Top tips for decoding a wine list

Wines by-the-glass

By the glass

A common belief that wines by-the-glass should be avoided has pervaded the industry in the past, with the cynics among us believing that in many cases these wines are either cheap table wine, or bottles that the restaurants want to sell of quickly due to minimal uptake on full bottles. Furthermore, it makes sense to buy by the bottle, as it almost always offers greater value than buying the same bottle by the glass. While this is the case at many restaurants, the dawn of Coravin and a carefully curated, rotating list of by-the-glass wines has made this risk negligible at the vast majority of restaurants.

In many cases, restaurants pride themselves on their by the glass offer, giving it as much thought as its full list, offering punters the chance to taste a selection of wines at a comparable, if slightly higher, cost of a full bottle. Take Les 110 de Taillevent in London for example, which as its name suggests, offers 110 wines by the glass. Likewise, 67 Pall Mall, like many London restaurants now uses Coravin to great effect. While it offers some 500 wines by the glass as standard, should members wish they could order a glass from the club’s 5,000-strong wine list, with its by-the-glass offer ranging from £7 to £667.

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