tastings, events at which wines are tasted. Informal tastings take place every time a bottle of wine is opened by a wine enthusiast. More formal ones take place when wine producers show their wines to potential buyers or commentators. The most common sort of formal tasting is one held for the purposes of wine assessment, typically by wine merchants keen to sell their wares, sometimes by a generic body keen to promote wines of a particular style or provenance. Formal tastings are also held by wine clubs and societies for less commercial purposes: education or simple pleasure perhaps.