How to order wine

2016-06-21 06:00
  Photo:

Photo:

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

NO one likes to feel like a dope when staring down a wine list. So here’s a cheat sheet on how to avoid embarrassment, culled from the collective wisdom of sommeliers and other wine professionals.

BEFORE THE RESTAURANT

1. If you’re really worried about looking like an idiot, plan ahead. Most restaurants post their menus and wine lists online, and even if they don’t, you can call the day before and ask for advice. If you’re really concerned about screwing up, pre-order right then and there on the phone. Very few people know this is even an option.

WHEN ORDERING

If you’re shy, just point to a bottle on the menu and say you’d like something similar.

2. It’s okay to mention a price range. Really. You don’t have to be a big shot and demand the priciest thing on the wine list.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say, “I’d like to spend R150 and I’d like a Cabernet.” If you’re shy, just point to a bottle on the menu and say you’d like something similar.

The server will get the message.

3. Bring it all back to the food “Context is all,” Evan Spingarn, the fabulously opinionated wine director at New York’s Tangled Vine, warned me. “The $100 Cabernet that was life-affirming on Tuesday night at the steakhouse may be appallingly bad at the beach with clam rolls on Saturday.

Therefore, ordering wine by price, scores, or familiar names is never as successful as selecting by what you plan to eat with it.”

4. And be specific. “Never, EVER, walk into a wine store or restaurant and ask for ‘...a nice, dry red wine,’” Spingarn scolds.

“It’s the same as walking into a grocery store and saying: ‘Excuse me, do you have any FOOD?’”

In other words, it’s too general, too open-ended. Be as specific as you can. The more info you can provide a sommelier or wine merchant, the better that person can help you find something great to drink.

ONCE THE WINE ARRIVES

5. Don’t sniff the cork It won’t tell you much, and you’ll look like a pretentious jerk.

However, if you’ve ordered an older vintage, it’s acceptable to pick up and look at the cork for possible signs of damage that might impact the wine’s quality.

6. Swirl the wine a couple of seconds. Not longer. The goal is to aerate the wine a bit—not to slosh it around and show off. Didn’t anyone tell you not to play with your food?

7. You can’t send back a wine just because you don’t like it. It’s only OK to return wine if you’re certain it’s spoiled. (If you don’t know how to tell, Wine.com has a good, straightforward guide to spotting wine that has gone bad.

8. Don’t be afraid to order more than one wine. That can mean a couple of bottles for the table, or a couple of glasses for yourself.

“Particularly in restaurants that have substantial by-the-glass programs,” says Spingarn, “it’s fun and cost-effective to order a glass of sparkling wine or white to start a meal, split a bottle of red (or whatever you prefer with the food) for your entree, and finish off with a little something sweet or fortified for dessert.”

- Kara Newman (sourced)

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.