Entertaining & Etiquette

wine etiquette???

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Entertaining & Etiquette 14

wine etiquette???

flanders | Apr 20, 2006 03:48 PM

i have a question for all the veteran restaurant-goers and lovers of wine, from someone who doesn't know that much about wine at all:

what is the proper etiquette when you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant, but it turns out that you don't like that wine and would like to get another bottle instead?

let's say you ask the waiter for a wine recommendation, and after he opens the bottle for you, he pours the obligatory sip of wine so that you can sample it--and upon doing so, you realize that you don't like this particular wine. now, i understand that some wines need to be aired out, but sometimes even my unsophisticated wine palate can tell that the wine just sucks.

so, what to do in that scenario?
is it considered rude to send it back?
or is it normal/common/somewhat expected that some customers would do so? if that's the case, how would you go about doing it?

i'd expect that even if it's ok to send it back, quite a few waiters would balk in this scenario. to be honest, i'm a little intimidated by some of these guys, and don't feel comfortable asking them for a new bottle. so that's why i need to know what to say if i were to send a bottle back without coming off as rude or unknowledgable.

is it especially rude or unacceptable to send back a bottle that's not dirt cheap (i.e. $35 and up) or at a top-tier restaurant with a highly respected wine list? because i've had a few wines that were not pretty lousy despite not being super cheap. this one time i went to a casual but popular italian restaurant during the summer, and the wine was VERY WARM; obviously it hadn't been properly stocked in a climate-controlled setting. but as much as i wanted to, i didn't ask for it to be sent back, since i figured all the other bottles were also warm on that night, plus i didn't know how to voice my complaints properly, nor what to expect.

thanks for the help!

btw what does the restaurant do when a full, just-opened bottle is sent back? do they then serve it by the glass?

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