How to Order Wine at a Restaurant

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

Know how to order wine in a restaurant? Annabelle is asked to meet her friend and offer some guidance on the process. But, in true WineScribble style, the wine story gets very exciting. Find out about the wine selection, the restaurant table service, what to do when you are given the cork, and how to test for wine flaws in the restaurant. Also, what should you actually do with that first small pour? The first smell and sip in the restaurant can make all the difference to your wine tasting experience. Find out how to taste wine in a restaurant, and enjoy the presentation!

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Video Transcript

Hey Tasters! Today I’m meeting my friend Vassilis for shopping. He sent me a DM on Instagram this morning telling me, “Emergency Anna, I need new sunglasses! Meet me in town at 10 a.m.” Don’t ask me why he hasn’t said. Let’s go! Emergency sunglasses?!

Hey Tasters! I’m here outside the sunglasses shop waiting for Vassilis to show up.

There is a telephone message tone. It’s not mine. Well, it’s not mine. Oh, it’s the white phone! The white phone?

A confession

Annabelle come closer. What’s wrong? Listen to me Annabel. What is it? Annabel who’s been friends for a long time and there’s not a lot I haven’t told you, but I have been holding something back. Am I going to need a glass of Bordeaux to get through scene?

Annabelle I’m a spy! You’re a what? You heard me, I’m a spy! Oh, that’s so cool. Do you get dental with that? And all this time I thought you were just a computer teacher. Yes, that’s my code name “the computer teacher”. Wow, that’s a long code name, seven syllables or something. So why are you telling me now? Annabelle, I need your help. How can I help? Do you need emergency sunglasses? You can borrow mine. No, Anna this is bigger than sunglasses. The shopping was just a cover to get you here. I have loads of sunglasses, this is Cyprus!

A request for help to order wine in a restaurant

I don’t need sunglasses Anna, I need wine help. I can help you with that. An agent is doing a drop off, here in Larnaca, at Vinaria wine bar. Oh, they have nice tapas menus! My contact is gonna drop of a micro SD card in plain sight. Any of the other diners might be spy, sent to intercept him. If they realise I have it they will take it off me, one way or another. That’s why my boss is sending the Somm.

Is this an actual sommelier? Court of Master Sommeliers level 4, Court of Master Assassins level 3. He needs to retake the practical. So what do you need me for? Well here’s the thing Annabelle I don’t know how to order wine in a restaurant, and if I draw attention to myself in any way, or if I hesitate, it’s game over. I can help you with that. Annabelle, I’m worried about this mission. I need you to come with me. Sure I’ll come with you. Let’s go order some wine.

How to order wine: The Wine List

So Annabelle, what should i do first? You need to ask to see the wine list. Excuse me can we see the wine list please? Thank you. Thank you very much.

This is our menu. It is good because in the position of the page, it tells you exactly everything what’s going on in Vinaria. The concept and what we do here.

How to order wine: Choose Your Food

So what do you think we are going to eat? Right, I love this place. Look three menus. So this is for after 2 o’clock in the afternoon until 11 o’clock at night. What time is now? It’s 11:00. 11:00 in the morning, so actually we should look at the breakfast menu, and this is their specials for the day. I think while it’s still early let’s have the breakfast cheese board. You’re gonna share that with me? Let’s go with cheese. Yeah cheese.

Okay, we’ve chosen what we’re eating what sort of wine pairs with that? Generally with a breakfast menu you probably want to order a sparking wine. No, no sparkling wines, the microSD card will be hidden in the cork. It may just fly around the room and we’ll lose it. So, you want to appear like an average diner. So you want order a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for a light meal such as a salad. For heavier dishes you may want to choose a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon.

But, here at Vinaria, they have an excellent wine list, you have the ability to try samples, and the waiters can all help you. The staff are very knowledgeable, so you shouldn’t hesitate to just ask for help.

How to order wine: The Label and the Cork

Okay, but what do I do after that? When the waiter brings the bottle to the table, he or she will show it to you. Why? You’re meant to check that this is actually the wine that we’ve ordered. Uh-huh. The waiter will then take the cork out and place it on the table in front of you. Do I smell the cork? No, you don’t need to smell it, but you should pick it up and check that it’s the right cork for the bottle. Oh. Also check that the cork is not wet. If the cock is wet this might mean that the wine has been oxidised. Okay, got it, I check the cork.

What happens next? The waiter will then pour you a small amount a sample for you to taste. This is not for you to check if you like the wine. This is for you to check if the wine is flawed. So what signs should I be looking for then? Take the glass, swirl the wine so you can bring it into contact with oxygen, and then take a good sniff.

Detecting Wine Flaws

Does the wine smell of a musty basement, wet cardboard or even wet dog? A wet dog? Yes, this is a common sign that the wine might be corked. It’s very unusual in a restaurant to find a corked wine, but it does happen.

Is there anything else? Does the wine smell a little sweet like jam? Jam, but I love jam. Not in your wine glass, you don’t. Jam is nice on toast. If you can smell jam it’s usually a problem with the transportation of the wine it got too hot in the vehicle and the wine is cooked.

And finally, can you smell nail polish in the glass? Nail polish? This smell is a sign of volatile acidity. It’s a sign of bacterial contamination. It’s very rare, but you don’t have to drink that either. Okay got it, so I’m smelling for wet dog, jam, nail polish.

This is your wine what you asked for. It is a Paphos region, it is a Cypriot wine. It is a very rare grape variety from Paphos called Promara. Promara, you’ll find it very interesting, very good taste, and it will go perfectly with your cheeseboard that you picked.

How to order wine: The Wine Arrives

Excellent, I can’t wait. As you can see the cork is a little bit wet at the top, it should be, but not all the way through. It’s not cracked, it’s sealed the wine perfectly. I see nothing wrong with this cork. Perfect.

Do I swirl the wine? Swirl, what can you smell? Any flaws? It smells of bananas, no flaws, it’s exotic. Very exotic, great, so you’ve established that this wine is not flawed, it’s actually beautiful aromatic, let’s have a proper taste. I love the the earthiness of this white, all the fruits and so exotic as well, and so much… you can taste the sunshine. You can tell this is a Cypriot wine. It’s full of Sun.

The Food Arrives

Wow, here is our food! That looks spectacular.

Our morning cheeseboard, where you can find < the six months mature cheddar, the strong cheddar, the camembert, peach Oh, that's beautiful, thank you very much. Enjoy guys! Thank you. It definitely pairs with white wine. Absolutely, all these apples and these peaches, they'll just sing. White wine goes really well with strong cheese's. Delicious. These tastes are great, Annabelle. Thank you for the wine class. Now you know how to order wine in a restaurant. I do indeed. Cheers!


Excuse me Annabelle, I need to use the bathroom. Of course. Where is he? I guess that’s the price of having interesting friends. Cheers! Guys, if you’ve enjoyed this wine adventure, don’t forget to give me a like, and leave a comment below. We love talking about wine. Also, have you subscribed yet? Have you subscribed yet? Of course!

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Video Transcript

How to Order Wine at a Restaurant

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Resources for Vinaria Wine Bar, Larnaca, Cyprus

Resources for Vouni Panayia Winery, Cyprus

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