Ordering wine in a restaurant can be intimidating to even the most seasoned diners. But it may be encouraging to know that at many quality establishments, almost every wine on the list will match well with the food and price scale of the restaurant. It may sound outlandish, but at many restaurants you could close your eyes, throw a dart for your choice and end up with an excellent wine.
But if you’re not into taking chances, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter for assistance. There are subtle ways to ask questions without feeling intimidated. For instance if cost is a concern, after ordering your food, point to a wine on the list that is the price you want to spend and simply say: “I’m looking for a wine in this price range that will match well with the food we’ve ordered.” This will avoid ending the evening with the surprise that your check is about the size of your mortgage payment. By keeping in mind a few safe and reliable regions and/or wine types, it’s possible to make a fine selection without recognizing specific vineyards or brands.
- Chardonnay (Australia; Chile) Pinot Grigio (Italy) Sauvignon Blanc (Chile)
- Chardonnay (California; Burgundy, France)
- Zinfandel (California) Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) Syrah (Australia) Rhone Region (France)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, California) Pinot Noir (Burg undy, France) Bordeaux Region (France)