Top tips for decoding a wine list

Wine lists can be an unfathomable minefield of names, numbers and regions to the uninitiated, even to the seasoned pro, so any tips that might help one navigate their way through a lengthy list and to a winning wine are welcome.

For the most part, the vast majority of consumers will cast their eye over a list, match a suitable price with a region or style they are familiar with and end it there. Why suffer the pain and indignation of plundering through a list of intimidating terms and spiralling prices?

In truth, many might feel out of their depth when scouring a list, and many more compelled (somewhat blindly) to plump for the “second most expensive on the list” – a mantra that has at least helped to make the experience less laboured. But this approach limits the fun of exploring a list that a sommelier will have arduously compiled. What’s more, restaurateurs are onto it, and, if you are to believe the rumours, will in some cases increase the margins of the wine directly above the house wine as a result.

So how should the average consumer hope to navigate a list, and how can wine professionals help to make their experience at a restaurant more pleasurable, not to mention profitable, for all of those concerned.

Click through for some top tips on how to tackle a wine list…

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