Learn To Deal With the Wine Steward
by: Gusatore Delluva
Ordering wine in restaurants is an essential step in 'enjoying
your dining experience. You will find that there 'are
two types of restaurants serving wine: simply, those 'that
have a poor wine service and poor wine selections, 'and
those that provide a knowledgeable and helpful wine 'staff,
and stock favorable wines.'
When faced with a restaurant with a poor selection of
'wines or a server with no knowledge of wines, your best
'bet will be to order something you recognize. Even bad
'restaurants usually stock some familiar names that you
can 'rely on and that you know are worth the money.'
A wine list doesnt have to be lengthy in order to
be 'good. Restaurants that take pride in their wines hand
pick 'them to compliment their menus so you are likely
to have a 'good match with your meal. Another alternative
is enjoying 'wine by the glass instead of by the bottle.
Better 'restaurants will offer this choice as well as
quality 'house wines. Their staff should be well informed,
helpful, 'and respectful of your choices. They should
also be 'willing to replace any wines that are not up
Decide on your price range before ordering, and consider
'what type of food you will be eating If you let your
wine 'steward know what you will most likely be ordering,
he or 'she can help you make the best choice. You may
want to 'inform them that you are having, for example,
a seafood 'dish and that you enjoy something dryer. With
this 'information, they may be able to recommend a nice
'Chardonnay in your price range Selecting your wine should
'not be intimidating and a good wine steward should be
able 'to help you make a good decision if you ask.'
There are certain formalities that are involved in serving
'wine. Though they are mostly formalities, they are done
'for a reason and you should be aware of each step in
order 'to recognize good wine service.'
The first thing that will happen is that your wine will
be 'retrieved, brought to the table, and presented to
the 'person who ordered it with the label facing out.
This 'allows for verification that the wine is the correct
'bottle and vintage. '
Next, you will want to check the temperature of the bottle
'with your hand. This will enable you to determine if
your 'wine is too warm or too cold. If you find that your
wine 'is not the correct temperature, you can request
an ice 'bucket to chill it for a few minutes, or you can
leave it 'to sit at room temperature to warm it up a bit
Once you 'are satisfied with the temperature, you can
let the 'steward know you are ready to be served. Most
likely, 'this will not be necessary in a better restaurant'
Once the bottle has been opened, the cork will also be
'presented. Though it is not necessary to smell the cork,
'you may want to do so to check for a moldy smell, which
'could indicate that the wine is tainted. Squeezing the
'bottom end of the cork will allow the small amount of
wine 'there to be properly sensed.'
Whether or not you have chosen to sniff the cork, the
'waiter will pour a small amount into a glass to be tasted.
'This is to determine whether or not the wine is acceptable.'That
is not to say that you should use this opportunity to
'decide if you like the wine, but only to make sure that
'the wine is not flawed. Before you taste it, though,
you 'should also evaluate the wine using other senses.'
How does the wine look? Is it bright or is it cloudy or
'murky? If it is cloudy, notice if it is from sediment.
Red 'wines tend to develop a dark deposit over time, which
can 'be relieved with decanting. Reds that are not as
old 'should not have a brownish tinge and white wines
should 'look pale to yellow. Pieces of cork in the wine
are not 'great, but they do not make the wine faulty.
White 'crystals on the cork are caused by tantrates, which
are 'natural deposits in white wine and are also not signs
of 'bad wine.'
How does this wine smell? There are a few tell-tale signs
'that a wine is faulty. If it has a sherry-like smell,
it 'may be a sign of oxidation. If the wine smells like
'vinegar, it will most likely taste like vinegar. Rotten
'egg smell is a sign of fermentation and faulty 'wine-making.
A moldy or musty smell may indicate that the 'cork is
bad and the wine will have a dull taste. The smell 'of
sulphur (like a burning match) it is not necessarily a
'bad sign. Wineries sometimes use sulphur-dioxide to ensure
'freshness and it may be absorbed into the wine over time.
'This smell should lessen after standing for a few minutes.'
The purpose of swirling your wine is to release the aroma.
'After smelling the wine, you can taste it.'
Once you have used these methods to determine that you
'have selected a good wine, you should signal to your
wine 'steward that you are ready to be served. They will
then 'serve your party in a clock-wise fashion, ladies
first, 'and ending with your glass.
About The Author
Gusatore Delluva is the owner and founder of Avia Wine,
http://www.aviawine.com, a website dedicated to wine.
If you would like to learn more about wine you can find
more articles at: http://www.aviawine.com/newsletters/archive.shtml