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Old 12-19-2005, 09:58 AM
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Default Ordering wine in restaurants

I just turned 21, and it occurred to me that if I'm ever at a decent restaurant, it's probably normal to get wine with dinner. As I currently know absolutely nothing about wine, other than that Pinot Noir is apparently the end-all of all wines, how do I go about picking a good one?

I'm not quite as concerned with picking something whose taste will blow my mind as I am the social aspect...i.e. if I'm with a date, is it normal to confer with her and choose a bottle to share? Or for us each to get a glass of whatever the hell we feel like? Passing knowledge of wine in general that would keep me from looking like a retard would help as well.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2005, 10:35 AM
Kurn, son of Mogh Kurn, son of Mogh is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

As I currently know absolutely nothing about wine, other than that Pinot Noir is apparently the end-all of all wines

ROFLMAO, where'd you hear that??? Let me guess, you saw the movie "Sideways."

Seriously, Pinot is good, and some are great, but there is no such thing as "the best" wine. Like anything else, it's taste, and what you want the wine to do. (what food it accompanies, etc.)

There are some foods with which even the best Pinot Noir would be a terrible choice. Like poker advice, wine advice needs to be applied to specific circumstances.

Although as a rule of thumb, any wine that either comes in a box or can be opened without a corkscrew should be considered off limits(hint: to sound like a real wine geek, call a corkscrew a "wine key")
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:37 AM
Yeti Yeti is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

Get the second cheapest bottle of white.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2005, 10:40 AM
Los Feliz Slim Los Feliz Slim is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

[ QUOTE ]
Get the second cheapest bottle of white.

[/ QUOTE ]

This has been the standard play for so long I think restaurants inflate the price of the second cheapest bottle even more than usual. I'm going third cheapest these days.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2005, 10:50 AM
RunDownHouse RunDownHouse is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

If you're at a decent restaurant, your waiter should be able to suggest a wine that will be a basic compliment to your meal. Do a little web research to learn the absolute basics (white with seafood, red with steak, riesling with dessert, etc) so you can tell if your server is an absolute idiot.

If you aren't at a nice enough place for the waiters to have wine knowledge, do more extensive research. Knowing general rules of thumb for pairings should be fine unless you want to become an expert, in which case you're better off taking a class than asking OOT.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

Find a good byob place so you can bring a decent wine with you for cheap.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2005, 11:13 AM
mrkilla mrkilla is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

Asking your date is a nice touch but what makes you think she knows more then you. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Ask her if she likes red or white , though not all wines go with all meals. as a rule of thumb red goes with "red things" (IE Marinara/Meat Sauce, Steak, Lamb) and whites with ( Garlic/Creame sauces,Chiken, fish or Pork). Though its not a hard and fast rule

I would shy away from a Cab. until you try it (IE get a glass before you buy a bottle) there delicious but you may not like it. You may get alot of people telling you to get one.

2 Good "dinner" wines are Merlot (for red) and Pinot Grigio (for white) both are light and dry easily drinkable.

a good "girlie" wine is White Zinfandel , thats the "pink" or blush wine alot of the ladies enjoy, its sweet though not usually good for dinner, just for drinking.

Also I wouldnt go "Nuts" with trying to impress her with the best bottle of wine, chances are niether of you will know the diffrences.

Getting into wine is like getting into scotch the more you start drinking it the more you want to try others. Keep going until you find a style you like then you can start drilling into the brands/years etc etc.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2005, 11:59 AM
MuckerFish MuckerFish is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

Here's a little trick that may help in a pinch. It's by no means scientific or an absolute, but it's a good starting point if you've had little experience with wine, or if you are choosing a wine for other people, and aren't sure what to get based on meal pairing.

How you/another person likes their coffee,etc usually correlates with what kind of wines you/they may like. So from boldest to lightest:

Black coffee/ unsweetened coffee: Cab or Red Zinfidel
Regular coffee (ie cream+sugar): Merlot or syrah
Light coffee(light or real sweet) or a dark tea drinker: Pinot Noir
Lighter teas or tea with sugar: Charddoney
Tea with cream+sugar: Pinot Grigiot,

This is a real loose guideline, but will help in a pinch. Obviously there's a ton of variables. Some Chards can be bolder that a pinot noir, etc, but no need to worry about it now. Get out there and try a bunch of different wines and see what you like. Don't fret too much over wine/food pairing, as it is a personal thing. You should choose a wine because you like it, not because it's "supposed" to go with something. For example, I love bold cabs, so I generally drink it with just about any food. But in general, a heartier meal pairs better with bolder wine. ie: red meats with bigger wine, chicken/seafood with lighter wines.

Hope it helps.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2005, 12:02 PM
HDPM HDPM is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

"Although as a rule of thumb, any wine that either comes in a box or can be opened without a corkscrew should be considered off limits(hint: to sound like a real wine geek, call a corkscrew a "wine key")"


I don't think this is a rule anymore. More good wine is bottled with stelvin closures all the time. And recently I decided to try one of the new boxed wines because the convenience of the preservation made it good for when you want one glass of mediocre wine. It isn't bad. Also, more wines are going to be put in other packages. Cheaper, easier, and in many cases superior for inexpensive wines. More good wines are lost to bad corks than most want to think about, and cork is getting more expensive.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2005, 12:04 PM
fyodor fyodor is offline
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Default Re: Ordering wine in restaurants

I like my coffee black and my wine red. Chianti with meat.
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