Degustation: the act of tasting something carefully, sometimes in small portions.
I found the word degustationary in The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is used to describe compliments given over a meal. When I first read the word, I thought it meant compliments about the food, but I cannot find the exact definition of the word anywhere. After searching on the web, I've noticed that others are defining the word differently. One forum suggested that it means a series of small compliments. A blogger suggested that it means carefully worded compliments. Personally I find it interesting that so many people are struck by the word and are searching for a definition. I guess it takes a little interpretation sometimes.