Wine Tasting With Kids: It’s More Fun Than You Think

 In Travel Tips

“No! Stop, Olivia! You’ve had enough!” Sophie pleaded with her younger sister. They were at their first wine tasting but only one of them was enjoying it.

Sophie was acting like a typical concerned friend at a bar had it not been for the fact that Sophie was 3 years old and Olivia, 2.

Wine tasting with kids

Wine Tasting With Kids

It was their first wine tasting and given the way Olivia, her chubby paw curled round the stem of the glass, kept coming back for more, I’m sure it will not be her last. I’m guessing Sophie will take her time acquiring tastes for sparkling wine.

Sure, we can discuss the parental merits of taking children to a wine tasting – I’ll get it started. “What irresponsible parents introduce their children to the toxic grip of alcohol? Horrible!”

To be honest, I’m not at all concerned about setting an example of any sort with this.  We drink wine at home. The girls already know what a “grownup drink” is. And the best part — we had fun. Besides, if the stories and my memory are correct, I used to swipe (and completely devour) the whiskey soaked limes from my grandfather’s ever present rocks glass. Ah, childhood.

Nevertheless, we didn’t plan it. I thought we were just accompanying my father-in-law into the old winery grounds for a little snooping about while he picked up a case of Brut.

But as we made our way through the stone arched doorway, the attendant was pouring tasters for us all — six small stemmed glasses lined up on the bar for four adults and two children, children whose blond curls did not even reach the bar. The rose colored Mauler (made there in Môtiers, Switzerland) is a favorite treat of mine. A cool glass of Demi-sec with a smoked salmon bagel is a perfect Saturday lunch. I was all for a little taste on the house.

When I saw my partner giving the girls a sniff, I laughed. When he let them have a drink, I kind of freaked a little bit in my belly.


“Non-alcoholic” he assured me. “Sparkling juice.”

How fun is that!

Sophie took a sip and I thought her face might curl completely in on itself.

Olivia, on the other hand, was smitten.

At first she tried, like a dog at a water bowl, to lap it up with her tongue. The girl has her ways with food and drink.

“More this one!” she said, and grabbed for the glass. I took a sip myself, just to see what all the fuss was about. I think I’ll side with Sophie on the less-than-stellar report, but the little one seemed to love the bubbles and the tartness.

It was precious. She took sip after sip until the entire glass, which probably held some two ounces, was licked clean.

The whole thing got me thinking, and snickering; of all the child-friendly activities, I never would have guessed wine tasting. But it’s perfect. The parents sample a few products, the kids don’t have to kick at the rocks waiting. Genius!

In a place like Môtiers, a quaint village in the Jura mountains, a taste of Mauler is just one more reason to visit. The town is filled with one surprising beauty after another — the mountains and waterfalls, the historic buildings including a 500 year-old-church, even a museum dedicated to philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau had who spent some time there.

It’s also brimming with spirits. Môtiers is known for Absinthe production and it would appear that at least one shop also caters to kids, though that is merely a glance at a website. We have yet to venture in.

So if you happen to be visiting, (this summer and fall it hosts art installations throughout the village — displays take place every four years) clear some room in your schedule to sample the Mauler, and don’t be afraid to bring your youngsters with you. You may enjoy watching them pucker up to some alcohol-free sparkling wine.

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