NOT to get drunk. If that is the case, then hit a bar and order a round of shots. It’s much cheaper. Any more than four wineries is for sipping and spitting only. Becoming sloppy is poor form as well.

Spending time with the wine and your friends is what wine tasting is all about. So sip, enjoy and listen to the professionals tell beautiful stories about the wine and the wineries.

“Knowing a winery’s story makes the experience much more memorable,” said Mark Mendoza, Wine Director of Daniel Patterson Group.

Here are a few wineries industry professionals love in Napa:

Corison Winery
987 St. Helena Highway
St. Helena, CA 94574
Twitter @corisonwinery

Domaine Chandon
1 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599
Twitter @chandonusa

Chateau Montelena Winery
1429 Tubbs Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
Twitter @ChMontelena

Miner Family Winery
7850 Silverado Trail
Oakville, CA 94562