Wine Buying Tips and Using Your Sommelier

Here are some tips for buying wine in a restaurant and allowing your Sommelier to best help you select a wine.

-Let the Sommelier know the wines you like to drink.  Sommeliers know their wine list well and can help find something that suits your taste.  Do you want something similar to a Napa Cabernet?  Do you want something similar to a Shiraz?  Do you like a specific wine producer?  The Sommelier can help!

-Choose your wine after you order your food or at least when you decide what you’re going to have to help with food and wine pairing.  Knowing what you’re going to eat can help the Sommelier properly pair your wine with food.

-Don’t be afraid to ask your Sommelier to hold off on your wine until your meal shows up.  This allows your wine to breathe and at the same time, you don’t run out of wine before your meal arrives.

-Go on the internet and see if you can find the wine list of the restaurant you’re going to.  This can help you to pre-select wine or at least narrow down a few wines from the wine list to ask your Sommelier about.

-If you get a wine paired for your main course, you can order wine for your appetizer or second course.  You don’t have to buy a second bottle, but order wine by the glass so you can pair wine with each course; this really works best if you’re only two people.

-BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine). If you know beforehand what you’re going to order just bring your own wine. Wine is restaurants are more expensive than retail. Restaurants generally charge a corkage fee, but it can range greatly. I’ve seen everything from no corkage to a $100.00 corkage fee. I’d say the average corkage fee is around $25.00.

Yours truly,

-The Modern Sommelier

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