For many of us, ordering wine in a restaurant is like shooting darts with our eyes closed. There’s one part of eating out in a fancy restaurant that’s more stressful than getting the bill: Ordering wine.
One may aim for a delicious wine and strive not to embarrass themselves in the process, but how can they expect to consistently nail their target when they’re shooting blind?
Apart from selecting the second cheapest option on the wine list, there are a few genuine tips that can help you order a good bottle of wine at a restaurant.
1) Ask for the sommeliers recommendations
One of the biggest mistakes people make when going to fancy restaurants is not fully utilising their somm. Sommeliers spend their days tasting wines and will love to share the lesser-known discoveries with you.
2) When the sommelier presents you with the cork?
No, you’re not meant to sniff it. Back in the 1800’s, it was used as a way of showing the customer that the wine was really what it said it as on the label and not a counterfeit. Nowadays, it’s just more of a ritual in fine-dining. Take the cork home as a reminder. But, please, no sniffing!
3) Be accommodating and think about food/wine matching
When perusing the wine list, try accommodating everyone’s food in the wine selection. In case of clashing food styles, try ordering by the glass. Consider weight, flavour, texture or intensity of the wine, with that of the food.
4) Wine over Food
Make sure the wine gets to the table before the food. Wine without food is fine; but food without wine is a disaster.
5) Got the bottle?
Make sure to do our maths before you decide to ‘just have a glass’. A bottle of 750 ml will make 4 large glasses of wine. Restaurant tends to charge a premium for wines by the glass, so it’s almost beneficial to prefer a bottle over a glass, even if you feel that you won’t be able to finish the bottle (but then end up finishing it, because really, who leaves a bottle un-drunk?)
6) Just Enjoy it
Be sure to enjoy the wine at your own pace. In hopes that you’ll buy more, some waiters tend to hyperactively refill your wine glass because they want you to finish that first bottle ASAP. And if our waiter is slow to refill your glass then don’t hesitate to do it yourself. Whatever the case, once you’ve confirmed that the wine is sound, just sit back and enjoy every sip of it.