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Old 04-07-2006, 08:28 AM   #1
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Tasting Wine

A post on another thread made me remember this situation that was very embarrassing to my family a number of years ago. We went out to dinner with some friends (I was just a kid at the time). One of the people we went out with was a self proclaimed wine expert so when it came time to order the wine he took it upon himself to do the honors. That was fine with everyone and we were looking forward to what he would pick. He chose a bottle (I have no idea what kind it was. I was too young to care) and the waiter brought it over and poured a little into his glass to taste. He took a sip and said it was awful and sent it back and then picked another wine. The waiter brought another bottle over and poured a taste. The guy did the same thing. Said it was disgusting and sent it back just to pick another new bottle.

I was young and did not know any better, but my parents was amazingly embarrassed. They told me after we left that the ONLY reason you send a wine back is if it has gone bad (IE: turned to vinegar). Just because you don't like the wine is no reason to send it back. I learned a great lesson that day. I just hope the guy we went to dinner with eventually learned the same lesson. I do not think we ever went out with them to a restaurant that served wine again

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Old 04-07-2006, 08:44 AM   #2
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I totally agree, you don't order the oysters on a half shell and send them back because you wanted to taste them and then figure out you don't like them, I hate it when people send back wine just because they didn't know what top order and wanted to "taste it" These people must realize you don't send back wine unless like GB said, it is vinigary or flawed in some other way. If these people want to sample wine, they need to do it on their own time.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:56 AM   #3
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I'm no wine expert at all but do enjoy several varieties. We went out with with some very close friends of ours a few summers ago and I decided to try a glass of red wine. Needless to say it was awful but I didn't say anything and gently pushed the glass away from me and when the waitress returned I polietly asked if I could have a glass of ....(don't remember). She questioned if something was wrong with the wine and I polietly told her I did not like the flavor and she removed it from the table and when the bill was presented we found she did not charge me for it. I didn't expect her to do this. I didn't like the wine it wasn't her or the resturants fault. It just didn't agree with my taste buds.
I agree that one should not send something back that they do not like. Granted the excludes meat that isn't cooked properly.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:23 AM   #4
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I agree with GB's parents with one exception. If you go to a restaurant and ask the wine steward or waiter to recommend a bottle and it's not as they represented it, I'd refuse it.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:28 AM   #5
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There really are a few schools of though on this issue.

One is that you're paying good money for wine, and you should have the right to send it back. However, I do think that you do owe the restaurant at least a small amount of research in picking out a wine.

If nothing else, ASK YOUR SERVER. They may not be a sommilier, but they should at least have some basic suggestions. If you can point them in the direction you want to go (red, white, sweet, dry, etc..) so much the better!

There's nothing wrong with telling them that you'd like a wine, but don't know what to get - odds are you'll get a nice middle of the road wine that will play nice with what you're planning on ordering. Remember, they WANT you to be happy.

If you pick it by yourself, and you just don't like it - I don't think you should send it back.

If it's bad, it's bad, and it should go back. No question.

John
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I agree with GB's parents with one exception. If you go to a restaurant and ask the wine steward or waiter to recommend a bottle and it's not as they represented it, I'd refuse it.
Absolutely! Good Call Andy!

In nicer establishments, I'd even hazard a guess that some of them would want you to send it back if you weren't happy with their selection.

John
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:33 AM   #7
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I can see sending it back if you asked for advice and was mislead, but not if you pick it yourself and just don't like it. To me it would be the same as ordering a meal, say Chicken Kiev, and sending it back once you taste it because you don't like ham.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:34 AM   #8
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Keep in mind that whatever you reject at the table goes to the kitchen
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:38 AM   #9
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LOL If I were a waiter of cook then I would have my friends come in and order and send back EVERYTHING
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:04 PM   #10
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when i was in my early 20's, i remember thinking it was silly to taste wine being served in a restaurant. i wouldn't have known good wine from bad, so why bother.
but then it just seemed like proper protocol, so whenever i was on a date, i obliged if for nothing else to impress my date a little. i still thought it a waste of time.
but on a trip to california, i remember talking to a friendly waiter about wines, and mentioned that i don't bother to taste wine first, never having been disappointed. he said that over the years, he has served tens of thousands of bottles, and every so often you get a bad one, so if you're gonna lay out the dough, you should always taste wine before it's served because you might just be one of the lucky few to get a skunked bottle.

so ever since then, i always taste the wine, to be sure it's ok. in fact, unless i'm in a low budget kinda place, i question it if a waiter doesn't offer a taste, or worse, brings an already opened bottle to the table.
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