How to Read a Wine List – What You Need to Know
Be The Boss of Any Wine List
You don't need to understand every facet of a wine list; you just need to look like you do. Here's how:
- Look up the wine list online before you get to the restaurant. The difference between someone who commands the table and someone who gets tongue-tied over the wine list comes down to planning.
- When you are seated, take control and ask for the wine list. A good one will offer the producer, grape variety, region and vintage for each wine. Look for the regions or grape varieties that are familiar to you.
- Think about what you want to eat; then cut the wine list in half by opting for red or white. You don't need to mastermind the perfect pairing, but if you know you're in the mood for steak, stay away from that crisp Pinot Grigio. If you have a hankering for oysters, a full-bodied Cabernet won't be your best bet.
- Don't be afraid to ask your server or sommelier for an opinion. You may get a reassuring affirmation of your choice or a great recommendation for something you've never tried.