Why Telling People They Should Never Order Wine By The Glass Is Awful Advice


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Wine By The Glass - It's Not A Ripoff

Today Business Insider published a story advising readers that they should never order wine by the glass at a restaurant.  They gave three reasons:

  1. Glass markups are higher than wines by the bottle.
  2. Wine people (snobs) don’t order wine by the glass, so neither should you.
  3. Restaurants sell unfinished bottles of wine as by the glass options.

What terrible advice to give to patrons based upon pretty ridiculous reasons.

Drinking wine by the glass allows you to experience many different kinds of wine, and explore what you do and do not like. Being able to drink wine by the glass allows you to make mistakes and learn more about wine, without having to feel guilty about ordering a whole bottle that you may wind up hating.

If you’re at a restaurant that values its customers, they would never gouge you with the by the glass option — and these are the exact types of places where you should feel comfortable to try new things and explore. Places that actually care about wine and their patrons take great pride in the wines they offer by the glass. They select interesting offerings, and they take care of the bottles after they open them, so that everyone has a great experience with the wine.

The assertion that wine pros don’t order wine by the glass is BS as well. We know plenty of wine professionals that order wines by the glass for the same reason you should: sometimes it’s the best way to try something new. Making this claim is a complete generalization and an insult to people who like to explore.

And as to the point that by the glass options are a way to get rid of leftover wine, we defer to our resident wine geek, and respected restaurant owner Keith Beavers:

I have had situations where a customer will not like a bottle that was described properly and ask for another after just tasting the wine. For example, last weekend a table ordered an Aglianico and it didn’t jive with them immediately, so instead of wasting a full bottle of good wine, we took it as an opportunity to pour a wine by the glass that we wouldn’t normally offer, which was quickly consumed by regulars. If the bottle would have been corked, we would have of course poured it down the drain.

However, at In Vino I would NEVER sell “people’s leftovers” as a by the glass option. If a table doesn’t finish a bottle that’s always a great excuse for a “spontaneous staff training!” I want my staff to taste every wine on our list, and sometimes trying a leftover bottle is the best way!

Not to mention reselling wine would be a CLEAR health code violation . . .

Finally, we have to assume Joe Campanale’s quotes were taken out of context, because for someone who has such incredible by the glass programs at each of his restaurants, we can’t imagine he would advocate not exploring them.

So heed not Business Insider’s BS advice, go forth, explore, and order wine by the glass!

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