I am not too knowledgeable about wine so I need some help from those who are. I often end up ordering wine by the glass with mixed results. The last time I did, I sat down at the bar right after work with the day's newspaper and ordered a glass of red Zinfandel. The bartender pulled the cork out of a bottle sitting behind him that was about half full and carefully measured out about an inch and a half of wine. While the wine had not gone completely bad, it was not very good. I had time to linger, and decided to try an experiment. I asked what the bartender might recommend if I had another glass, as I had not really enjoyed the first. He tried to steer me to another bottle that was already open, a Syrah. I asked what else was around and he showed me an unopened bottle of Cabernet. I chose that option and watched while he opened it and poured another small amount into a new glass.
As I drank this glass of wine, which was better than the first, I wondered about the policy about restaurants that serve wine by the glass in terms of these half filled bottles. How long do they sit there? I know I am paying a huge mark up by having a glass of wine, as does the restaurant management, and it seems like I should learn more about it.
I have to add that I have also had the opposite experience, with excellent choice, generous pours and decent prices considering the quality I received.
Any thoughts? Thanks!