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Ordering in a Restaurant

Many of the same rules apply for ordering champagne in a restaurant as for retail purchases in a wine store. Ask to ensure the wines are stored properly and haven’t been on the shelf for extended periods of time. If you are planning to have different wines with different courses, this might be a time to consider a half bottle as long as they have not been held in stock for several months.

Take advantage of the restaurant’s sommelier. No one knows their wine list better. He or she is the individual that develops the wine list, tastes the wines and gets feedback from customers. A good sommelier wants you to have the best dining experience possible and will respect your price point expectations. Point to a price on the list and indicate you are looking for something in ‘this’ range. If you want to pair with a specific course or courses, let the sommelier know what you plan to order. Indicate any style preferences you have (white, pink, full bodied, light bodied, fruity, very dry, a touch of sweetness, crisp, toasty, etc.) Even the most experienced wine connoisseur will benefit from the sommelier’s expertise.

If there is no sommelier or experienced wine steward available, you can always ask your waiter what the favorites are or what the chef would drink with a specific dish. Think through your own experiences. Often the wine list will give information to help you make a decision if you are unfamiliar with some of the wines. Some restaurant menus may offer pairing suggestions with dishes. Many establishments are offering more and more champagne and sparkling wines by the glass, which is always a good alternative to a full bottle.

Keep in mind that champagne is very versatile and pairs with a wide range of foods. Refer to the webpage Champagne Pairings for suggestions regarding champagne with food.




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