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How do you order wine at restaurant?

(43 Posts)
Verr Sat 06-Apr-19 12:20:02

I've only just started enjoying wine, up till now I've preferred bottle beers or just soft drinks.

What would I say to the waiter/waitress if I saw this on the menu for e.g:


"Just a small glass of zinfandel, please?" is that right?

I struggle with knowing which main word to say ifykwim

SomewhereInbetween1 Sat 06-Apr-19 12:24:18

If you don't specify the brand of the wine when you order, you'll lost likely get the house wine of that particular variety which alleviates having to look through the wine list. For ref, a small glass is 125ml, medium is 175ml and a large is 250ml

BreastSideStory Sat 06-Apr-19 12:25:44

Yes that’s exactly how you should ask, also it’s white Zinfandel not just Zinfandel, you can get other varieties.
If you’re not sure how to pronounce the name of a wine on the menu don’t be embarrassed to ask, waiters don’t mind telling you and they’re happier knowing you’ve ordered the right thing

bengalcat Sat 06-Apr-19 12:27:27

You can always hold up the menu and say I’d like a large glass of this one please pointing to it

AnnaMagnani Sat 06-Apr-19 12:29:09

Usually it will say what comes by the bottle, and what by the glass and if there are choices of glass sizes.

So I'd just point at what I want in the menu and say "A glass of ...., please'

ziggiestardust Sat 06-Apr-19 12:31:44

Yes. Just hold up the menu and point to it saying an x size glass of this one please’. I am shit with pronunciation. You could also say ‘an x size glass of the house rose please’ which I have to say I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with how nice a restaurant’s house wine is. Not been disappointed yet.

Mrsjayy Sat 06-Apr-19 12:32:30

I just say a large glass of Pinot grigio or Rosè please depending what im in the mood for.

PenelopeFlintstone Sat 06-Apr-19 12:33:37

A lot of wines you wouldn't bother saying red or white though. We don't want the OP asking for a white chardonnay, a white pinot grigio, a red merlot, etc. It's usually fine just to ask by its name. The waiter will tell you if it comes in two colours and they have both.

Calic0 Sat 06-Apr-19 12:35:50

If the wines are numbered on the menu, I’ll often ask for a glass of “the number four” (for example). That means there is no question of which one you want if there happens to be more than one Zinfandel listed (and some wine lists look like Bibles!!)

Cheeserton Sat 06-Apr-19 12:36:04

Ugh, YABU to order white Zinfandel. Like melted jolly ranchers rather than wine.

TO be more serious, think about which wine styles you generally like, look at the list, see which ones are available per bottle, or by the glass, or half bottle, whichever you want, and ask for it! There's no secret trick here.

Lastly - do not be scared to ask for advice. If you want something crisp dry and fruity, ask for a recommendation if you're not sure. Restaurants really don't expect everyone to be some kind of expert and they're there to serve and help you. Enjoy!

DragonMamma Sat 06-Apr-19 12:36:34

I would say white Zinfandel in your example because the other Zinfandel is red.

There’s no need to say the colour for most wines but you’d need to if you were ordering a white Rioja, for example

BoobiesToTheRescue Sat 06-Apr-19 12:39:21

"house white please."

Or "that one <points>"

Verr Sat 06-Apr-19 12:51:40

if there are 2 Sauvignon Blancs how would you specify?




DIZZYTIGGER87 Sat 06-Apr-19 12:53:13

I work in a local pub the has 4 whites, 4 reds and 2 roses by the glass (plus more by the bottle).

People generally ask for a glass of white/red/rose, at which point I offer the options (no one read the wine menu).

Sometimes they ask for dry/medium white or full bodied red. I use guesswork then for what they want if they can't give a grape/blend. No one's complained yet.

Or if they know what they want they ask for a glass/bottle of merlot/zinfandel/pinot (if there is a chance we have 2 types of that wine I will ask for clarification). Sometimes they ask for a size, sometimes I have to ask what size.

It's very much like ordering any other drink (eg pint of ale/glass of coke). The wait/bar staff should be able to help, but if you can't pronounce, either use the numbers on the menu, or point.

DIZZYTIGGER87 Sat 06-Apr-19 12:55:20

If they offer 2 of the same blend, I'd just say sav blanc Jacobs creek please. (Actually I would say the cheapest/or the south African etc) but if they do 2 of the same blend by the glass they should check which you want.

AnnaMagnani Sat 06-Apr-19 13:07:31

So glad I was not the first to say you order by not saying Zinfandel at all grin

Have been sitting on my hands trying restrain my inner wine snob blush and have now clearly failed blushblush

Anyway they produce Jacobs Creek by the shipping container so the markup you are paying to buy it by the glass in a wine bar would make it a no from me.

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Sat 06-Apr-19 13:17:34

"Can I have the largest glass of the strongest Sauvignon Blanc please"

Halloumimuffin Sat 06-Apr-19 13:18:53

I would always order by the grape name, so pinot grigio, merlot etc.

If there is more than one, I would either add a geographical qualifier (the New Zealand sauvignon blanc, not the chilean) or literally just say sauvignon blanc, the cheaper one. Normally if they have two they will ask for clarification anyway so I wouldn't worry.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 06-Apr-19 13:20:13

I’d go for the Jacob’s Creek, large of course.

Halloumimuffin Sat 06-Apr-19 13:20:44

Also don't be afraid to ask for recommendations - this is how I branched out from my old favourite sauvignon blanc into picpoul, verdejo and albarino whites.

hayf Sat 06-Apr-19 13:33:48

Most waitstaff haven't got a clue about the wines or how good they are tbh, so you really don't need to be embarrassed. Your average restaurant or pub has a pretty standard selection, nicer restaurants have sommeliers who are always happy to recommend

Alwaysonarecce Sat 06-Apr-19 13:51:44

Bengalcat - grin

StrawberrySquash Sat 06-Apr-19 13:55:18

If it's New World then I'd say the grape variety with clarification if needed. So if there are two Sauvignon Blancs then specify New Zealand or Oyster Bay. White Zinfandel is an exception in needing to specify the colour as it's rosé, generally Zinfandel is red.

New world there is more often a French Château or region. So you ask for Chablis, Prosecco or Rioja. Again default Rioja red, you would specify white Rioja. On the whole there's a word you recognise. That's generally what the serving person will too, but there's an element of judgement. If it's a long list or there's possible confusion, I always point too as wine names are complicated.

PersonalityLines Sat 06-Apr-19 14:02:09

If you've got a bit of time to do some reading, perhaps start with Jancis Robinson's 24 hour wine expert book. The wine folly website is great too, especially the maps. And if you're up for a challenge try the WSET courses.

DarlingCoffee Sat 06-Apr-19 14:05:51

I second the WSET courses the basic one is a lot of fun plus you get to do wine tasting in the name of education grin

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