For the thousandth time I suffered through an evening of inept wine pouring at a higher-end restaurant that shall remain nameless. My question is: does anyone really care about this service?
I'd far prefer to eliminate the expectation of wine being poured by the server, and refill my own glass, than have this person constantly revisit our table just to top off glasses, usually at the wrong time.
The errors are legion: wasteful pouring into unappreciative companions' glasses, letting glasses get too empty, refilling prematurely, favoring the men over the women (often), favoring the women over the men (less often), pouring more for the person believed to be paying the bill, making a distracting show, displaying unnecessary attitude, and so forth.
Obviously I understand that when it's done *right* the wine pouring can be one more lovely note in a suite of restaurant services that create a symphonic evening. But the rest of the time? Leave me to my own democratic impulses.
Any other thoughts? If you like your wine poured for you, does it make you feel "taken care of," special, whatever? Can you really think of ANY circumstances that justify an $18 corkage fee?
May the debate begin.