When you’re strolling through the wine section in the liquor store or purusing the wine list at a restaurant is there really a huge difference between the $10 bottle and that $25 bottle? If the waiter or wine store sales guy recommends something and you’re stumped, how can you make sure you aren’t getting ripped off?
Sometimes you can really be misled. A few friends and I attended a wine tasting recently at a very posh restaurant. They had a specialty list just for the event, and when a few wines had prices like “$50”, “$75” and “$100” next to it, we figured, surely, that had to be the price per bottle. Oh yeah, when our check came we found out the unfortunate news, those were the prices per GLASS! Let’s just say it was a good thing we had a few glasses of the very.expensive.wine! Because it helped numb the pain of paying the bill! Of course we should have asked for clarification before we ordered, but it was such an upscale place we didn’t want to sound tacky. And we paid for it. Big time.
How can you make sure you aren’t paying too much? Wine guru Rosina Wilson shared her top ten tips on how not to get duped.
10 Ways to Not Get Ripped Off Buying Wine
Ordering Wine at a Restaurant:
1. Don’t let the server intimidate you. His or her job, after all, is to please "you," the customer. And although you don’t need to know anything at all about wine to enjoy it, or order it, a little knowledge does help.
For instance, if you know that Pinot Noir is a lighter red wine and Cabernet is heavier, you might order a pork chop and say “I’d like some red wine, but I don’t want anything too big (strong, overwhelming) for the pork.” You can ask about Pinot Noir or other light reds, match your food well, and get your money’s worth.
2. Do some homework. If you’re planning to dine at a restaurant that has a website, a little “homework” beforehand will enhance your experience - and help you spend your money wisely - especially when it comes to wine.
A restaurant with a well-chosen wine list is generally proud enough of it to post the list, along with its menu, online. Why not browse the wine offerings in advance for bargains? You might discover a little-known treasure. And if you want to take the next step, your favorite Internet search engine is just a few clicks away!
3. Order the right amount. Not long ago, most restaurants sold wine by the bottle ~ period. Now, with more diners ordering wine and wanting to pair it with food, many restaurants have started offering wines in half-bottles and by the glass.