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At what level of service should we expect our wine to be poured?

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At what level of service should we expect our wine to be poured?

susancinsf | Dec 10, 2005 05:27 PM

A comment that poster 'lesommelier' made below, in which he mentioned in passing differences in wine service depending upon how casual the restaurant is, made me wonder: at one point does the restaurant rise to the level above casual at which one should expect the server to pour the wine? How would casual be determined in this context: it is strictly a question of ambiance, or is there a certain price point above which you expect someone to pour your wine? Should it depend on whether there is a sommelier, and if so, whether the sommelier helped you pick the wine?

I was thinking about this because I recently dined at a restaurant where most of the clientele (and some of the servers) were in jeans, yet the place is quite spendy, with an expensive wine list. I felt a little awkward pouring my own wine (partly because of the cost, and partly because it was put in a holder that was difficult to pull the bottle out of from a sitting angle: I was constantly aware that I was being hyper-careful to avoid making a mess of it by knocking over the holder or bumping the bottle into the adjacent candle). However, given how busy the place was and the server-client ratio, I would have gone thirsty all night if I had waited for the server to pour it! OTOH, at another restaurant that is a favorite, and which has a similar price-point and ambiance, the (jeans-clad) servers wouldn't dream of not checking the level of our glasses and refilling if needed whenever they walk by...

Thoughts?

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