When the Wine Arrives

After you have ordered it is easy to forget it.  That’s not the best course to follow.

Once the server or sommelier returns to your table, they will present you with the bottle of wine. At this point, make sure the label matches what you have ordered and check for any signs of dirt or deterioration, even mold, on the label.

Don’t be distracted at this point by conversation. There have been instances of wine being poured that wasn’t at all what was ordered just because the person did not take time to read the label when presented.  If the wine is wrong or shows signs of not being kept properly, send it back for a different bottle.  It’s better to err on the side of caution than to serve your guests a bad bottle of wine.

If you approve of the wine presented, give your waiter the okay to uncork the wine.

Once uncorked, the waiter will set the cork in front of you.  Please do not smell the cork. You will not ascertain anything about the wine from the smell of the cork.

It is the look of the cork that you need to observe. You may want to lift up the cork and examine it to see if it feels moist, meaning the wine was stored properly.  If the cork is dry or crumbling, be sure to point this out to the server.  Corked wines have a musty flavor.  It is okay to request a new bottle if you find the wine has spoiled or become “Corked”.

Take a quick look at the cork.  If it appears moist, you don’t need to do anything with it other than just let it be.


The waiter will pour a small amount into your glass.  At this point, you are not tasting the wine for flavor, but just to make sure it is still good. You will have to pay for the wine you ordered, as long as it has not turned bad.  If the wine is good, give a nod and the server will pour wine for your guests, finishing with your glass.


Receiving a pat on the back   


Congratulations, you have successfully ordered wine for a party using your keen senses and impeccable taste. Delight in the moment and rest assured that you have passed the test in choosing a wine for dinner. The next time you’re at a fancy restaurant, show off your skills and offer to choose the wine with your newfound confidence!


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