Tis the season to check out the tastings at your local wine shop. If they know what's good for business, they are likely offering tastings from now until the New Year of possible holiday pairings. I want that, you want that, we all want holiday wine tastings.
I recommend that you sign up for the e-mail list of your local wine shops. They will usually send e-mails to registrants, announcing their in-store tastings and events. You can also check their website and social media outlets for updated information. If all else fails, go old school and call, or if you are me, next time you are in to pick up some "juice", just ask. If they do not engage in such, then suggest it. Tastings are a perfect way to drive business into the shop. It works on me, every time. Think about it this way: the tastings give you, the consumer, an opportunity to try things you may not otherwise purchase. This may because of price point, or you just have literally never tried an Alsatian white for example, other than Riesling, and hey, who knew there was so much more to Alsace?! Gewurtraminer, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and more! Tastings expand your repertoire to give you more information about your preferences. This is just as much to remember what you like, as well as what you don't.
If you are up for it, bring a small notebook, or use your mobile device to take a few notes. It really helps. Trust me on this. Once the wine begins flowing, you will forget the details. Keeping a log or a journal at home is also helpful. My consistency waxes and wanes in this area, but I have never been sorry that I recorded these experiences. This is especially helpful if you are not in a position to purchase in the moment. Maybe you have an occasion coming up later. This practice will only be beneficial to you.
Above all else, have fun! How can anyone be grumpy at a complimentary wine tasting?