You don’t have to be a world-class wine expert to choose an impressive bottle of vino. In fact, a high-end restaurant will have a sommelier on staff to help you navigate the wine list. However, today’s servers are well-versed enough on the topic of wine, beer and spirits so you can ask them for their recommendation as well.
Before you can ask for some guidance you need to know the answers to the following questions:
-Red of White? This answer will typically depend on your mood or even weather. Typically, in warmer weather a light pinot is in order. Or maybe you just never found a white wine that you like. Either way, this question should be answered before asking for suggestions.
-What are your preferences? This question is the most telling. Basically, they are asking if you like light, medium or full-bodied wines. Your red wines will typically be heavy or full-bodied such as Cabernet, Zinfandel or Syrah. On the white wine side, your Chardonnays are known to be on the heavier side. If you are looking for a lighter white wine order a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon blanc or Riesling (fyi, riesling tends to be sweet). On the red side you could go with a Pinot Noir or Tempranillo.
-What do you like to drink at home? Again, this is just a way for them to get a feel for what you typically enjoy on any given day. Don’t panic, just revert to the second question above and pick your preference.
-What entree will you order? Wines bring out the flavor in many dishes, so if you are still on the fence let the server or sommelier pick a wine that will compliment what you plan on eating. Fish or chicken are usually complimented by a white wine, while steak or heavy red sauces such as a marinara go well with a red.
-What’s your price point? Don’t worry if you look like a cheapskate. There are a plethora of wines that are under the $60 price point that are respected and are the perfect compliment to your meal and evening.
-What wines are you excited about? Sommeliers and educated servers love sharing their finds. Don’t be afraid to ask what wines they have recently discovered. Not only will they appreciate you relying on their expertise but you will benefit greatly from the elevator pitch that is given to other customers.
Lastly, when in doubt….order Rosé.