Entertaining & Etiquette

Tipping the Sommelier

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Entertaining & Etiquette 8

Tipping the Sommelier

suz | Jan 22, 2003 01:21 PM

I've searched Chowhound for past threads on tipping and sommelier etc. I have read ALL the search results but I still have some questions about tipping etiquette in regard to the sommelier. There seems to be a general consensus that one should never just give a larger tip to the server assuming that it will be shared with the sommelier. But if the sommelier should be tipped (the consensus seems to be yes) how and when do you do it; give the tip to the server and ask him/her to give it to the sommelier, give the tip to the sommelier at the end of the meal or after the wine is poured? Is it a faux pas to hand cash to the sommelier? Should the tip amount be a percentage of the wine price? What if the sommelier is also the proprietor? I've been frequenting a few restaurants with some really helpful sommeliers and I'd like to tip them but I don't want to offend anyone. At one particular restaurant the sommelier/proprietor brings out several bottles of wine, shows me each and explains the specifics of each in great detail, he's extremely generous with his time and knowledge. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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