Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wine service: the best of times and the worst of times

Sometime ago, a friend of mine sent me a New York Times op-ed piece called Of Wine, Haste and Religion. It's a witty article about wine service at restaurants that definitively related to me.

“Why wine glasses, even at fine New York tables, get filled almost to the brim, and refilled to that unseemly level, every time you're distracted from Second Amendment-authorized armed guard of your receptacle,” wonders the author. Exactly! How often do I have to prevent the waitperson from overfilling my glass? I think large wine glasses shouldn't be more than about 1/3 full to allow enough space in the glass to aerate the wine. Moreover, the wine is going to warm up much more quickly in the glass than in the bottle.

And there is more: “Just as you prepare to dab bread into the unctuous leftover sauce from those slide-from-the-bone short ribs, the plate vanishes. The fact that others around the table may still be eating — and to be without a plate is to feel naked in such circumstances — does not trouble the stealthy masters of this Houdini routine.” We know this one too well: while I am a slow eater, my husband is always the first to finish his plate. How he hates it when the plate disappears without notice.

But honestly, not all our restaurant experiences are bad. Just last night for example, we had dinner at a local Italian restaurant. This is a place where the food is good but red wines are usually served way too warm. So we were prepared and right away, asked our waiter to chill our bottle of Amarone in an ice bucket. He graciously followed our directions and by the time our plates arrived, the wine was at perfect serving temperature.

Technorati tags:

No comments: