[NYT] Should Restaurants Offer Guests That First Taste of Wine?


This is why I think it’s done for show in most restaurants and unnecessary. I can’t remember being given the cork to smell in years. It’s alway some perfunctory pour, sip, nod, big pour. Do they take it away and decant or pour it thru an aerator? Usually not.

With that said, in the case of @Jason and others who are wine enthusiasts and think of their wine selection as carefully as they do their food - and request a somm - then yes it probably is not some perfunctory function.


The Mozzaplex has an excellent selection of wines and I think the many wines I’ve had there were always in good shape and the right temperature. Nancy Silverton has high standards.


Oh okay. I ask about the Mozza restaurants because early write-ups and interviews emphasized how Bastianich carefully built the wine program, bladdy, blah. I was wondering if enthusiasts felt it was superior, average, or what?


…and @robert just answered my question. :slight_smile: I would imagine theirs would be good given the chefs profiles, the way in which they promote the restaurants and the fact that they have a lot of space for proper storage. Thanks!


Probably less common than it used to be, but far from eradicated.

Wines can also get TCA from various sources prior to bottling. I’ve never encountered such a bottle myself, and perhaps improved winery practices have eradicated that.


Speaking of screw caps - what do you think of them?


That was interesting.


I’d be happy if all wine came with screwcaps or similar no-tools-required closures such as Vinolocs.

Austria and New Zealand are ahead of most of the world on doing away with corks even in the finest wines.


robert, do I remember that it was Plumpjack some years ago who very deliberately bottled a quite expensive bottle with a screw top to try to get people over that prejudice?


Wow, cool.

Oh sweet. I’m not an enthusiast and have minimum wine knowledge. But I’ve been enjoying Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand for quite some time. One of my favorite budget bottles is a screw top.

:champagne: :wine_glass: :cheese:


We drink wine almost every day but I know little to nothing about it. But I also like NZ SB’s.


Same goes in our house, particularly those Marlborough. My wife is allergic to red wine, so Sauv Blanc is usually our go-to unless I’m cooking a meal that complements red.

Our faves right now are Whitehaven and Kirkland (Ti Point) brand. QPR is great great on Kirkland. I think it’s around $7/bottle.


in the case of @Jason and others who are wine enthusiasts and think of their wine selection as carefully as they do their food - and request a somm - then yes it probably is not some perfunctory function.

Let me clarify a bit, if I may. I spent 40+ years working in the wine trade: retail and restaurants; wholesale and import; and in wineries, both in production and sales. I have been a wine writer for national and regional magazines, as well as local newspapers, and I had a wine show on FM radio in the Monterey Bay. I’ve served as a wine judge in various competitions, been part of tasting panels for several national publications, and have served on the California State Fair’s Wine Competition Advisory Board for the past 20 or so years.

This does NOT mean I’m an expert. I am not. I always have more to learn. That said, when it comes to restaurants, I rarely ask the somm for a wine recommendation, but may ask of him or her something like, “Do you know which wine is drinking better now, Chateau Cache Phloe or Domaine Jean Deaux?” and then make my final selection from among those two.

BTW, sometimes the wine is selected before the food. Many times, we have contacted a specific chef that we like, presented them (or the restaurant’s somm, if they have one) with a list of wines we wish to bring into the restaurant, and ask the kitchen to make a meal around these wines. It’s actually rather fun!


That sounds like GREAT fun!


…and teach. That’s a lot.


Thank you. That’s very kind.