Restaurants and somms
When to bring wine to a restaurant
The fact is, every time you bring a bottle of wine to any restaurant, you risk appearing rude. With this in mind it’s essential to have a good reason for bringing the bottle. There are two reasons you might bring your own wine to a restaurant: when you want to drink a supremely fine bottle of wine for a special occasion (imagine an anniversary dinner with a vintage Lafite) or when you want to try something more experimental than what the restaurant carries on its wine list. Learn more.
If you’re looking for a method for how to pick a wine at a restaurant with minimum stress, try following this series of basic steps: buy yourself more time, eliminate wine by the glass, decide on a style, start at the back of the list, and avoid major producers or ‘typical’ wines. Then use an app to finalize your choice. Learn more.
How to taste wine at a restaurant
Expert sommeliers always ask customers to taste-test a wine at a restaurant, even if it’s their own bottle. That’s because sommeliers know that any bottle of wine, even the finest Bordeaux, can suffer unexpectedly from oxidation or other types of spoilage. When you taste-test a wine at a restaurant, you’re not being asked whether you enjoy the wine; you’re being asked to spot faults before the sommelier pours a round for the table. Learn more.
An interview with Dustin Wilson
The elite NY restaurant Eleven Madison Park only opened in 1998, but its accolades include four stars from the New York Times, three stars from Michelin Guide, five stars from Forbes Travel Guide, and a Five Diamond Review from AAA. S. Pellegrino also ranked the restaurant one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Wine Spectator gave the restaurant their Grand Award, and the restaurant has been listed in Les Grandes Tables du Monde. Learn more.
**Photo courtesy of Flickr CC user Star 5112
**Photo courtesy of Flickr CC user gLangille
How to get to know great sommeliers
I’ve had plenty of terrible restaurant experiences, but never while I was sitting at a wine bar. It might be the sense of camaraderie that comes with dining at the bar; formality dissolves, complete strangers strike up conversations, and most importantly, the sommelier is in the mood to talk. Every serious wine collector should try sitting at the wine bar now and then, because it offers some amazing perks. Learn more.