Proper corkage etiquette is essential when bringing your own wine to a restaurant. Each restaurant has its own policy on this matter, but corkage is generally accepted more on the West Coast than the East Coast.
Deciphering Wine Lists
We have all been there. You are at a fancy restaurant and the wine list looks more like a book. It is full of unfamiliar grapes and places. Panic-stricken, you pick a wine, only to receive a condescending glance from the waiter. Take a deep breath, and learn about deciphering wine lists before this happens again.
When ordering wine for with a larger party, one of the biggest challenges is adhering to correct pairing etiquette for everyone involved. The goal is to suitably pair wine with the entrees ordered by the other guests. More often than not, this is an inexact science. If the food orders are too different to generalize with one wine, consider purchasing splits or individual glasses.
Interacting with Sommeliers
Interacting with sommeliers takes a bit of practice, but can be mastered easily. Waiters and sommeliers are most helpful when asked specific questions. For example, don’t ask the sommelier, “What goes well with a rack of lamb?” Rather, ask, “I’d like to balance the spiciness of the lamb with a full bodied, Syrah-based Rhone. Do you have any favorites?” Your effort will pay off as the food and wine service will be more seamless.
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