We can thank the Romans for bringing the art of growing grapes and making wine to all of the areas they conquered over the centuries. But the homeland of the empire, Italy, has been making delicious wines for thousands of years. That means they know what they are doing.
Unfortunately, many of the great Italian wines are from native grapes and species we have never heard of. Many people are familiar with Barolo and Barbaresco from the Piedmont area, as well as the elegant Chiantis from Tuscany, but this barely scratches the surface of the wines available from Italy.
Every restaurant tries to strike a balance between offering an impressive and encyclopedic wine list with one that its customers can pick a selection from with relative ease.
But the kinds of restaurants we typically wine-and-dine clients at usually fall at the phone book-sized end of the spectrum, where they offer hundreds of wines in every variety to choose in pairing with your food.
While it would be tempting to spend an hour or two perusing such a list, the pressure is on to choose something fast; you can tell your guests are thirsty and their parched eyes are boring into you waiting for your decision.
There’s a famous line from the movie “The Jerk” where Steve Martin finishes a bottle of 1966 Chateau Latour Bordeaux the waiter asks if he would like another. Martin says no, he’d like to splurge and get some fresh stuff – “no older than this year.”
We all have a few favorite restaurants that deliver amazing service, great food and … an uninspiring wine list. Fortunately, there is an alternative to forcing yourself to drink something you don’t want: it’s an ideal time to bring that special bottle of wine, or two, from your cellar along with you. But how do you do it? Continue reading “How to Bring a Bottle of Wine to a Restaurant”
One of the challenges when we go out to eat is pairing the right wine with whatever we’ve ordered. That hurdle only gets higher when we’ve taken out clients for a night on the town and it’s our role to choose the wine for the meal.
So what do you do when people start placing their food orders – and they’re all over the menu? I remember a time I took three clients out to a meal at a lovely continental restaurant and all four of us ordered something different: there was one steak order, one order of Chilean sea bass, one person chose lamb, and the fourth person, a vegetarian, chose the pasta. Continue reading “Red, White, Or Rose? Pairing Wine When People Order Different Meals”
Imagine you’re out to dinner with clients. You’ve taken them to a nice place, the kind of restaurant that employs a sommelier to help you with your wine selection. It’s high class all the way and you know you’re going to get something delicious no matter what. Then the moment of truth arrives: The sommelier opens your bottle for you and then hands you the cork cradled inside a serviette.
While that’s all well and nice, what the heck are you supposed to do with that cork? Your cheeks probably flush knowing that your clients, let alone the sommelier, are staring at you to see what you do. How do you not embarrass yourself? Do you smell it, feel it, lick it or what?