What is the proper etiquette when ordering wine in a restaurant with a group of friends?
A group of friends is at dinner and one person is ordering wine. There is a wide range of prices from $37 to $110. When is it appropriate to order the most expensive wine?
There's no etiquette, as etiquettes go, especially with a group of friends I mean, if you're friends, you'll know what gives! You'll know if folks at the table will go for a $37 or more, or if even $37 is too much already! Friends are no biggie
Plus, it's NEVER appropriate to pick the most expensive label if one doesn't have a clue about wines! And if one does, we're back to square one: You know if your friends are ready to pay that for a wine, or if you aren't sure, you ask outright! Friends are friends and no biggie. No etiquette, no problem
With acquaintances, however, there should be some good ole common sense:
- Ask if someone understands wines, labels, flavors etc
- If someone does, kindly ask them to pick the wine. If they really do, they'll know to consider that someone's having fish and others meat :-P They will also know to consider everyone else's pocket!
- If nobody has much idea, then as usual resort to the advice of the waiter (or sommelier, if you're in a pricey place!)
I think the one etiquette that's certain is don't be a show-off and load everyone with a monumental bill when you don't ever distinguish between pepsi and coke
Buffoon, has reason, does not exist etiquette, but there are principles and gestures that will be able to value each moment.
If you aren't certain if your friends appreciate wine, ask for something that you already taste before.
Each person has its own taste, if you like it wine a certain region, then it ask for this exactly.
To serve and to ask to the man with more age and experience or then ask the person who you find that understand more about wine, what is that it finds of the wine.
To serve your friends, starting for the person oldest and serving the men in first and then the women (it is part of one tradition and old principle, is not offensive for the women)
If some wise guy between your friends say something about your taste, then tell him to ask and pay a wine of his preference.
If it is clear that you are paying for the meal it might be appropriate to order the most expensive bottle, assuming you can afford it and you think it might be good. Otherwise, better to discuss it with your friends first. If there is anyone at the table who can't afford even the 37 dollar bottle, best to either treat your friends or skip wine altogether.
If you're paying!
Other than that, I think it should be a conversation piece. Plus, most people end up splitting a bottle between 2 people or simply ordering by the glass.....rarely do I see 4-5 people split a bottle of wine.
The only people who order the expensive wines in restaurants are people who are showing off. The restaurateurs know it. They keep the costly ones on the wine list just for that purpose. No one pays those prices without an ulterior motive.
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