February 11, 2024 by Alyssa Taylor

The Sunday Sip: How-To Order Wine At A Restaurant

This past week we hosted a fun, interactive and informative masterclass on ordering wine at a restaurant for our members! It was the perfect kick-off to our 2024 Spring Event Calendar which includes more masterclasses, a chef series, and Meet the Maker intimate lunches.

How-to order wine at a restaurant is a question we get asked frequently for usage with entertaining & how to appeal to clients, colleagues, or peers. Whether you’re in the corporate world, a wine enthusiast, or simply curious, what we covered in this masterclass is applicable  for everyone. So, we wanted to recap a few key takeaways here.

Setting Expectations:

Once your wine is ordered, a server / Somm will present you with the wine with the label towards you:

(1) please make sure that is the wine you ordered.
(2) You do not have to smell the cork. They should.
(3) Swirl and taste the sample they gave you. Does not need to take more than a few seconds. All you are checking for is faults. DO taste.
(4) If there is a fault, send it back i.e. moldy / wet cardboard smell (cork taint), vinegar, rotten fruit, etc.
(5) If approved, just give a nod, thumbs up – no handshakes necessary 😉 they will then pour round robin with you last.

Food and Wine Pairing Tips:

(1) Sensitivities vary from person to person

(2) Personal preferences matter – We are all different so personal preferences do matter. Yes, there are classic pairing absolutely, but if it works for you, go with it. It just might be different for someone else.

(3) Generally, food has more impact on wine than wine has on food – Food causes more problems than wine. Very important. It is the ingredients of food, intensities, typically sauces. Most wines will be pleasant to drink for most people with most foods, so when in doubt, go with what you like.

Food that is sweet will make a wine seem more drying and bitter if the sweetness levels do not match – why milk chocolate with Cab doesn’t make sense.

Umami in food will make the wine seem more drying and bitter, more acidic, less sweet and fruity (would make sweetness in Sauternes go down) —— umami is savory taste.

Salty in food would make the wine seem less drying and bitter, less acidic – more fruity and more body —- This is why you want salt and salt together! Can also bring up body.

Acidic in food makes the wine seem less drying and bitter, less acidic, more sweet and fruity, and can also bring up body.

Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Abandon your comfort zone, Skip the wine words – use your own language, ask questions, be clear about your budget

DONT: Stress super hard on food pairings, spend more than 5-7 minutes on a large wine list

If you’re interested in more events like this, or curious about a custom masterclass experience, you can submit an inquiry here or email info@argaux.com!

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