Wine Tasting Ritual De-Mythed: How to Test Wine in a Restaurant
You?re at a restaurant and somehow the job of ordering wine has landed on your plate - literally. You realize that, much to your dismay, not only will you have to order the wine; you?ll also be expected to make sure it?s okay for your table to drink.
You?ve just encountered one of the most intimidating public wine drinking experiences; and, naturally, you?re wondering how to pull it off without looking like a bozo.
First step, relax! This is a simple ? and way overrated -- ritual that has been around for years. And, luckily it?s the same ritual in every restaurant. So learn it once and you?re all set.
This is a three-step process. There really are no time limits; although you could annoy your server to no end if you drag it out too long. And annoying your server needlessly is rarely a good idea.
Step 1: The presentation of the wine bottle
The server is slowly walking up to your table and you swear you hear the theme song from Rocky playing in the background. Take a deep breath and make eye contact.
He or she will execute the presentation-of-the-bottle portion of the ritual. This is simply so you can verify that it?s what you ordered. Hopefully, you can remember.
Take a good look at the label. Is it the correct wine and vintage (year)? If it is, nicely tell the server you are accepting the bottle for the table and to be opened. If it isn?t, nicely point out the mistake to the server. (Hey, no one?s perfect).
As the server is opening the bottle, this is a good time to smile and say something witty to your guests who have been staring at you the entire time. Although not necessary, it makes things a little lighter.
Step 2: ? The opening of the wine bottle
The server opens the bottle and gently places the cork next to your hand. No matter what, fight the urge to smell it! Smelling the cork accomplishes nothing, and will make you look like a dork. Especially if it?s a plastic cork or screw top.
Just feel the cork to make sure the bottom is moistened with wine and that it?s intact. It?s okay if the cork is dry, but it shouldn?t be cracked or falling apart. There?s not much you can learn by feeling a plastic cork or, worse, a screw top.
While you were feeling the cork, the server has poured a small amount of wine into your glass. Simply swirl the wine a tad. No need to go crazy and create a whirlpool in your glass. Just a little, calm swirl. This helps ?open up your wine? or oxygenate it so you can smell and taste the true flavor.
Now, with nose in the glass, take a nice long whiff. Without getting into the complexity of the specific aromas of the grapes, you are simply making sure the wine is not bad. Believe me you will know if it?s bad as the essence of vinegar or mold will be present.
Now taste it. Odds are it will be great. Every now and then a wine will be either ?corked? (the cork has contaminated the wine) or it was damaged by improper storage. If either of those has happened, you will probably taste something like moldy bread or fruit, a wet basement, cork, cardboard, or vinegar. It will be pretty obvious that it should be sent back.
Step 3: Serving the table
If your wine passes steps 1 & 2, then let the server know that the drinking can begin. He or she will pour to your guests first, beginning with the ladies. Your glass will be the last one to be filled. Chances are good you?ll get the bill at the end of the night, too.
Congratulations! You?ve now mastered the ritual that intimidates and scares many people and you didn?t look like an idiot! In fact you undoubtedly looked fabulous.
?2006, Let?s Talk About Wine
Lynne Thomas knows a good glass of wine when she drinks one. She is a founding partner of Let?s Talk About Wine, a wine information resource created to connect people who want to learn about wine the fun, easy way. Visit http://www.letstalkaboutwine.com/ for a few laughs and a lot of info.
A Short Wine Cabinet Summary
Wine Tasting Ritual De-Mythed: How to Test Wine in a Restaurant
You?re at a restaurant and somehow the job of ordering wine has landed on your plate - literally. You realize that, much to your dismay, not only wil...
Click Here to Read More About Wine ...
Recommended Wine Cabinet Items
Riedel 'O' Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling Stemless Wine Glasses (Set of 2)
The Riedel Stemless O Wine Glasses are the newest revolution in glassware. Casual yet elegant these wine glasses are appropriate for fine wine enjoyment as well as casual sipping. The wine tumblers were shaped to fit into a dishwasher and fine-tuned to enhance the pleasure of your favorite wine varietals. In keeping with the Riedel glassware tradition these wine glasses have become the benchmark for stemless glassware. Made in Germany of lead-free crystal. Gift boxed in sets of 2. 4 1/4'H 13 1/4 oz.
Price: 19.90 USD
Wine Cabinet in the news
Domestic wine sales ease in September (Stock & Land)
Mon, 10 Nov 2008 22:12:58 -0800
The trend estimate for domestic sales of Australian produced wine was 35.3 million litres in September, a decrease of 0.6pc from August 2008, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Exploring Tasmanias Freycinet Peninsula
Mon, 10 Nov 2008 19:33:51 -0800
Republishing in full not allowed without permission.. Source: roadlesstravelled.com.au GUEST ARTICLE:On our annual ’sister’ weekend away, Jo and I had four days in Tasmania, driving from Hobart, along the East Coast route to Freycinet National Park to do some kayaking and bushwalking. I walked onto the tarmac from my Jetstar flight to Hobart and thought ‘It’s not that cold!’ Within minutes that thought turned to ‘I might put on my polar fleece and wind resistant jacket!’ We rented a car, an
Meet the Store Owner: A Chat with Elizabeth from La Toriana
Mon, 10 Nov 2008 15:12:22 -0800
Today I’d like you to meet Elizabeth Murphy, proprietor of boutique baby and kids store La Toriana - www.latoriana.com.au. From country Victoria, where Elizabeth lives on a farm with her husband Gary, and 6 year old daughter Tiana, Elizabeth has created one of the finest baby and kids boutiques online. As Elizabeth would say “grab a cuppa, sit back and relax” and enjoy! - Angela. …………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………… Tell us a bit about yourself -
A Blog from Roger
Mon, 10 Nov 2008 14:57:26 -0800
I’m sitting here in the most wonderful surroundings of the Ritz Carlton in Santiago, Chile, a most pleasing city with beautiful weather, wide streets, lovely buildings, great people, excellent wine and to top it all off, Santiago is surrounded by the stunning snow capped Andes which can be seen glistening in the sunshine from my top floor suite. I’ve just returned from a relaxing swim, massage and steam room. But it isn’t all relaxing, we worked last night and the show was great, with an amazin
Labels: Grape Wine | Grape Wines&type=page">