Top tips for decoding a wine list

If in doubt, ask for help

Ask for help

As with asking a stranger for directions, asking for advice about wine from a sommelier can be seen by some as an admission that we don’t know what we are talking about. Which is silly, really, as that is 99% of a sommelier’s job.

To the trained sommelier, an engaged and curious consumer is what makes the job worthwhile. Sommeliers love to share their knowledge and passion for wine with their customers, especially over a list that they have most likely had a hand in curating. Even those well versed in the world of wine should not refrain from asking for advice, with sommeliers often the most direct route to the best tips, able to point you toward the better vintages, bin ends or one off special bottles that could be available.

Describing a style or country that you are already are familiar with and enjoy will also go a long way in helping a sommelier guide you to a successful purchase.

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