Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ordering Wine With Dinner

Waiter Rant offers some good advice on Ordering Wine with Dinner without Looking Like an A-Hole.

Short form: there is always the "Fonzie" method ("#11"). A slightly more subtle version consists of tipping the wine list toward the sommelier (or, barring that, the waitron), running your finger up and down your preferred price range and saying "I was thinking of something along these lines; what do you think?"

Other methods include the "third up from the bottom" technique (or, if you are going to be cheap, choose the cheapest wine, not the second cheapest; you have a higher chance of getting something palatable, believe it or not--it has to do with restaurants anticipating your cheap-but-self-conscious habits...).

Best, of course, is the "expense account" method, but only use it when you actually have an expense account. This consists of alerting your sommelier that you are, well, on account, and that you would like something memorable--but justifiable. This usually puts you around the $50 to $80 range (higher in New York); that is, around the cost of an addition to your party (which, if the wine is good enough, it sort of is).

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