Served Correctly?

I was at a moderate-priced restaurant in Los Angeles and ordered a $23 bottle of Napa PN. It came to my table with the corked pulled and pushed back in the bottle. The waitress asked if I wanted to taste it first before pouring. Is this OK? What would you do? thx!
Original Post
IMO it was not done right. The server should have brought the unopened bottle to your table and let you see the wine and label to make sure it was the same bottle you had ordered, i.e. vintage, type, producer etc. Once you had had a chance to confirm that the bottle you were brought was in fact the one you ordered the server should have opened it tableside.
Good comments from all.

I recently ordered a wine "by the glass" at a decent, but not too serious restaurant. I was highly impressed that the server brought an empty glass and the bottle (it was opened, but in this case I was still highly impressed,) confirmed that it was what I'd ordered, and then poured my wine. Nice! Smile

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Good comments from all.

I recently ordered a wine "by the glass" at a decent, but not too serious restaurant. I was highly impressed that the server brought an empty glass and the bottle (it was opened, but in this case I was still highly impressed,) confirmed that it was what I'd ordered, and then poured my wine. Nice! Smile

PH

I was lucky enough to have that happen once too. Granted, it was a $48 glass, but I was quite impressed nonetheless.

It's nice to splurge once in a while.
kca - welcome to the boards.

All of the above comments are correct. I wonder whether the server had a bottle that had already been opened lurking in the back or just ignorant of the correct procedure. Whatever the reason, you were within your rights to send it back.

However, I hope your meal and wine were both enjoyable.
Definately agree with all! Smile

I used to work as a sommelier in Sydney, Australia, and I would NEVER ever serve my wine that way. The bottle should be brought to the table,introduced,opened and poured there. Not only does it ensure that your wine has not been tampered with, but it also allows your server to demonstrate the flair and classiness of wine service.

I also think this brings up the question as to whether servers nowadays are given proper wine service training- even in upscale restos?


"Carpe Vinum!"
Their demonstration of their flair and classsiness of wine service are two of the things I find most objectionable. I don't order wine to watch them; I order it to enjoy with my meal and the more attention they take away from the meal and the conversation, the less I like it. If it were up to me, all wine would be placed quietly on the table for us to open and pour.
sounds suspiciously like the bottle had been opened for another customer, who then realized that the wine was the wrong one, so they stopped it up. Well, when did they do this? Ten minutes before you arrived, or 3 days? That's one problem.

Another possibility is that the server is incompetent at opening wines, and had to get someone in the kitchen or elsewhere to do it. That isn't too impressive. If the server has trouble with the opening, I usually just ask them if they would mind if I open it.
Oh well...call me a romantic, but I have always enjoyed watching the process of an expert sommelier presenting and opening my chosen bottle at my table, and serving it properly.

Perhaps it comes from having gone to hotel school that one tends to observe and notice what other folks in the industry do correctly or improperly? (and being a Beverage service instructor myself! Razz)

To each their own! Cheers!

"Carpe Vinum!"
quote:
That doesn't change the fact that a winebottle should at least be opened at the table. Not that I would make a big fuss about it, it was a cheap bottle on a restaurant and most likely you were served by someone unexperienced.

The only reason wine is opened "at the table" is to insure that the customer is getting the wine he's paying for and the vintage he is paying for.

I do agree that it's not proper to open the wine away from the table, but I seriously doubt that switching the actual wine or substituting a lesser vintage makes a bit of difference on an $8 bottle of wine. Especially an $8 pinot noir.

I'm surprised it was drinkable in any case. Cool
I'll second thorn's post:

quote:
That doesn't change the fact that a winebottle should at least be opened at the table. Not that I would make a big fuss about it, it was a cheap bottle on a restaurant and most likely you were served by someone unexperienced.


I feel strongly that those of us who do know more about wine should be accepting of folks who are just starting to learn. Furthermore, we should encourage them and help bring them along.

The LAST thing I would do is laugh at the waitress.

Laughing would only perpetuate the myth that winedrinkers are snobs -- and it might make her more reluctant to serve a bottle to future customers.

Maybe the waitress hadn't yet learned how to pull a cork and had a co-worker pull it for her. This is a not uncommon situation.

Was it handled properly? No.

Should wines be opened tableside? Definitely.

What went wrong? It's really a matter of training, which is management's duty. Better training means better service.

Or maybe she was an awful waitress. Again, managment's problem.

What would I have done? I would have asked the waitress why the cork wasn't pulled at the table. Then, depending on the answer, I would have given her a 20% tip at the end of the meal (if I thought that she was inexperienced as opposed to awful) and asked the manager or hostess about training on my way out.

May you all have good service and great wine over this holiday weekend. And share some of that great wine wine someone who is just learning.

Cheers!
Gloria

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