faulty wine

”Yeah, it’s fine.”

A rant about wine service in restaurants.

Service is one of the exam components that is required to be a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. The one step that I would be surprised if anyone forgets is to offer a taste to the host or hostess (from here on out I will use the term “host” for both a male and female host). 

The reason why this is done is to allow the host to taste the wine and signify by a nod or a short verbal confirmation that the wine is “sound” or has no flaws. There are many things that could go wrong with a wine…maybe in another post we can chat about that…but the vast majority of the time, the wine is fine.  

It’s not to see if you like the wine or if it goes good with your food…once you’ve picked it, if it’s sound, this is now your bottle of wine to drink.  Why, truly, is this done? Can you imagine if they brought over one bite of steak and one frite to offer you before they put the plate in front of you to confirm if it’s not rotten or overcooked? It doesn’t happen.

It’s also really putting the host on the spot that they know something about wine. It took me several tries to know what a “corked” bottle of wine meant and what that smelled and tasted like. I feel this is one area of wine that has become so elitist. Unless the customers happens to be experienced with wine and its flaws, why should they be expected to know if the bottle is flawed or not?

Photo Credit:  This was taken off the TV from the show Degrassi High, when Joey takes his girl Caitlin out to dinner. Yes, this is the show that sparked the discussion in my household.  Thanks, Alex.

What do you think about the ritual of tasting wine when it’s given to you at the table?

PS One addition…if you are at a place that has a Sommelier…utilize them…they know what they are doing, and know that wine list the best…take their advice!