Top 12 restaurant wine gripes

Unannounced vintage variation

A subtle but keenly felt sense of grievance was felt by a small number of respondents who, upon placing a satisfactory wine order, were presented with a bottle from a different vintage from that advertised. This has to be seen as a pretty large faux pas on the part of the restaurant. Even if it relates to the cheapest, most basic wine on the list the sommelier or waiter has a duty to let the customer know.

Wine is an agricultural product whose quality varies from year to year by virtue differences in weather during the growing season. One numerical digit could mean the difference between a good evening with money well spent and a bad one filled with bitterness and resentment – restaurants take note.

 

2 Responses to “Top 12 restaurant wine gripes”

  1. pippa Hayward says:

    From a former restaurateur/sommelier (albeit with a reputation for a fairly priced and well chosen list) –
    yes the wine has to contribute to the restaurant’s running costs -which in the Uk and in stand alone restaurants without the benefit of the large margin you can make on room sales – are considerably higher than mainland Europe. If restaurants excused wine from contributing to running costs menus and food prices would have to rise to make the shortfall up . This is not rocket science.
    There is perception amongst some customers that restaurants don’t add any value to wine(in the way that a chef does to ingredients) but a good wine recommendation can make a meal
    Restaurants do have a duty of care to their customers and wines – to provide a carefully chosen selection, sold in a helpful , informative and kindly way with the sensitivity to make the right recommendation in style and budget for every client. Sommeliers are highly trained professionals -customers should expect to pay for their advice as part of wine pricing.
    Our own decision to make a far smaller margin on more expensive wines ensured that we sold those wines and that customers felt they were treated fairly .

    Then there is the question of training – restaurant staff should be taught how to serve wine correctly , not overfill glasses and be aware of the correct temperature -it’s simply part of good service .

  2. Jack Keenan says:

    I find that when I am presented with a bottle of white wine in a fine restaurant, and I taste and approve the wine and the vintage it is invariably too cold. The sommelier then begins to put the bottle in a bucket of ice or a “cold tube.” I say “No!, please it is too cold just leave it on the table.” The sommeliers invariably then say “thank goodness, you know wine…we hate to put it on ice, but most patrons insist!”

    Cold is the enemy of flavour!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters