Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

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JDavisRoby
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#51 Post by JDavisRoby » February 8th, 2019, 5:50 am

At my city club it’s the standard for the bar staff to serve 6-7oz pours on the BTG wines. I abhor this as I hate a glass that is so full. The barbstaff knows if I by chance order a BTG wine to serve me half first and then the second half once I’m done.

Sometimes this pour level carries over to the dining room when I order a bottle. Thankfully our new somm gets it and is very good about making sure she pours my wine or let’s me pour my own.

I prefer a 3oz pour on most wines. Especially if a wine hasn’t been decanted before we were seated. Is that about what everyone else prefers?

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#52 Post by Paul McCourt » February 8th, 2019, 6:09 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 2:54 am
Robert M yers wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:23 pm
We typically let the waiter pour the first glass and then tell him/her politely that we will be happy to handle it from there on out. Never had a problem after that.
Exactly THIS! Should work fine.
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 4:28 pm
....

What if a Michelin reviewer is sitting two tables away from you and sees you (repeatedly) pouring your own wine? Will he think that is what you requested or that the restaurant's wine service is subpar?
...
Sorry, but that cannot be my problem ... a Michelin reviewer should be so intelligent to recognize why on one single table the guest pours himself, and on all other tables the waiter does ...

If the restaurant is really that noble with strict etiquettes that pouring on your own seems impossible I would instruct the somm well in advance about some details ... always worked.
I agree that a reviewer should be able to discern what the service is like. If he can't then, he should find another job.

I haven't had an issue at starred restaurants (and the OP wasn't about starred restaurants, but it has morphed into that) but I would be very surprised if a somm absolutely refused to let me pour my own wine. Maybe they don't "like " it, but I can't remember anyone ever flat out refusing any request that I have ever had. I am not very demanding, because, hey, life is way too short to get worked up over stuff like this, but still, I haven't heard a lot of "No." at starred restaurants, especially for something like this that is well within their ability to say yes to. But I have never tried, so....

I'm going to ask their thoughts on it next time i'm out to a nice dinner.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#53 Post by C. Mc Cart » February 8th, 2019, 6:36 am

I'm also of the attitude that there are times that I wish to pour for myself given the wines/ location/ company I'm with, along with past experiences of the location. If I tell them, I expect them to accommodate my wishes.

The majority of the time I don't care. If I say nothing, then while bad form or lack of server training, it's my issue for not speaking up.
I do appreciate the OP's point, as I loathe the persistent glass fillers, whether wine or water.

Also, 100% with Gerhard - not my job to comply with a 2 or 3 star/ fine dining location usual procedures in order to appear consistent or uniform. That restaurant is there for me that evening, not the other way around. If I want to keep the bottle at my table or fill my own glass, let me.

Likely a moot point as the high-end service should be exemplary, but mistakes or annoyances still happen no matter how large the bill. I appreciate your history and experience with fine dining Ray, but you lost me on that point.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#54 Post by Rob Lynch » February 8th, 2019, 6:58 am

Andrew W. wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I was at a high end restaurant in Paris 2 weeks ago. Wife wanted a glass with dinner so I got a bottle. Waiter kept filling both glasses every 5 minutes and kept putting more and more in hers. I poured some in mine, he came over and scolded me, took the bottle away from me and put in on a chair 10 ft away. 15 minutes later a waiter passing but knocks the bottle over and spilled the rest. No apology, chef came out and gave me a glass of whatever he was drinking (which was very nice) I'm sure knowing they messed up, but still no apology. Wife begged I not make a scene so I obliged.

Crazy for such a well reviewed place.

I'm no authority, but I think French etiquette says you don't pour your own wine. Even if eating at home, without service, dinner guests pour for each other. That's probably why you got attitude from the waiter.

.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#55 Post by Dan Hammer » February 8th, 2019, 7:12 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:50 am

I prefer a 3oz pour on most wines. Especially if a wine hasn’t been decanted before we were seated. Is that about what everyone else prefers?
The reason I ask the waitstaff to do initial short pours is that some may not like the wine. Hence > no waste.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#56 Post by Paul McCourt » February 8th, 2019, 7:34 am

Rob Lynch wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 6:58 am
Andrew W. wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I was at a high end restaurant in Paris 2 weeks ago. Wife wanted a glass with dinner so I got a bottle. Waiter kept filling both glasses every 5 minutes and kept putting more and more in hers. I poured some in mine, he came over and scolded me, took the bottle away from me and put in on a chair 10 ft away. 15 minutes later a waiter passing but knocks the bottle over and spilled the rest. No apology, chef came out and gave me a glass of whatever he was drinking (which was very nice) I'm sure knowing they messed up, but still no apology. Wife begged I not make a scene so I obliged.

Crazy for such a well reviewed place.

I'm no authority, but I think French etiquette says you don't pour your own wine. Even if eating at home, without service, dinner guests pour for each other. That's probably why you got attitude from the waiter.

.
Traditionally, as a dinner guest you wouldn't pour your own and wait for the host to offer/pour more. But there are lots of traditional things like women not pouring and only men pouring for them, etc. How much of a "rule" are these things? Like anything else in life, whether these things are followed is a big "it depends"

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#57 Post by John Kight » February 8th, 2019, 7:50 am

Kirk.Grant wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:48 am
In the summer of 2007, the only table I regret was a couple that came in, ordered a 1999 Sassicaia and had their meal. At the end of the meal the man called me over and asked me to take a photo of them for their 5th anniversary. After taking the photo he said that they went to Sassicaia for their honeymoon and tasted the 1999 at the winery. He thought I should share the remaining bottle with the wait staff so they could get to experience this really special wine. I thanked him for the gracious offer and think I comped him 10% off the pice as they only drank 50-60% of the wine. At the end of the night when I poured out the bottle into the first glass to taste the wine it reeked of TCA; so do they think the wine is supposed to taste like like TCA? To this date I've never had a bottle of the 1999 Sassicaia that wasn't corked.
That's a great (and sad) story! [thankyou.gif]

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#58 Post by GregT » February 8th, 2019, 8:31 am

Sure is. Too bad for the couple too, they sound like good people.

There may be several reasons for wait staff to pour. One is "tradition" as noted. But in some places the idea is to have you finish a bottle before your main courses come, because then it's more likely you'll order another. Since you never really know what the motivation is, it's safer to assume the worst.

Also, my wife may only want one glass. She doesn't want her glass refilled and topped off because she doesn't want any more wine. Or she may know we're getting another bottle and doesn't like the first one. Or may not be feeling well. IMO the reasons for a server NOT to pour for you far outweigh their desire to do it for you.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#59 Post by Matthew King » February 8th, 2019, 9:08 am

OK I get that it’s obnoxious to have waiter fill your wine glass two thirds to the top.

I get that it’s annoying to have a waiter hovering about and disrupting the flow of conversation with flitty filling and refilling of various glasses over the course of a meal.

But devils advocate time here:

How does aggressively topping off glasses compel diners to drink more wine and order extra bottles?

The diners have some agency here. No one is telling them to slurp more wine or forcing them to do so. They will only drink as much wine as they want to drink during a meal.

If your clients are Hoovering wine that’s as much on them as the Beverage Director, no?

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#60 Post by Rob Lynch » February 8th, 2019, 9:27 am

Matthew King wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:08 am
OK I get that it’s obnoxious to have waiter fill your wine glass two thirds to the top.

I get that it’s annoying to have a waiter hovering about and disrupting the flow of conversation with flitty filling and refilling of various glasses over the course of a meal.

But devils advocate time here:

How does aggressively topping off glasses compel diners to drink more wine and order extra bottles?

The diners have some agency here. No one is telling them to slurp more wine or forcing them to do so. They will only drink as much wine as they want to drink during a meal.

If your clients are Hoovering wine that’s as much on them as the Beverage Director, no?

We're like goldfish. You put it in front of us, we'll drink ourselves to death. [wow.gif]

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#61 Post by YLee » February 8th, 2019, 9:33 am

Rob Lynch wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:27 am
Matthew King wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:08 am
OK I get that it’s obnoxious to have waiter fill your wine glass two thirds to the top.

I get that it’s annoying to have a waiter hovering about and disrupting the flow of conversation with flitty filling and refilling of various glasses over the course of a meal.

But devils advocate time here:

How does aggressively topping off glasses compel diners to drink more wine and order extra bottles?

The diners have some agency here. No one is telling them to slurp more wine or forcing them to do so. They will only drink as much wine as they want to drink during a meal.

If your clients are Hoovering wine that’s as much on them as the Beverage Director, no?

We're like goldfish. You put it in front of us, we'll drink ourselves to death. [wow.gif]
This is very true for me when ut comes to potato chips. My shoulder hurt from moving my arm so fast.
Last edited by YLee on February 8th, 2019, 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#62 Post by Doug Schulman » February 8th, 2019, 9:40 am

Matthew King wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:08 am
How does aggressively topping off glasses compel diners to drink more wine and order extra bottles?
People do drink more when their glass is always full. Beyond that, though, a lot of people are correctly making the point that someone might only want 1 glass of wine. Refilling their glass means wasting wine. Even with only 2 diners, this can be an annoyance. With a larger group as in the OP, I've frequently seen an entire bottle's worth of wine still in glasses when everyone leaves. It can happen easily with a group of 10+ people. That's poor service.

As far as high end (Michelin starred or otherwise) restaurants, I generally find wine service to be done very well, but it's often still more convenient for my wife and me to pour our own wines. I've almost never had a problem requesting that. Anyone who thinks I'm insulting their abilities by asking to do so should not work in service. That's absurd, as is the idea that I should care about a Michelin reviewer. Great restaurants are great at making the guest experience flawlessly outstanding, which includes conducting wine service as the guests prefer (barring unreasonable requests, I suppose, but pouring one's own wine is far from that).

In general, at any sort of restaurant, I find it's all about communicating my desires to the service staff. That usually works out fine.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#63 Post by Anton D » February 8th, 2019, 9:48 am

Interesting topic!

We pretty much universally have the waitstaff supervise pouring and our job is to relax, imbibe, and conversate. For a social group event (not a serious tasting event) we will sometimes mention that we would like wine poured as small "sharing pours" so everybody gets a chance to taste each wine. Otherwise, it's simply a party and we figure the better any "civilian" gets served, the more likely that person may be to be turned into one of us wine kooks.

For a specific "serious" wine nerd group tasting, we usually have a wine table and we handle our own pours or pour blind portions for each other.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#64 Post by David Glasser » February 8th, 2019, 10:15 am

Rob Lynch wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:27 am
Matthew King wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 9:08 am
OK I get that it’s obnoxious to have waiter fill your wine glass two thirds to the top.

I get that it’s annoying to have a waiter hovering about and disrupting the flow of conversation with flitty filling and refilling of various glasses over the course of a meal.

But devils advocate time here:

How does aggressively topping off glasses compel diners to drink more wine and order extra bottles?

The diners have some agency here. No one is telling them to slurp more wine or forcing them to do so. They will only drink as much wine as they want to drink during a meal.

If your clients are Hoovering wine that’s as much on them as the Beverage Director, no?

We're like goldfish. You put it in front of us, we'll drink ourselves to death. [wow.gif]
How true. Plus, with no more than 4 guests, full glasses can empty a bottle in 1 round. That can deprive those who want more, like me, while wasting wine on those who want only a half glass, like my wife.

I typically tell the waiter/somm that we'll pour our own. If I bring an older bottle, I take out my Durand and offer to open it. I'm not usually eating in Michelin-starred places. Nine times out of ten the staff has never seen a Durand and is interested in watching me open the bottle.

If they insist on pouring, I ask for tasting pours, just a few ounces, and please don't refill without asking first. This usually works when I'm hosting. Hard to avoid the speed-pours at larger business gatherings where someone else has ordered the wine, but those aren't usually cherished bottles.

I rarely have trouble, but the worst was at a high-end place that insisted on keeping the bottles at a separate serving table. They served my 1982 Haut Brion to another table while we were eating our salads and appetizers.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#65 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2019, 11:57 am

Kirk,
That Sassicaia story is a good one, albeit heart-breaking.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#66 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2019, 11:58 am

David Glasser wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 10:15 am
...
I rarely have trouble, but the worst was at a high-end place that insisted on keeping the bottles at a separate serving table. They served my 1982 Haut Brion to another table while we were eating our salads and appetizers.
hitsfan How did you and the restaurant deal with that problem?!?
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#67 Post by Rob Lynch » February 8th, 2019, 12:04 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 11:58 am
David Glasser wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 10:15 am
...
I rarely have trouble, but the worst was at a high-end place that insisted on keeping the bottles at a separate serving table. They served my 1982 Haut Brion to another table while we were eating our salads and appetizers.
hitsfan How did you and the restaurant deal with that problem?!?

WOW, tell me that was off the list and not an irreplaceable BYOB.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#68 Post by Steve Crawford » February 8th, 2019, 12:26 pm

YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 3:12 pm
Andrew W. wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I was at a high end restaurant in Paris 2 weeks ago. Wife wanted a glass with dinner so I got a bottle. Waiter kept filling both glasses every 5 minutes and kept putting more and more in hers. I poured some in mine, he came over and scolded me, took the bottle away from me and put in on a chair 10 ft away. 15 minutes later a waiter passing but knocks the bottle over and spilled the rest. No apology, chef came out and gave me a glass of whatever he was drinking (which was very nice) I'm sure knowing they messed up, but still no apology. Wife begged I not make a scene so I obliged.

Crazy for such a well reviewed place.
If this happened to me I would have iterally broken the arm that he favored.
i [literally] doubt that you would have done that.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#69 Post by Dale Williams » February 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Kirk.Grant wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:48 am
In the summer of 2007, the only table I regret was a couple that came in, ordered a 1999 Sassicaia and had their meal. At the end of the meal the man called me over and asked me to take a photo of them for their 5th anniversary. After taking the photo he said that they went to Sassicaia for their honeymoon and tasted the 1999 at the winery. He thought I should share the remaining bottle with the wait staff so they could get to experience this really special wine. I thanked him for the gracious offer and think I comped him 10% off the pice as they only drank 50-60% of the wine. At the end of the night when I poured out the bottle into the first glass to taste the wine it reeked of TCA; so do they think the wine is supposed to taste like like TCA? To this date I've never had a bottle of the 1999 Sassicaia that wasn't corked.
They ordered from list? And you didn't smell wine? :)

At wine dinners I usually tell waitstaff we'll handle pouring. I seldom dine at Michelin starred restaurants, but on those occasions (or really anytime with what seems to be a serious wine service place) I've never had trouble conveying expectations re pours. I have to say I'm astounded at posts where folks want good bottles on their end of table, plonk for others.

My worst wine service story was a place in Laguna Beach. I had carried a bottle of Bonnes Mares (not Roumier/Mugnier, negoce, but still ) but my wife wanted oysters as her app, so we ordered her a glass of Pinot Blanc.
She had about half when hostess walked by and filled up her glass- with 3-4 oz of Bonnes Mares. I was not thrilled, they offered to replace the Pinot Blanc, but she was done with app and I said never mind. But at end of meal when bill came I had been charged for a much more expensive glass of wine (as well as corkage). I pointed out to waitress, who re-ran and then brought back exact same bill. I asked for manager, explained we had consumed half the PB, rest had been ruined by addition/destruction of 3 oz of GC my red Burgundy. He corrected to just charge for the PB and the corkage. We did not go back. :(

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#70 Post by YLee » February 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm

Steve Crawford wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 12:26 pm
YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 3:12 pm
Andrew W. wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I was at a high end restaurant in Paris 2 weeks ago. Wife wanted a glass with dinner so I got a bottle. Waiter kept filling both glasses every 5 minutes and kept putting more and more in hers. I poured some in mine, he came over and scolded me, took the bottle away from me and put in on a chair 10 ft away. 15 minutes later a waiter passing but knocks the bottle over and spilled the rest. No apology, chef came out and gave me a glass of whatever he was drinking (which was very nice) I'm sure knowing they messed up, but still no apology. Wife begged I not make a scene so I obliged.

Crazy for such a well reviewed place.
If this happened to me I would have iterally broken the arm that he favored.
i [literally] doubt that you would have done that.
You iterally dont know me.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#71 Post by James Billy » February 8th, 2019, 2:14 pm

Maybe their tolerance to TCA was lower than yours?

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#72 Post by AndyK » February 8th, 2019, 2:23 pm

YLee wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm
Steve Crawford wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 12:26 pm
YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 3:12 pm


If this happened to me I would have iterally broken the arm that he favored.
i [literally] doubt that you would have done that.
You iterally dont know me.
After reading some of your comments lately, most people probably view this as a good thing.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#73 Post by Kirk.Grant » February 8th, 2019, 3:09 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Kirk.Grant wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:48 am
In the summer of 2007, the only table I regret was a couple that came in, ordered a 1999 Sassicaia and had their meal. At the end of the meal the man called me over and asked me to take a photo of them for their 5th anniversary. After taking the photo he said that they went to Sassicaia for their honeymoon and tasted the 1999 at the winery. He thought I should share the remaining bottle with the wait staff so they could get to experience this really special wine. I thanked him for the gracious offer and think I comped him 10% off the pice as they only drank 50-60% of the wine. At the end of the night when I poured out the bottle into the first glass to taste the wine it reeked of TCA; so do they think the wine is supposed to taste like like TCA? To this date I've never had a bottle of the 1999 Sassicaia that wasn't corked.
They ordered from list? And you didn't smell wine? :)

At wine dinners I usually tell waitstaff we'll handle pouring. I seldom dine at Michelin starred restaurants, but on those occasions (or really anytime with what seems to be a serious wine service place) I've never had trouble conveying expectations re pours. I have to say I'm astounded at posts where folks want good bottles on their end of table, plonk for others.

My worst wine service story was a place in Laguna Beach. I had carried a bottle of Bonnes Mares (not Roumier/Mugnier, negoce, but still ) but my wife wanted oysters as her app, so we ordered her a glass of Pinot Blanc.
She had about half when hostess walked by and filled up her glass- with 3-4 oz of Bonnes Mares. I was not thrilled, they offered to replace the Pinot Blanc, but she was done with app and I said never mind. But at end of meal when bill came I had been charged for a much more expensive glass of wine (as well as corkage). I pointed out to waitress, who re-ran and then brought back exact same bill. I asked for manager, explained we had consumed half the PB, rest had been ruined by addition/destruction of 3 oz of GC my red Burgundy. He corrected to just charge for the PB and the corkage. We did not go back. :(
Dale, that's terrible service; I hate when that happens. What would have made it right by you; to get you to return?
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#74 Post by H Wallace Jr » February 8th, 2019, 3:22 pm

J Murphy wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Hello

I wanted to see what others had to say about this topic.

12 of the extended family were out to dinner at a typical Italian restaurant. Most people weren't wine drinkers or knew much about wine. I ordered several bottles of "good" wine.

The waiter would stop by every 15 minutes or so and take the bottles and top off most people glasses, the bottles were dropping fast. It just so happened he was doing this to the people who have the least interest and knowledge about wine. They would have just been as happy drinking water. The seating configuration was several long tables end to end. He would leave the bottles pretty much as far away from where I was sitting (Murphys Law).

How does one handel this situation.

Tell the waiter kindly at the beginning of the meal to please not pour?

Or purchase some low end bottles of wine and leave them near the ones that could care less about wine?

I realize this is really two different topics/ questions.

Thanks
In a setting like this, I think you need to order wines appropriate for the entire group . Unless you communicate with the wait staff in advance, they are going to keep glasses full.

If the waiter(s) didn't pour, how would 12 people get their wines in that configuration (two long tables)? Would you have walked around and poured for them? Would they ask you for more? Both of those seem pretty awkward, too.
J Murphy wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 2:17 pm

Or purchase some low end bottles of wine and leave them near the ones that could care less about wine?
I'm probably in the minority, but I never feel like this is the right move. Whether they like wine or not, people end up feeling less than... It is easier to put off drinking good wines for a night than it is to repair people feeling slighted.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#75 Post by Morten Båtbukt » February 8th, 2019, 3:56 pm

YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 5:56 pm

Attitude like what? Do you really need a somm to pour your own glass? You must have a Somm at home. Lol
You come off so snobby.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#76 Post by Dale Williams » February 8th, 2019, 4:35 pm

Kirk.Grant wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:09 pm

Dale, that's terrible service; I hate when that happens. What would have made it right by you; to get you to return?
Initially I would have been fine with just correct charges. Even if 1st attempt at correcting bill had done a correct bill, I would have been irritated but maybe returned (at time probably best restaurant in town where wife's beloved stepgranny lived). After I had to send back bill, I think either BTG or corkage should have been waived (didn't drink the glass, didn't drink whole bottle)

For clarity, I found original post (thank you Google for buying Dejanews). Some corrections:
1) btg difference was only a few bucks
2) wasn't negoce BM, 3rd tier producer
3) only an ounce or two of mt wine ruined
4) apparently talked to ghost waiter, not manager

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en# ... .food.wine

I realize that more than 1 of my "worst wine stories" were in Laguna, though I've only been there a dozen or so times. There was a bistro called French 75. They had a really overpriced wine list, but square in the middle was a bottle of almost mature Beaucastel CdP for about retail. I said is it really Beaucastel and they said yes. I asked to see the bottle, they said "why?" I explained pricing was out of line with rest of list and I wanted to make sure it wasn't Coudolet. They said I had to see wine manager, I went inside to bar and bartender showed me....a bottle of Perrin & Fils CdP (different vintage). I passed. But also learned a lesson when I didn't question price of a special- Betsy got a surf and turf (tiny filet, tiny tail) that was more than double most expensive thing on menu (rack of lamb). I hate tourist towns.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#77 Post by YLee » February 8th, 2019, 4:57 pm

Morten Båtbukt wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:56 pm
YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 5:56 pm

Attitude like what? Do you really need a somm to pour your own glass? You must have a Somm at home. Lol
You come off so snobby.
Pizza and wine, yumm! Score!
If you ever go to Oslo drop by Tranen. Great pizza place, creative and classic, with a beautifully wine list. Last I was there we had a bottle of Liger-Belair La Colombiere for about $130 with our pizzas.

I prefer my wines fresh (Loire reds, Bojo, Burgundy, German riesling, Champagne) and they all shine next to pizza.
Thanks for the suggestion. Sounds great!
-Yong

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#78 Post by David Glasser » February 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Rob Lynch wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 12:04 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 11:58 am
David Glasser wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 10:15 am
...
I rarely have trouble, but the worst was at a high-end place that insisted on keeping the bottles at a separate serving table. They served my 1982 Haut Brion to another table while we were eating our salads and appetizers.
hitsfan How did you and the restaurant deal with that problem?!?

WOW, tell me that was off the list and not an irreplaceable BYOB.
It was a bottle I brought. Fortunately I had a few more in the cellar. A few minutes after I asked the waiter to bring it, the manager came to the table, waiter in tow, explained what happened and apologized profusely for their mistake. They offered our pick of any 2 bottles off of their list, no charge. I think we picked a vintage Krug and a mature Bordeaux, maybe a 1990? I recall both were outstanding, but I would have to dig around to find exactly what we got.

I felt the replacement bottles were easily equal to the value of the Haut Brion. I thought they handled it well and I was satisfied, having had a great meal, some great wines, and a good story to tell.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#79 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 8th, 2019, 5:14 pm

That's definitely the way to take care of it. I wonder what they would've done if they'd poured your bottle of something less expensive to another table.
David Glasser wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm
Rob Lynch wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 12:04 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 11:58 am


hitsfan How did you and the restaurant deal with that problem?!?

WOW, tell me that was off the list and not an irreplaceable BYOB.
It was a bottle I brought. Fortunately I had a few more in the cellar. A few minutes after I asked the waiter to bring it, the manager came to the table, waiter in tow, explained what happened and apologized profusely for their mistake. They offered our pick of any 2 bottles off of their list, no charge. I think we picked a vintage Krug and a mature Bordeaux, maybe a 1990? I recall both were outstanding, but I would have to dig around to find exactly what we got.

I felt the replacement bottles were easily equal to the value of the Haut Brion. I thought they handled it well and I was satisfied, having had a great meal, some great wines, and a good story to tell.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#80 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2019, 5:17 pm

That was a perfect way to deal with that mistake, imo, David. Good for them.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#81 Post by J I M Nuffie!d » February 8th, 2019, 5:38 pm

I really question why anyone would think that it's not OK for the customer to dictate whether or not (s)he wants to pour the wine. Michelin Star or not. Great service is about making the customer happy. Not about controlling the customer.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#82 Post by DanielP » February 8th, 2019, 5:44 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:17 pm
That was a perfect way to deal with that mistake, imo, David. Good for them.
I want to know more about the table that got served the 82 HB! [wow.gif]
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#83 Post by Robert M yers » February 9th, 2019, 8:38 pm

DanielP wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:44 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:17 pm
That was a perfect way to deal with that mistake, imo, David. Good for them.
I want to know more about the table that got served the 82 HB! [wow.gif]
They still can’t figure out why no other bottle Sutter Home has ever tasted so good.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#84 Post by cjsavino » February 10th, 2019, 4:46 am

Robert M yers wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 8:38 pm
DanielP wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:44 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:17 pm
That was a perfect way to deal with that mistake, imo, David. Good for them.
I want to know more about the table that got served the 82 HB! [wow.gif]
They still can’t figure out why no other bottle Sutter Home has ever tasted so good.
with ice cubes
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#85 Post by Victor Hong » February 10th, 2019, 4:56 am

With Coca-Cola or Seven-up.
WineHunter.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#86 Post by JDavisRoby » February 10th, 2019, 4:58 am

Only Cola. Kalimotxo.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#87 Post by Michael Sopher » February 10th, 2019, 11:00 am

If I am in a Michelin starred place (rare enough) they better not fast pour or murder my cork... and mostly they pour right or happily accept direction to just leave the bottle. Just a few weeks ago at a work dinner at the Capital Grill I let them open the bottles as I forgot my corkscrew. The waitress did manage to break one (an 06 Lewelling cork that was not deteriorating)... decided to decant and filter... over aerating the wine and forcing us to drink it earlier in the order... Lesson learned...

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#88 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 10th, 2019, 11:13 am

I’ve had endless corks destroyed at random restaurants, even pretty upscale ones. Prettt annoying.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#89 Post by J Wei » February 11th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Reading through this thread is quite entertaining.

I think it's quite simple: Regardless of restaurant, if I buy or brought in a bottle, I should be able to dictate how I'd like the wine served. I should have a say in whether or not I'd like the wine decanted, pour in faster, pour in slower, keep the cork on the table, bring in specific glasses (ie, burgundy glasses for champagne), etc.

I went to a 2 star restaurant in LA this weekend and I poured the wine from the decanter throughout the night myself. No one cared and no one asked questions.
- Juyuan

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#90 Post by Kelly Flynn » February 12th, 2019, 10:13 am

I almost always byob but, Acadia's (CHI) policy being prohibitive, we ordered off their surprisingly accessible/affordable list last Summer. I had to beg the restaurant for a wine list in advance, and fastidiously paired a few bottles for four of us with the multi course dinner.

Anticipating the "fast pour" thing, I politely told our waiter please not to bother with the pours, that we would take care of it ourselves. He smiled and nodded, and then completely ignored me. Of course our guests just drank whatever was in front of them (an ever full glass), which completely screwed up the pairing. Again I nicely requested that he not continue pouring, again he smiled and nodded, and again he ignored me. So here I am, supposedly the "wine guy", and now my guests are sitting there with empty glasses waiting for the next course and the next bottle.

The server knew that I knew what I was doing. We briefly discussed a couple of wines, and he even complimented me on a couple of the choices I made. (This is not the somm.)

Ultimately I was so pissed that...well, let's just say my disappointment was reflected in the tip.

Am I overly control freakish? Seems to me you put the effort into pairing the wine and shell out a king's ransom for dinner, you ought to be able to drink at your own pace, no?

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#91 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 12th, 2019, 10:19 am

Just relocate the bottle to directly in front of you and stop him from picking it up.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#92 Post by Kelly Flynn » February 12th, 2019, 10:24 am

He kept taking the bottle away. I was trying hard not to make TOO big a deal of it but obviously failed miserably.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#93 Post by DanielP » February 12th, 2019, 10:25 am

Kelly Flynn wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 10:24 am
He kept taking the bottle away. I was trying hard not to make TOO big a deal of it nut obviously failed miserably.
I would've made a deal out of it. You've asked him multiple times to stop.
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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#94 Post by Kelly Flynn » February 12th, 2019, 11:06 am

Yup. Live and learn.

As a former NYCer I surely would have. Now as a Flyover denizen I am trying to chill a bit.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#95 Post by David Glasser » February 12th, 2019, 10:03 pm

One way to escalate without creating a scene in front of the dinner party is to get up discretely from the table and ask the receptionist to bring the manager to reception. Calmly explain your needs and request another waiter.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#96 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 13th, 2019, 8:15 am

No one has mentioned the role of guests at the table in all this. One annoyance for me is the guest that does not want to drink any more of a particular wine, but happily allows their glass to be topped up, which means that whole glasses of wine go to waste. And that is done at the expense of dinners who like to drink more but slowly.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#97 Post by David Glasser » February 13th, 2019, 9:39 am

My wife will pour her extras into my glass when that happens. Not a solution that can be relied upon in other settings.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#98 Post by Kelly Flynn » February 13th, 2019, 12:12 pm

David Glasser wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 10:03 pm
One way to escalate without creating a scene in front of the dinner party is to get up discretely from the table and ask the receptionist to bring the manager to reception. Calmly explain your needs and request another waiter.
A much more elegant solution.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#99 Post by JDavisRoby » February 13th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Jealous of everyone that lives in states that allows BYOB with a corkage fee.

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Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

#100 Post by johngonzales » February 13th, 2019, 1:34 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 5:45 pm
YLee wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 4:53 pm
I'm with Michael on this. I prefer to pour on my own pace and I dont want someone interrupting my meal over it.

As far as a michelin reviewer, thats not my concern. Im not dining there to cater to their needs.
Attitudes like that are probably why I read not so infrequent posts about issues at restaurants while it is an extremely rare occurence for me.

If you don't want a qualified somm to do his job, stay home or go to a pizzeria.
Disagree. I usually do let the staff pour wine for me. But to suggest thatone should stay home if they don’t want the somm to pour is extreme. To me the somm is there to help when people want it, not to dictate how everyone dines. I really don’t have a lot of need for somms. I very rarely use their input to select wines. I don’t let them decide when to decant or not and I don’t like bottles taken from the table once opened. I don’t mind them pouring and often it works fine, but really there can only be downside (as opposed to pouring one’s self) in terms of timing, size of pours etc..

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