Five Tips for Ordering Wine at a Restaurant

Five Tips for Ordering Wine at a Restaurant
If you’re a wine enthusiast, there’s nothing quite like going out for a nice dinner and choosing the perfect wine to pair with your meal. For those who aren’t wine connoisseurs, ordering wine at a restaurant can sometimes be intimidating. With so many choices and unfamiliar terminology, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To help you feel confident and make the most out of your dining experience, here are five tips for ordering wine at a restaurant.

1. Know Your Budget

One of the first things to consider when ordering wine at a restaurant is your budget. Restaurant wine lists can range from $10 a glass to hundreds of dollars a bottle, so it’s important to know what you’re comfortable spending. Once you have a price range, don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations that fit within your budget.

2. Consider The Menu

The food you’re ordering can have a big impact on the type of wine you choose. In general, lighter-bodied wines like white wines or rosés pair well with lighter dishes like fish or salads. Full-bodied red wines are a better match for heartier meals like steak or pasta dishes with rich sauces. If you aren’t quite sure which wine to pair with your meal, make sure you ask your server for suggestions.

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Five Tips for Ordering Wine at a Restaurant
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

There’s a lot of wine terminology that some people may not be familiar with, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. If you aren’t sure what a certain term on the wine list means, or you’re unfamiliar with a particular wine or region, don’t be afraid to ask your server. You will find that most servers are knowledgeable about the wines they offer and are happy to answer your questions.

4. Look for Value

An expensive price tag doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be good. It can be tempting to go straight for the most expensive bottle on the list and assume it’s the best. However, there are often hidden gems to be found at lower price points. Look for wines from up-and-coming regions or lesser-known producers that offer good quality for the price.
You could also order house wines or wines by the glass. These are often selected by the restaurant’s sommelier and offer great quality at a reasonable price point. Plus, ordering by the glass allows you to try a few different wines throughout your meal without committing to a whole bottle.

5. Try Something New

Finally, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Restaurants are a great place to try wines you might not otherwise have access to, so take advantage of the opportunity to expand your palate. Ask your server for recommendations based on your preferences or try a wine from a region you’re less familiar with.

Ordering wine at a restaurant can and should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Don’t be intimidated by the wine list – with a little bit of knowledge and confidence, you can choose the perfect wine to pair with your meal and make the most of your dining experience. And remember, if you find a wine you love while you’re out, write it down on a cellartag so you never forget it!

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