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Old 11-11-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Question Question about wine served at a resturant

I was at a resturant bar the other day and saw a woman order a glass of red wine. When her wine came out, they brought the empty glass and a tiny baby carafe that her wine was in. The server put the empty glass down and then poured the wine from the carafe into the glass. Sever only poured part of the wine into the glass, the glass was only like 1/2 full and rest was left in carafe.

I've never seen any other place do this. Does anyone know why? I'm not a wine drinker, but have heard about wine needing to breathe. I thought the little carafe was so cute! But then I thought about the one extra dish they'd have to load and wondered what's the purpos of this. Functionality/taste (wine needs to breathe??) or looks??


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Old 11-11-2006, 10:05 AM   #2
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I am no wine expert, but from what I know, when you pour a glass of wine you are only supposed to pour a little bit into the glass. Most people fill the glass or at least go half way and this is not the correct way (according to people who care about such things) to do it.

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Old 11-11-2006, 10:25 AM   #3
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For sure wine needs to breathe before serving. Looks may be also of some importance to the owners of the restaurant at least. However, what I hope was the reason is to provide a measure for the quantity of wine served as one glass. In my experience, the quantity of wine that amounts to one glass can vary greatly from restaurant to restaurant and this leaves me always with a bad taste when I feel short-changed by being served a tiny quantity of wine when I order one glass of it.

To reiterate, I am not at all sure that the purpose of the little carafe was to measure the correct quantity of wine. I just hope that it was and just as much I hope that this practice is adopted by all restaurants so that the customer has a clear idea of just how much one glass of wine is.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Bouf, that's an interesting point. I've never really thought about the amt being served at different bars. Though I would imagine w/ the carafe it would be great quantity control for the resturant.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:11 PM   #5
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Custom is to fill a wine glass 1/3 to 1/2 full. If you do that, the customer feels cheated not getting a full glass of wine. Providing a small carafe with the wine allows you to give the customer a "full" measure.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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A "normal" glass of wine is a 6-7 oz. pour. The carafe is for portion control and also for looks. It doesn't help the wine breathe or with any flavor component of the wine.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:40 PM   #7
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In UK a "glass" of wine is a standard measure. In pubs/less expensive restaurants you may well be served your wine in a glass with a line on it showing the glass is a full measure. This results in an overfilled glass and in cases where the house wines are deserving of full apprieciation it is frustrating to not be able to take a surupticious squirl of the glass to release the aroma before you taste it.. A carafe seems like a good solution to this for me. The only other option in UK (due to legislation) is to use a measure glass (the wine glass with the line on it) fill it, and then pour that into an unmarked glass of the same size....so two glasses to wash up and still an overfilled glass, just without the line. It is for this reason I often feel obliged to buy a bottle, LOL :) (jke!)
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:02 PM   #8
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What IronChef says is the "real" reason. The new style of wine glasses a la Riedel model are HUGE glasses. Some hold a full bottle of wine if filled to the top. We consumers are so used to having a wine glass filled to a certain level of service. With these new glasses, when you pour a 6 oz. portion, it looks pretty unimpressive in that large glass and the customer thinks he's being shorted.
DD is a sommelier at a fine dining restaurant in Denver. This is the way their wines are served--to assure the customer that he is receiving a "glass of wine".
The breathing is yet another part. But it is mostly portion control.
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:01 PM   #9
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If a bottle of wine is purchased, some will decant the wine at the table and give the cork to the head of the table. I'm sure the server was trying to be impressive by mimicking this techniqe. It's just a higher level of service and probably jacked the price up a couple bucks. Red wine does need to breath so it is served in a wide glass no more than half full.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:21 PM   #10
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That's a very good restaurant!! The purpose of the decanter being brot to the tabel is two fold - a wine glass should only be filled 1/2 way so it can be swirled to release the bouquet - and if that's all the patron was given, he/she would probably feel cheated. Hence, the decanter with the balance of a glass of wine.

I just wish more restaurants would do this!

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