I don't like fake restaurants. In Milan there are a series mostly related to fish. You know the ones where you have chair covers and strong air conditioning, and the waiter doesn't know what he's serving you.
But there is Ginger, our Jack Russell. With him we always make friends with the adjacent tables.
One evening we meet two Canadian tourists. They order a red wine from Urbino and raw fish.
We start talking about wine and she asks me "which is the best Italian wine, what should I drink before leaving?
Adds .. I only like red wine.
I ask her if she likes coffee and how she drinks it, if she likes lemon, chocolate and berries.
He replies that he drinks sugared coffee, loves dark chocolate and berries, not lemon.
For me it must try a Barolo Monvigliero, I tell you.
So I asked myself: yes, but how do i order wine at the restaurant?
For me it is a propitiatory rite. I look at the menu in a hurry and choose. While studying the wine list.
I looked for some ideas and I want to share them. Tell me what you think.
1. Order your food first.
It seems trivial, but I see customers who order wine before the dishes. Often the mistake is made by the waiter himself, who immediately asks you what wine you want. My answer is firm "it depends on what I eat".
Here some notions of pairing are fundamental, but be creative don't stop at the usual things. Try a bubble for the whole meal, a cold red or with fish. Experiment and have fun these are the watchwords.
2. If there is a somellier, do not be shy. Let us explain the alternatives and choose with him. Try to fully explain what you and your diners would like.
3. Glass or bottle?
If you are not alone, certainly choose the bottle, in order to have a greater choice of wines (wines by the glass are only a small part of the cellar) and to spend proportionally less.
4. Price level
The bottle with the higher price is not always the best. In addition, restaurants often apply higher margins on entry level bottles. Then choose around the fourth or fifth price, from the lowest. You will be sure not to pay too much and have a medium to high quality.
5. Accompaniment and ascent
Wine accompanies you throughout the meal. Start slowly, like in the mountains and go up. Up grades, structures, but always in a harmonious way with respect to the dishes you have ordered. Enjoy the moment of every single step and change the glass.
6. Share after your choice
In my opinion, only one diner chooses wine for the whole meal. Not out of self-centeredness, rather to create a path. A bit like in China, where food is also a medicine and the one who orders, just one, looks for the best way to make diners feel good, who during and after dinner show their appreciation, not so much on food , but about the choice and the order in which they were presented. So choose or let them choose and then involve your guests in the tasting.
7. The vine is not a guarantee
I don't like definitive judgments. I don't like young wine, I don't like sweet wine, I don't like wines from southern Italy ... This I often hear. Often some wine lists do not even mention the producer and therefore it is evident that it is necessary to choose based on the grape variety, I always choose local wines and grape varieties.
To conclude, enjoy your choice, experiment, choose or let the diners choose. This way you will be sure to amaze yourself. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. But everyone chooses the wrong wine.
And how do you choose the wine at the restaurant?