TOP 7 SECRETS TO PICKING GREAT WINE FROM A WINE LIST
1. AVOID 2ND PLACE
The second wine down on any wine list is always the most popular. We want value but don’t want to go for the cheapest so that seems like a good bet. Unfortunately restaurants know this so you can guarantee that this wine offers one of the best mark-ups for them, not great value for you.
2. MEET IN THE MIDDLE
For value for money the best place to go is the middle of the list. Often these wines are lesser known varieties that are less popular choices. Here the restaurant will have less of a mark-up to keep them competitively priced. Meaning more wine for your money!
3. GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
There’s no such thing as a bad wine making country - If they’ve got the weather the grapes will grow! The dominance of the famous regions mean there is fantastic value to be had in less famous places like Romania, Sicily or Lebanon. Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you’ve tried ‘em!
4. TAKE ADVICE
Even your average high street Italian will invest time in training its staff on the wine list these days. However training rarely stretches to the profit margins of a wine - so don’t think your waitress is trying to pull one on you by shifting some money making plonk or out of date old stock. 9 times out of 10 they’ll just tell you the one they thought tasted the best!
5. WANT CHEAP - GO HOUSE
If you are looking for a cheap date, SURPRISE, it’s the house wine where you’ll most likely get some bang for your buck. Why? Well the cheapest 3 wines on a wine list can often be separated by £3-£5 on their price tag, but the likeliness is just 50p in their cost to the restaurant.
6. DON’T PAY FOR BIG NAMES
We all love a New Zealand Sauv Blanc or Argentinian Malbec, however these trendy wines not only cost the restaurant the most, they’re the listings they know can be massively marked up. If you’re buying famous or trendy wines in a restaurant you are guaranteed to be overpaying.
7. BE ADVENTUROUS
When it comes to dining out we are far more likely to try something new to EAT than when shopping at the supermarket. With wine the opposite is the case. We all know the wines are marked up so our default setting is to go risk free and familiar. Restaurant’s know this and that’s exactly how we end up overpaying for boring wines. Remember, most wine lists will have been put together by somebody who genuinely loves wine so it’s highly unlikely any of the wine is bad.
If you follow the tips above and try something new not only will you get great value for money but you’ll also discover fantastic, tasty new wines!
Want to discover fantastic, tasty, new wines that are good for the planet, the producer and you? Well you’re already in the right place.