Deciphering the Wine List
Andrea Immer, host of the Fine Living Network’s Simply Wine, suggests the following in Real Simple Magazine.
Have a clear idea of what you want to spend before you even open the wine list. A good rule of thumb is to take the price of the most expensive entrée as a baseline and then go up to about 50 percent more than that. If it’s $18 for the steak, your ballpark should be $18 to $27. Why use this formula? The restaurant assumes most people will pay about the price of an entrée’ for a bottle, so they work hardest to find good-quality wines in that price range.
Taste is the next guideline. Eliminate half the menu by choosing red or white, then go one step further and choose by grape variety, picking one that is crowd-pleasing and versatile. A no fail white grape is Riesling and the red grape Shiraz is superb.
If you’re getting just a glass, ask for a taste of it before you commit. This is completely legitimate, and some restaurants will even serve you half a glass if you ask.
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