Sunday, March 06, 2005

Mixed Up Vintages When Ordering at a Resaurant (PB)

NW’s post on the mix up in vintages between the bottle ordered and the bottle opened compels me to follow up with a point of wine protocol at restaurants. NW ordered a 1999 bottle of wine and apparently the restaurant opened a 2000.

The typical protocol, even in very low tier establishments, is for the person presenting the wine to present the bottle with label facing you before it is opened precisely so you can make sure that what you ordered is what you are receiving. Only after your approval is the wine opened in front of you.

This might seem a bit showy but it is merely practical to avoid what happened to NW. If you happen to give a careless nod without reading the label carefully—as I have done once—caveat emptor! It’s yours!

On the other hand, I would not only be skeptical of an expensive wine which has been brought to my table already opened, I would refuse it. Though we like to think the best of everyone, replacing fine wine with lesser quality wine in a nice bottle is not unheard of.

In NW’s case, it all worked out for the good but as a matter of practice, I’d insist the restaurant follow the rules.

1 comment:

NW said...

...And technically, when a new wine is presented (even a new bottle of the same wine) the bottle should be shown, and a proper tasting should be offered in a fresh glass. This is protocol in a restaurant. I was surprised that the server failed to do this at the Italian feast of plenty, but I also realize too much fuss over the wine at a dinner can sometimes interupt the social environment.