Saturday, January 4, 2014

Choosing Wine at a Restaurant - 4 Tips To Stay Calm Under the Pressure

It's been said that the thing people fear most is public speaking. That may be, but when at a restaurant and charged with the task of choosing a bottle of wine to go with dinner, many otherwise secure and confident people would rather run for the hills or at the very least hide under the table. Fear and mild panic sets in at the possibility of embarrassing themselves by making the wrong choice, especially if they are dining with their boss or other important contacts and they need to make the right impression.  This article covers four tips to help you make the right wine choice even if you know next to nothing about wine.

First, before sitting down at the table, prepare yourself mentally in advance and simply expect that the waiter will approach you with the wine list. Expect that you will be asked if you and your guests would like a bottle of wine to go with dinner and that you will be shown the wine list from which you will make your choice. Being ready like this will diffuse any surprise that you will be put on the spot to make such a selection.

Next, when the moment does arrive and your are handed the wine list, take a deep breath and just relax. Realize the task at hand is really quite trivial in the big scheme of things. You are merely choosing a bottle of wine, nothing more and nothing less. Realizing this can really help to calm your nerves and take the pressure off.

With the wine list in hand, your next step is to look it over quickly and determine how it is organized. Many times, restaurant wine lists are grouped by wine type, for example red and white. The list might also be organized by region or price. Either way, get a good feel so you can use this knowledge in the next and final step.

The fourth thing to do is to simply speak up. Doing this smoothly changes the wine selection task from a thing that you alone have to do to something that everyone participates in. Ask your guests what their preferences are, if any, in terms of the type of wine or a particular region they like. Use the wine list as a sort of script from which you can read. Also, ask the waiter to make recommendations from the list based on what entrees your guests will be ordering. Those suggestions along with everyone's preference will help you decide.

Choosing the right wine at a restaurant does not have to be a scary, daunting, or nerve-wracking task. Expect that you will be given this task, relax, scan the wine list, and ask questions. In the end, you probably can't go wrong with simply choosing one of the restaurant's house wines. The reputation of the restaurant is on the line so their house variety is most likely going to be good. If you cannot make a decision from among the other wines available, simply go with the house wine. Doing so makes your wine selection task very easy indeed.

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