Ordering wine at a restaurant can be a complex affair, but it doesn’t need to be! Before a night out, do your homework. Survey the restaurant’s wine list to see what you’re working with, then see our helpful guide below. Once you arrive at the restaurant, no stress! The Sommelier will do the rest.
1. Group Chat
Talk to your table about their preferences for red vs. white, fruity vs earthy and general likes or dislikes
Pro Tip: Can’t decide between red or white? Go for sparkling or rosé.
2. How Much?
There are 4-5 glasses of wine per bottle. Narrow down how many bottles you’ll need and how much you’d like to spend.
Pro Tip: The second cheapest bottle generally has the highest markup.
3. Ask the Somm
The sommelier’s job is to help you choose a wine you’ll love. Don’t be afraid to seek them out for recommendations.
Pro Tip: If the restaurant doesn’t have a somm, ask your server for pairing suggestions based on your food choices.
4. Order Up
Order wine by listing off its producer, varietal or region, and vintage. the somm/server should repeat your order back to confirm the selection.
Pro Tip: Don’t be intimidated with pronunciation. Order confidently and you’ll sound like a pro.
The somm/server will open the bottle, present you with the cork, pour a small taste of wine and then wait for your approval.
Pro Tip: No need to smell the cork. Instead, swirl and smell the wine to ensure it’s acceptable, drinkable and does not smell corked.
6. Get Served
After approving the wine, the somm/server will move around the table, serving women first, then men, and lastly, whoever ordered the wine.
Pro Tip: A guest of honor should be served first, regardless of gender.
Raise your glasses for a toast, you’ve successfully ordered wine like a pro! Cheers to you, your guests and the possibility of another bottle.
Pro Tip: Sparkling or dessert wines are the perfect ending to a perfect night out.