Components, Winemaking, Viticulture, Wine Service, Wine Buying
What information on the wine label is important to review before accepting a wine in a restaurant?
Before accepting wine in a restaurant, you should make sure that the bottle is the bottle you ordered by looking at the label.
label tells you: who made the wine, where it was made, when it was made (vintage year), what is in the bottle (grape variety) and
possibly some indication of special handling, ranking, or classification.
What are steps in the ritual of wine service in a restaurant and how should one proceed before
accepting a wine?
The waiter or sommelier presents the bottle to you for inspection
The point of this procedure is to make sure that the bottle is the bottle you ordered.
Check the label carefully.
Feel the bottle with
you hand to make sure it is the correct temperature.
Last, nod your approval to the server.
The server then removes the cork and places it in front of you.
The purpose of this step is for you to determine by smelling and visually inspecting the cork, whether the cork is in good condition
(does not have an unpleasant odor, is not wet and shriveled or dry and crumbly), and whether the cork seems to be the legitimate
cork for that bottle of wine.
There may be a vintage year or winery name on your cork that is different from that on the label.
If your wine needs decanting, the server will decant at this point.
Decant: To transfer wine from a bottle to another container, either for the purpose of aerating the wine or to pour a red wine off its
The server pours a small amount of wine into your glass and waits.
The purpose of this step is for you to take a sniff of the wine, a little sip, and then either nod your approval to the waiter or murmur,
If something is wrong, now is the time to return the wine.
If you are unsure whether the condition of the wine is
acceptable, ask for someone else’s opinion at the table and then make a group decision.
If there is something wrong with the
condition, describe to the server what you find wring with the wine using descriptive language (musty, dank).
Let the waiter smell
or taste the wine if he desires. He will then bring you another bottle of the same wine or the wine list.
If you do accept the wine, the waiter will pour the wine into your guests’ glasses and then finally into yours.
What are generally accepted reasons for sending a bottle of wine back in a restaurant?
Not what you ordered
Corked: Unpleasant odor of the cork, cork is wet and shriveled, cork is dry and crumbly
Vintage year of winery name on cork is different from that on the label
Unpleasant taste-(musty, dank, vinegar)
Sulfur dioxide-stinging sensation in nasal passage
Hydrogen sulfide-rotten eggs
Mercaptans-essence of skunk and rotting cabbage
Oxidized-bland (loss of flavor)
Maderized-cooked-sherry like with nutty flavors
When serving wine what is the proper sequence if more than one wine is being served?
Usually you will start with the lightest bodied wine and move in progression toward the fullest bodied.