Depending on your age, you may be too young to remember a time when in order to decide who was right in a debate among friends, you simply sided with the person who made the most convincing argument. Nowadays, however, smartphones make it easier than ever to look up facts, quickly settling the debate, and leaving no one to wonder who had the correct information.
Smartphones can be tempting companions when ordering wine as well, as their ability to quickly help you look up a bottle and read what others think about it can provide real comfort when you’re unsure what to order. But, if you want to avoid looking rude, try to resist the urge.
Most restaurants have at least one employee on the floor at all times whose job it is to be well versed in the wine offerings — whether that be a somm, server, manager, or the owner. These individuals are often usually involved in buying the wine too. This means they’ve likely tasted most of what’s on the list. So before you launch the browser or app on your phone to try and get third-party validation for a bottle you’re considering, have a conversation with them first.
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
If, after conversing with the somm, you still feel like you didn’t get the information you were looking for, and you absolutely have to check your phone, maybe to even read this site, try and be discreet about it. Head to the bathroom, step outside or hold the phone under the table. Just don’t sit there out in the open scanning the menu and talking loudly about how you read about the wine you’re about to order on VinePair. Be cool.
And if you happen to be at the rare restaurant where no one is able to help with the wine, then pull out your phone and take matters into your own hands. Permission granted.