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My wife made a reservation to have dinner at an Italian restaurant in Lake Buena Vista, FL area during our recent vacation to Disney. I was pleasantly surprised that a restaurant in the Disney area had been awarded "Award of Excellence" by WS. The evening before, I took a look at the online wine list and eyed a few wines that looked interesting.

We showed up to the place and was happy to see that the wine list online version actually correlated with the printed one. (Many times I have found that the printed version differs from the online version) I ordered 1998 Ornellaia, the waitress smiled and said "that is a nice choice, I'll be back in a second". We ordered appetizers and 10 minutes later I told my wife I have a feeling that they do not have this wine. Sure enough a couple of minutes later the waitress apologized saying that they had sold the last bottle a few days ago.

So then I ordered 2004 Solaia; appetizers came out and we did not have any wine yet. I complained to our waitress and kindly told her that if they did not have that wine either I would just order something else. Several minutes passed and she showed up with the manager who introduced herself with a handshake Confused while we were eating our appetizers. She said they did not have the vintage showed in their list but they could offer a more recent vintage. I was not interested, so I picked something that she assured me they would have in their cellar 2003 ANTINORI Bolgheri Tenuta Guado al Tasso.

It took about 30 minutes to get wine to the table after our initial request of the 98 Ornellaia. The manager showed up with a Magnum of the 03 Guado al Tasso. She apologized for not having the 750cc and offer to charge the 750 price. The wine was actually pretty nice; they started over with appetizers. Entree and dessert were ok. We took the left over wine to the hotel and drank it the following day during a peaceful afternoon.

I was surprised that this WS award of excellence restaurant did not have 3 of the wines listed on their list. In my opinion this place deserves a Mickey Mouse wine award.

Just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences lately.
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There's a local Spanish/Cuban restaurant that has a phenomenal Spanish wine list, specifically Priorat. Usually older vintages with minimal markup. The last 3 or 4 trips we've had to order wine 2 or 3 times before we got a bottle, but they never offer to match prices. The Spanish sections gets smaller every time we visit, so I think we'll be ending our relationship with them soon. Plus the food has REALLY gone downhill.

But I've also had an experience where I was told a wine was out of stock, ordered something else, and then was told by someone else that they had my original choice. That really sucked, but the second choice was about half price, so they lost some revenue.
First, I don't put a lot of stock in an award where there is very little verification of the list. It's inherently difficult to do.

Second, a restaurant's wine list doesn't influence my decision in where I eat. Frankly, my preference is that it doesn't have a wine list and I just bring my own.

Third, I just can't bring myself to order a $150 bottle of wine. So I end up picking a fairly common, young wine. However, in the handful of times I or my group ordered a nice bottle that we thought was reasonably marked up, the restaurant actually had the bottle. I do not recall if the restaurant had the WS award.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
To prevent the food arriving before the wine, I'll usually order the wine first and not the food until after tasting the wine.

In Paris this summer, a waiter wanted our total order at once and got upset when he brought the food before the wine and I told him the wine should have been brought out first.


The French do things the way they do them. They're not interested in the way you like to things. I learned this when I ordered a bottle of wine in a restaurant in Paris before we ordered dinner, and the waiter shook his head, and said that we could not order wine without ordering the food first. Here, you sit down and the first thing the waiter says is, "Can I get you a drink or wine or the wine list?"
It's a cultural thing.
Hate to defend all these guys, but there is a problem with inventory / printing discomnect in these places. There is an expense with these.

Due to the expense, that is the 'reason' they do not put vintages on the menu.

Some places actually do have an electonic system that they give customers which does dipslay the correct inventory.

PS: What was the name of the resturant?
Last edited by flwino
We are always disappointed to learn that a reader has had a bad experience in a restaurant that holds one of our wine list awards. If "redknife" will let us know the name of the restaurant, we will follow up. You can email us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

I will say that getting a magnum for the price of a 750 would help me get over the irritation of sitting for a while without wine.

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
If "redknife" will let us know the name of the restaurant, we will follow up. You can email us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.


Why the private e-mail? They should be called out as this amounts to misrespresentation and makes a mockery of the WS award. There should be no excuse for not having 3 of the wines on your list especially if these are high profile wines that likely contributed to the restaurant receiving the award.

quote:
Originally posted by Ed Bowers:
Hate to defend all these guys, but there is a problem with inventory / printing discomnect in these places. There is an expense with these.


If this poor inventory can be used as an excuse, then anyone can use this excuse and the award is meaningless.
All this just confirms why I prefer to bring my own wine. It is ALWAYS there on the table when I want. It is ALWAYS the vintage I choose. It is ALWAYS less expensive than buying off the wine list. Granted that there are times I will order wine from the restaurant. Often it's a sparkler to start the evening off nicely, and my wife and I just want a glass.
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
We are always disappointed to learn that a reader has had a bad experience in a restaurant that holds one of our wine list awards. If "redknife" will let us know the name of the restaurant, we will follow up. You can email us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

Il Mulino

I will say that getting a magnum for the price of a 750 would help me get over the irritation of sitting for a while without wine. Cool

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
First, I don't put a lot of stock in an award where there is very little verification of the list. It's inherently difficult to do.

Second, a restaurant's wine list doesn't influence my decision in where I eat. Frankly, my preference is that it doesn't have a wine list and I just bring my own.

so...when you travel I guess you travel with wine?

Third, I just can't bring myself to order a $150 bottle of wine.

Once in a while is OK Wink


So I end up picking a fairly common, young wine. However, in the handful of times I or my group ordered a nice bottle that we thought was reasonably marked up, the restaurant actually had the bottle. I do not recall if the restaurant had the WS award.
quote:
Originally posted by redknife:
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
We are always disappointed to learn that a reader has had a bad experience in a restaurant that holds one of our wine list awards. If "redknife" will let us know the name of the restaurant, we will follow up. You can email us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

Il Mulino

I will say that getting a magnum for the price of a 750 would help me get over the irritation of sitting for a while without wine. Cool

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor


I have many issues with their spot in San Juan Ritz Carlton. There twice, and second time was not under my control. The first time was so bad we walked out!!

Spotty list, no stock, dirty glasses, spilling wine when poured, and a long wait.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
First, I don't put a lot of stock in an award where there is very little verification of the list. It's inherently difficult to do.

Second, a restaurant's wine list doesn't influence my decision in where I eat. Frankly, my preference is that it doesn't have a wine list and I just bring my own.

Third, I just can't bring myself to order a $150 bottle of wine. So I end up picking a fairly common, young wine. However, in the handful of times I or my group ordered a nice bottle that we thought was reasonably marked up, the restaurant actually had the bottle. I do not recall if the restaurant had the WS award.


like the l'ermita? the waiter almost dropped this because he was soo nervous carrying it around.

and yea the restaurant did have an award of excellence
quote:
Originally posted by redknife:
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
First, I don't put a lot of stock in an award where there is very little verification of the list. It's inherently difficult to do.

Second, a restaurant's wine list doesn't influence my decision in where I eat. Frankly, my preference is that it doesn't have a wine list and I just bring my own.

so...when you travel I guess you travel with wine?

Third, I just can't bring myself to order a $150 bottle of wine.

Once in a while is OK Wink


So I end up picking a fairly common, young wine. However, in the handful of times I or my group ordered a nice bottle that we thought was reasonably marked up, the restaurant actually had the bottle. I do not recall if the restaurant had the WS award.



the fool acutally does and asks me to check it in for him so he doesnt pay the 25$ check in baggage fee =)
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
To prevent the food arriving before the wine, I'll usually order the wine first and not the food until after tasting the wine.


I try to do this as well. I have been burned before thinking that something on the list actually existed in the cellar. If I think we might have a second bottle of what we are ordering I also try to remember to have them check and confirm that they have more than one and hold a second bottle for us. More than once I have ordered the last bottle of something and been unable to have a second bottle.
I know that what I'll say will be unpopular but...

I hate when in a restaurant they ask me to pick the wine before I even have the food menu in front of me. I want to match the wine with my food, so FIRST I decide what to eat and THEN I order my wine.

The wine should arrive before the food, though, since:
- usually it doesn't require any preparation.
- one's palate isn't influenced by the food
- if the wine is defective it can be replaced before the food arrives.
quote:
I find no excuse to have updated versions of your wine list especially if you are offer better wines.


I disagree re this. Many times the good vintage has been replaced by an inferior one, and the wine server tries their best to pawn that off on me. Thus the list needs to be updated as offten as possible, and if you are a WS winner you had better keep that list up to date at least weekly.

I have been in a few WS winners and see the updates list has a publish date of 3-4 months prior. Can't belive that they are dumb enough to put a print date on the page, which is a red flag that "This list is Out of date" Confused

If you are trying to sell wine, make it easy!! I do not wish to select a wine and a food online, would prefer it when I get to the resturant, as the ambiance many times will help dictate what I wish to eat, or having an update on teh special for the evening.
quote:
Originally posted by Ed Bowers:
quote:
I find no excuse to have updated versions of your wine list especially if you are offer better wines.


I disagree re this. Many times the good vintage has been replaced by an inferior one, and the wine server tries their best to pawn that off on me. Thus the list needs to be updated as offten as possible, and if you are a WS winner you had better keep that list up to date at least weekly.


Well-spoken!
quote:
I find no excuse to have updated versions of your wine list especially if you are offer better wines.


I disagree re this. Many times the good vintage has been replaced by an inferior one, and the wine server tries their best to pawn that off on me. Thus the list needs to be updated as offten as possible, and if you are a WS winner you had better keep that list up to date at least weekly.

I have been in a few WS winners and see the updates list has a publish date of 3-4 months prior. Can't belive that they are dumb enough to put a print date on the page, which is a red flag that "This list is Out of date"

If you are trying to sell wine, make it easy!! I do not wish to select a wine and a food online, would prefer it when I get to the resturant, as the ambiance many times will help dictate what I wish to eat, or having an update on teh special for the evening.


Ed missed the NOT part so thanks for catching it

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