How to Look Cool Ordering Wine

We all want to enjoy a great glass of wine when dining out, but sometimes, staring at a large wine list can be quite overwhelming. This is exactly when we play it safe and order our favourites. Well, now it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try something fun and new by the glass or the bottle! Here’s how to look like a pro when ordering wine at a restaurant.

Pick Your Style

Depending on your mood, the type of restaurant and food being served, think about what style of wine you want to sip on. Are you looking for light and fruity, big and bold, or bubbly and fresh? Is it a glass of white, red or something in between? Try to put words to the style you are craving and get ready to explain it. A great style of wine these days is trying Wine-On-Tap, ask if the restaurant has wine on tap (and ask specifically if it’s FreshTAP). One stainless steel FreshTAP: Wine-On-Tap keg saves the CO2 equivalent to that sequestered by 28 trees. Yes, that means that drinking wine-on-tap helps save the planet. So if you feel like being green, your style should be wine-on-tap.

Ask an Expert

Ask for the wine expert or the Sommelier on staff to help you find what you’re looking for. They know the wine list in and out, and are happy to make a recommendation based on the style and price range you are seeking. This is the perfect time to ask wine questions like “What would you consider to be the best value wine on the list?”, “Is there a wine you think I should try? I usually drink….”, “I’m looking for a wine adventure, what wine would you recommend?”.

Swirl, Smell, Sip

When the wine comes, the Sommelier or server will pour a small amount of wine into your glass. This is your opportunity to taste the wine and ensure it fits the style you are looking for. Your job is to swirl, smell and sip the wine – take your time and try a few sips. Wine Tip: If you are ordering by the glass, you can still ask to taste the wine before ordering. This is to ensure you like the wine you’re ordering!

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

After analyzing what is in your glass, say exactly what you feel about the wine. If you don’t like it, speak up and the Sommelier/Server will select a new option for you. If you like it, simply smile and say “it’s perfect, thanks.”

Enjoy and Learn

Talk with the Sommelier and don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts about the wine being poured. You’re the customer and deserve to be happy in your wine choices. So enjoy a great night out, ask for expert help, and learn about new wines you may not have tried. Most importantly, remember to only drink wine you love!


Angela Aiello

Angela Aiello

Making wine awesome since 2006 Writer, Educator, Host, and Founder of The Wine Club iYellow Angela Aiello has-been Involved in the world of wine & food for over fifteen years. From TV to Radio to Internationational magazines, she's got the world of food and drink at her finger tips.
Angela Aiello