GRAB THAT WINE LIST! 3 STEPS TO SELECTING WINE
Next time a Sommelier saunters towards your table, wine menu in hand, reach out with open arms, grab it and take charge!
Be considerate to your guests. Ask if the table want red or white but more importantly ask if they are working on a “financial budget”.
Make your selection and regardless of whether you’ve had it before, simply say “I’ve always wanted to try this!” Why? Because that way, everybody gets an opportunity to form their own opinion on the wine and removes any backlash about your choice!
For more details on how to select a wine check out these tips…
Are you someone who doesn’t feel confident about selecting wine from a wine menu? A lot of people tell me they feel under pressure when asked to pick a wine at a restaurant.
Well rest assured, the tips listed here alleviate all of that. You will really get to enjoy selecting wine.
The key message is to ask a few pertinent questions of your guests and be confident!
Tip – Ask Questions
To immediately instil some self-confidence, ask your guests the following questions about their preferences that will help you narrow down your choices (especially if the wine menu is a tome!)
Q1: Do they want red, white or a bottle of both.
Q2: “Do we want a bottle or by the glass?” This determines what section you go to.
Q3: Ask if they have a wine variety preference? For example Chardonnay, or Riesling, Pinot Noir or Shiraz. Most people are usually happy for you to make the decision. If not, then it’s a great conversation about wine anyway. Win-win all round!
Tip – Pick the Price Point
Scan through the wine menu and see if there’s a wine or winery you recognise or have tried before, which, later on, you can tell a story about.
Ask your guests at the beginning “What price point would we all be happy with or do you want to leave it to me?” said with a big smile on your face, rubbing your hands together with glee! This can be a fun conversation about cost which gets that topic out the way early instead of bill shock at the end!
Tip – Engage the Sommelier
If you’re not sure what wine to choose, then engage the Sommelier and ask for their help (after all, that is what they are there to do). It still means you’re in charge but you’ll have a knowledgeable partner to help you.
To give an idea about your budget to the Sommelier, simply point to a bottle price range on the list. This will help the Sommelier be aware of what to suggest for your table that fits the criteria you’ve set. This is a silent conversation with the Sommelier about cost that you’re guests won’t know you are having.
Even if you end up not really liking the wine, that’s fine. It’s more about having the confidence to choose and the experience of doing it.
Finally, be confident and passionate in your selection.