How to order wine to accompany your restaurant meal

November 3, 2015

A nice glass of wine can be the perfect accompaniment to any restaurant meal. Here are some tips to help you order wine while dining out that will make you look like a seasoned expert.

How to order wine to accompany your restaurant meal

Choose a type that you like

Dining at a new restaurant with others isn't the time to try a totally new type of wine.

  • It's a good idea to go with a wine that you know you'll like.
  • Feel free to try something new, but only as a last resort, if you haven't heard of any of their wines.

Always taste it first

When the waiter comes around to pour you a glass, ask if you can first taste it.

  • They will pour a small amount in your glass.
  • Swirl the wine gently to release the aromas and see what you think of the smell.
  • After sniffing it, take a small taste and let it linger in your mouth for a moment before swallowing.
  • If you like it, let the waiter know so they can pour you a full glass.
  • If the wine isn't to your taste, don't hesitate to request a different kind.

Never order the most expensive glass

Restaurants typically have five to 10 wines they serve by the glass in red, white and bubbly varieties.

  • Remember, just because a wine is more expensive doesn't mean that it will be a better quality.
  • Ordering a medium-priced wine will often get you just as good a glass as the most expensive ones on the menu. What's more, it may also save you a little money.

Don't hesitate to ask questions

You don't have to pretend like you have all the answers.

  • If there are wines on the menu that you've never heard of, don't be afraid to ask about them.
  • Many restaurants have sommeliers on hand to assist you with your decision. There's no need to pretend you're an expert. You'll look better asking for assistance than you would mispronouncing the name of a wine.

Consider buying a bottle

If other people at your table are also drinking wine, consider ordering a bottle or a half-bottle of wine. These are usually a better value and you will likely have more choices.

  • Remember to taste the wine after they have opened the bottle and to request a decanter if the wine is on the young side.

With these tips and a little experience, you'll be ordering wine like an expert in no time. Above all else, it's more important to get a wine you like than to order one because it's expensive or sounds prestigious.


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