Learn what happens at Disney Cruise wine tastings, how to make sure you book this in-demand experience, and what made us laugh so hard!
Disney Cruise Line is widely regarded as the top cruise line for family-friendly itineraries. From the nonstop character meet and greets to half of one deck completely dedicated to the kids’ club, it’s easy to deem a Disney Cruise Line sailing as a family-only vacation.
After a recent sailing aboard the Disney Dream, I learned just how much attention and care goes into not just the family-friendly activities, but the adult-exclusive areas and offerings too! In fact, the adults-only offerings are so extensive, I could not have possibly completed them all aboard one sailing!
A Bubbly Location
One of the highlights of those 21+ offerings was the onboard wine tasting at sea. Located in the heart of ‘The District’– the hotspot for adults-only bars and lounges- our wine tasting was hosted at ‘Pink’ on the Disney Dream.
As we checked in and entered the space, we were offered a welcoming glass of Prosecco to enjoy before the seminar started.
The space was gorgeously set upon our arrival, with five contrasting glasses of wine pre-poured for us to allow for proper breathing. The space itself was the perfect one for a wine tasting, as the smaller space allowed for intimacy and interaction with our fellow tasters and host.
The five bottles of wine we would be tasting were arranged along the perfectly-lit bar for the host. The labels were purposely covered…for a very fun and (very challenging) reason we discovered later!
The Three Checks
Our knowledgeable host then took the floor and welcomed us to the tasting. He taught us the three checkpoints we were encouraged to employ before taking the very first sip of wine, as we would use this method for each individual wine as we progressed:
1. Color Check- Tip the glass of wine on its side, and let the light pass through the wine to check the color. Light color tells us that the wine is aged 1-3 years, while darker hues indicate 3+ year aging processes.
2. Legs Check– Next, we were instructed to swirl the wine in the glass, then watch closely as the wine trickled back down the sides. These are called ‘legs’. The slower the trickle, the higher the sugar or alcohol content.
3. Smell Check– Finally, we smelled the wine. We learned that a light, citrus scent indicates the grapes were grown in a cold region, while sweet fruits and woody scents mean the grapes are from a warm region.
Armed with the knowledge of the three ‘checks’, we were then encouraged to taste our first wine!
Disney Dream Wine Tastings
Disney Cruise Line offered us five wines, plus the welcome Prosecco to taste. The wines were arranged from lightest and sweetest, to darkest and heaviest. We learned this is the best way to guide your palette through a tasting.
We were offered five great wines, all of which contrasted wonderfully:
- Selbach Riesling
- ZD Chardonnay
- Beaujolais- Villages Beanue
- Chianti Classico Banfi
- Lasseter Paysage Red Blend
As we tasted each wine, our host let the group of tasters render a guess as to what type of wine we were currently sampling. The wine bottles were covered, so we had to rely on our previous knowledge of wine combined with the three ‘checks’ we had just learned.
Some of the guesses were spot on- while others left the whole lounge roaring with laughter!
The guessing game really brought the group out of its shell, as by the third wine the whole lounge had banded together to try to correctly guess the wine.
How to Book a Disney Cruise Wine Tasting
Disney Cruise Line offers multiple alcohol tastings aboard each sailing for an additional fee. They book up quickly and we recommend booking as early as possible.
In order to book a tasting, your cruise must be paid in full, and you must be within your booking window:
- 🚢 First-Time Guests: 75 days prior to sail date
- 🚢 Silver Castaway Club: 90 days prior to sail date
- 🚢 Gold Castaway Club: 105 days prior to sail date
- 🚢 Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club: 120 days prior to sail date
Overall, the wine tasting was a fantastic way to spend part of our afternoon at sea. The experience was capped at just about 20 guests, so the experience was intimate and never felt overcrowded.
Our host was very knowledgeable and professional, but he read the room extremely well and made guessing the wines a lot of fun. Plus, he taught me how to properly check my wine before tasting- something I’ll do each and every time I enjoy a glass of wine going forward.
As we left, we were given commemorative ‘Stem to Stern Wine Tasting’ buttons to take home as a way to remember the amazing tasting we experienced at sea.