The wine world is a place where a disproportionate amount of bickering goes on. If you don’t believe me, put five oenophiles in a room and ask what they think about the screw top versus cork situation. I guarantee it will get ugly. But here’s something that any expert will tell you: the only way to really learn about wine is to taste, taste often, and taste with people who know what they are talking about (even if they can’t agree on what they are talking about).

Handily, Seattle wine shops has some great free tastings to help pump up your palate. Here are two of my favorites, chosen because they’re conveniently scheduled, low-key (read: you don’t have to have a Masters of Wine to have fun sipping here), and hosted by great, locally owned shops.

On Friday evenings from 5-7, City Cellars in Wallingford holds a drop-in tasting, usually themed around a region or country.

Saturdays from 2-4, European Vine Selections on Capitol Hill pops open a few bottles, generally they’re from the same variety—though this Saturday they are doing a few different dessert wines.

Would love to hear about other good tastings around town and on the Eastside too. Happy sipping.

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