"Will you be having wine with dinner?" It's a question that will strike fear into the hearts of wine novices everytime.
But, fear not.
You can quickly restore calm with the quick rejoinder "What do you recommend?" that will immediately put your waiter or wine steward on their toes. Depending on how knowledgeable they are, the result will hopefully be a memorable wine and food pairing you'll want to remember.
In fancier restaurants, a
wine steward's job is to know the contents of the cellar and to match the wines
with a great meal.
Sadly, many sommeliers think of their customers as ignorant rubes, and themselves
as elite connoisseurs.
Knowing wine is what a wine steward or sommelier gets paid for - it's their job.
certainly wouldn't expect the plumber to sneer at you for not knowing as much
about plumbing. So a
wine steward in a restaurant or a waiter in wine bar who is snobby is just another way of describing downright rude.
Making the customer comfortable is as much a part of the job as knowing which
wines go with which foods.
Don't be afraid to ask for tips ranging frrom a good sipping wine to an excellent wine pairing with your meal.
That said, sommeliers may also have to contend with rude customers (usually wine newbs) who want to impress other guests with their new-found expertise. With a number of such encounters during a single evening, you can imagine why your sommelier can run short on patience!
So it is the enthusiastic guest - who wants to pick a sommelier's brain or simply ask for a recommendation - who can usually win the heart of a wine professional.
you encounter any unpleasant service... complain to the manager. On
the other hand, learning a bit about ordering the right wine, or reading up on the finer points of food and wine pairing, may be a more pleasant
way to handle wine stewards behaving badly.
Here are some expert pointers ...
More about ordering wine in a restaurant around the Web:
the Snotty Wine Steward - A former wine steward and wine
educator offers a few easy tips for getting a good wine with your
meal. Includes everything from which wines on the wine list are
worth ordering, to what to do with the cork (nothing!).
your Sommelier when Ordering Wine - Some great tips offered here. Did
you know that the second cheapest wine on the list is the one the restaurant
is trying to push? Find out more in this clever article.
to Order Wine for a Business Dinner - Etiquette guide for business meetings,
but offering helpful tips on food pairings and otherwise impressing your table
mates with the help of the sommelier,plus Top Ten Tips for Ordering Wine in pictures,