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Wine Education

Ordering From a Wine List

Ordering wine does not have to be difficult or intimidating! It can be easy with these simple tips:

  1. Know your spending limits beforehand. Decide on your budget before even opening the list! This will help you narrow your focus and make your wine selection easier.
  2. The Sommelier or wine steward is your friend. Don't be afraid to ask the wine steward for help - that's what he or she is there for! By indicating what you plan to eat, the Sommelier will be able to guide you toward wines that pair well with the food. In restaurants that do not have a wine steward or Sommelier, your server may be able to provide a recommendation.
  3. Look for a name you know. If you are really unsure about which wine to choose, select a wine from a winery you already know and trust.
  4. Check the label and cork. When the bottle arrives, make sure it is the name, varietal, and vintage you ordered. If the server gives you the cork, simply look at it to make sure it is intact, wet, and without any disintegration. This will signify that the wine has been properly stored.
  5. The best part - taste! Many people swirl the wine to examine the color and to awaken the aromas. Skip this part if you do not feel comfortable doing this (it takes a bit of practice to avoid spilling on the tablecloth). Take a sip of the wine to ensure that it is good and does not taste moldy or vinegary (Check out How to Taste Wine for more details on tasting wine). Let the server know you approve by giving a small nod. Enjoy!
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