Advice from a sommelier

Eliminate panic wine ordering
Advice from a sommelier
Photo on left: Courtesy of Food Fight. Photo on right: flicker photo by Wesley Nitsckie

Caitlin Suemnicht, chief creative officer and certified sommelier at Food Fight Restaurant Group, offers her top five suggestions to take the edge off when ordering wine in a restaurant.

1. Get the conversation rolling. Ask the bartender or a manager, “What’s your favorite?”

2. Ask for a half-pour or a taste before choosing the glass or bottle.

3. Go for something cheaper on the list. Chances are it’s a very good wine, one for which the producer is trying to raise awareness and that won’t remain at that price for long. Not sure? Ask.

4. Everyone’s palette and adjectives for describing wine are different. For instance, if you ask for a fruity wine, follow that up by mentioning a wine you enjoy, like a Sauvignon Blanc. This will steer your server in the right direction of the flavor profile you like.

5. Don’t be afraid of mispronouncing the wine or the producer. “Everyone does,” says Suemnicht.