If you’ve ever ordered the house wine in a fancy restaurant, then immediately felt as if you’ve committed the ultimate faux pas, we have some good news. According to a top sommelier (that’s a wine expert typically employed by said fancy restaurant), you are actually far better off opting for the cheapest bottle on the wine list. Cheers!
In his book How To Drink Like A Billionaire, sommelier Mark Oldman reveals that industry insiders know only too well that restaurant goers often feel as if they should order the second or third cheapest bottle, for fear of looking ‘cheap’ – and to account for this particular quirk, they’ll alter the list accordingly.
‘Knowing that it will sell swiftly, [a sommelier] may have slotted an overstocked bottle into the [mid-range] position on the list,’ Oldman writes, according to Business Insider. ‘Even worse, he may have marked up this wine more than any other, making it potentially the worst value on the list.’
Oldman’s advice? ‘You are better served to order the cheapest wine, which diners often neglect out of fear or embarrassment and thus is often a better value,’ he writes, which is music to our cash-strapped, wine-loving ears.
His only caveat is to ‘just make sure you [order a cheap bottle] at a restaurant that cares about its wine, where even modestly priced wines are of admirable quality.’