A comprehensive, varied wine list has become indispensible for any restaurant with the ambition of providing not just a meal but a memorable dining experience.
However, once a wine has been selected by the diner, it must be served in the best way possible in accordance with precise rules.
A restaurant is not obliged to employ a sommelier, a qualified wine steward exclusively in charge of serving wines, but it should have an appropriately tutored employee who knows all about the characteristics of the wines in the restaurant’s cellar and can provide diners with any information they may require.
Once the wine of the day, or the one the diner has chosen, is taken from the cellar it should be brought to the table and shown to the customer while describing the characteristics of the wine and the winery where it was made, the serving temperature and the appropriate pairings with dishes on the menu.
Only now should the bottle be uncorked then placed on a trolley next to the table or somewhere the customer can see the bottle at all times.
Using the corkscrew’s foil cutter, remove the foil from the top of the bottle, then gently insert the worm and pull out the cork. Wrap the bottle in a napkin so that any wine drops do not stain the label.
The wine server will then taste it to make sure it has no defects before asking a diner to taste the wine – don’t take for granted nowadays that a male diner will taste it, it’s always best to ask first.
Once the wine has the customer’s approval, start serving it in order, from each diner’s right side. As you finish pouring each glass, twist your wrist slightly to avoid any drops that could stain the label. The customer must be able to see the label at all times.