After writing about our tasting room experiences, it seemed like a good idea to discuss wine service experiences in restaurants. When we are served the most delicious food, it can be brought to even greater heights with a complementary wine experience. Or, it can take everything down a notch. In either case, you can bet our friends will hear about it. Below are some key things that help elevate our restaurant experience, and influence our decision as to whether or not we will return to an establishment.

  1. Price wine reasonably. I recently dined at a wine bar and a restaurant, and each place charged the same price per glass that I would pay retail for the bottle. I felt robbed! Not to mention, I won’t be going back anytime soon based on that.
  2. Provide options. Wine-pairing flights are wonderful, but if that’s not viable we appreciate having a broad selection of wines by the glass or half bottle. That way we’re not trying to settle on one wine for the meat eater and the fish eater. In this category, we take our hats off to Rover’s for regularly offering wine flights with their menus, and doing an exceptional job!
  3. Please serve our wine before the food arrives.
  4. Know your wines. Anyone who is going to sell a glass or bottle of wine should have tasted it and be able to describe it to customers.
  5. Offer Washington wines! I understand that if a restaurant focuses on cuisine from a specific region, it makes sense to offer wine from that same region. Why not offer options from Washington in addition? Consumers like choices. Personally, I like to have the opportunity to support our Washington economy and winemakers.

What’s on your list? Have you had any exceptional experiences with restaurant wine service that you’d like to see more often? Share your story with us, we love to help promote local businesses that offer exceptional service and value!