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jc
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Quote  Posted: 08/10/2004 4:42:24 AM GMT Next MessageTop of Page
I have noticed occasionally some people would smell the cork when presented the cork by the waiter just before he pours it for tasting (to see if ok).

I personally do not smell the cork but I wonder if it is appropriate or necessary to do it.

Please share your views and experience. Is there a right or wrong thing in doing this and other common "wrong" habits?

Cheers!!


antonello
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Quote  Posted: 08/10/2004 7:53:22 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Hello jc! Thank you for this new interesting topic.
Besides being a wine-food consultant and organizing classes on wine tasting in many parts of Italy and Europe, I also am a sommelier since 1999.
The practice of smelling cork is absolutely acceptable and this is also recommended. The sommelier (or the wine steward or any other else in charge of serving wine) has to make sure the wine he or she is serving is in good condition and drinkable. That's why the cork is being examined in many ways and then it must be presented to the client in order to make sure himself or herself. According to my sommelier school - as well as according to international sommellerie rules - this is a rule of thumb.
As the bottle was uncorked and the cork examined to be in good conditions, the cork must be put in a lid and presented to the client. The client has always the final word on this subject, although questionable by the sommelier himself.
If you want my opinion, I always smell cork when they serve me a bottle of wine in restaurant and, at least here in Europe, smelling a cork is not considered an unpolite act. By the way, before serving the other guests, the sommelier has to pour a small amount of wine to the person who ordered it and allow him or her to taste it. Only after the client's approval the wine can be served to all the other guests in the table.

Talk to you soon!
Antonello Biancalana
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miclan
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Quote  Posted: 08/10/2004 11:25:00 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Hello everyone!
I am a cook and I work in an Italian restaurant. In my restaurant there is no sommelier and the duty of serving wines is destined to waiters. Although I tried to educate the waiters on how to serve wines, they seem to not excessively care about it. I asked my boss to hire a real sommelier but he said it would be too expensive.
The clients in my restaurant usually order wine with their meals and I must say few of them smell the cork. They probably trust the waiter or they probably don't know. To tell the whole story the clients do not even smell what I cook!!!

I am sorry if my english is bad.
Michele Landolfi
cathy
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Quote  Posted: 08/10/2004 6:13:10 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I must admit I never smell the cork when I go to the restaurant and to be confident I have never thought about doing that.
After all I think the waiter should make sure everything is ok, no?
Cathy
jc
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Quote  Posted: 08/11/2004 4:06:06 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Thanks for your all your feedback, Miclan, Cathy and Antonello (may I call u Anton in the future?) You have a much coveted job. In fact to be a wine consultant and sommelier is my ultimate dream job! It's probably a bit late for me to do this course now though but hey, I am sure I can learn heaps from you.

Now back to the topic, I believe smelling of the cork is one way of making sure if the wine is not tainted (TCA). Of course the smell of TCA is also very obvious, most of the time one would know it as soon as the cork is pulled out. Maybe there are times it is not as obvious.

However, sampling a small amount of wine when the sommelier / waiter first pours it is more important. Sometimes the cork may look and smell ok but the wine somehow does not (it could have sediments, CO2 (second fermentation in the bottle or whatever).

Well, the point is that smelling the cork, examining it to make sure it is in good condition and sampling the small amount before the restaurant waiter/sommelier pours it for other guests is a process of making sure we get the wine we expected and what it should taste like. (I don't mind smelling the nice aroma on a cork but I will probably leave it to the sommelier to smell the tainted one!! he hehh )

However, since the sommelier school recommends smelling of corks, it must be ok.

Cathy, not all waiters know about wines (even though they should) so I would trust my own judgement.

Miclan, I wish I could write Italian as good as you write English! There is nothing wrong! And I promise you I will smell your cooking if I have the opportunity to dine at your restaurant. I love lasagna, gnocchi, linguine, and certainly tiramisu and gelato!

Cheers!
antonello
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Quote  Posted: 08/11/2004 8:14:14 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jc wrote:
Thanks for your all your feedback, Miclan, Cathy and Antonello (may I call u Anton in the future?) You have a much coveted job. In fact to be a wine consultant and sommelier is my ultimate dream job! It's probably a bit late for me to do this course now though but hey, I am sure I can learn heaps from you.

Well, never say never! It is never too late for anything.....

jc wrote:
Now back to the topic, I believe smelling of the cork is one way of making sure if the wine is not tainted (TCA). Of course the smell of TCA is also very obvious, most of the time one would know it as soon as the cork is pulled out. Maybe there are times it is not as obvious.

The cork is also examined visually in order to make sure it is in good conditions. A shrinked cork may let oxigen in the bottle with the consequence of oxidizing the wine.

jc wrote:
However, sampling a small amount of wine when the sommelier / waiter first pours it is more important. Sometimes the cork may look and smell ok but the wine somehow does not (it could have sediments, CO2 (second fermentation in the bottle or whatever).

Right. That's why the sommelier has to taste the wine first and before serving the guests.

jc wrote:
Well, the point is that smelling the cork, examining it to make sure it is in good condition and sampling the small amount before the restaurant waiter/sommelier pours it for other guests is a process of making sure we get the wine we expected and what it should taste like. (I don't mind smelling the nice aroma on a cork but I will probably leave it to the sommelier to smell the tainted one!! he hehh )

You should also consider that in case you ordered a wine which you do not like but the wine is in good condition and meets its typicality, you cannot claim a replacement. For example if you ordered a Cabernet Franc from certain cool areas and you do not like the strong bell pepper aroma of it, you cannot ask for a replacement because you do not like it, for Cabernet Franc produced in such area it is just normal to smell like that!

jc wrote:
However, since the sommelier school recommends smelling of corks, it must be ok.

Of course the client is not required to smell the cork, he or she can do that if wished. It is however supposed the sommelier has already made sure about the cork.

jc wrote:
Cathy, not all waiters know about wines (even though they should) so I would trust my own judgement.

You are absolutely right! I always end up being upset most of the times I go to restaurants (not only in Italy) and see how they treat and serve wine!!

jc wrote:
Miclan, I wish I could write Italian as good as you write English! There is nothing wrong! And I promise you I will smell your cooking if I have the opportunity to dine at your restaurant. I love lasagna, gnocchi, linguine, and certainly tiramisu and gelato!

Hey jc! You seem to have a good knowledge about Italian cooking!!!
Smelling food is also another good sign of civilization and culture, in my opinion of course. It is essential that you smell what it is supposed to nurture you and get into your body!!!

Talk to you all soon!
Antonello Biancalana
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Quote  Posted: 08/11/2004 11:21:58 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I too have the habit of smelling cork whenever I order wine at restaurant. I do not think this to be unpolite or whatever. I just want to make sure that what I pay is in good conditions.
As Antonello mentioned sommeliers, as a matter of fact they are pretty hard to find in French restaurants as well. They are always present in top class restaurants, though.
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Quote  Posted: 08/11/2004 6:05:26 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Like jc, I too have always asked myself whether smelling the cork at a restaurant was something correct and polite. I personally do not do that and it seems, according to Antonello, it is acceptable.
After all, at least here in Germany, waiters barely know how to serve wine, even worse, how to uncork a wine, so I think the client should make sure himself about the cork and the wine!!
I think I am going to have this habit soon...
Jörg - A passion for Italian wine!
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Quote  Posted: 08/12/2004 7:51:41 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I do not think I have ever seen a wine steward in action here in the US. Most of the times they simply uncork the wine and leave the bottle on the table. Not to mention they do not even let you smelling the cork because they put it in their pocket.
I would like to ask another question: is it acceptable to ask the waiter to leave the cork next to the bottle in order every guest, or at least the one who ordered the wine, can examine it?
Steve
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Quote  Posted: 08/12/2004 11:34:41 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
wineguy wrote:
I do not think I have ever seen a wine steward in action here in the US. Most of the times they simply uncork the wine and leave the bottle on the table. Not to mention they do not even let you smelling the cork because they put it in their pocket.
I would like to ask another question: is it acceptable to ask the waiter to leave the cork next to the bottle in order every guest, or at least the one who ordered the wine, can examine it?

There is nothing wrong with that. After all you bought that bottle of wine and it includes the cork as well! I think everyone should have the habit of checking the cork condition in particular in those restaurants where the wine service is poor. If we all consider wine a pleasure - and it certainly is - we should understand pleasure is first of all the absence of faults.
Ask for the cork the next time you go to the restaurant, it is your right to make sure they are serving you a wine in good conditions and, besides that, there is nothing wrong in asking that as well as smelling the cork.
Antonello Biancalana
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Quote  Posted: 08/12/2004 5:51:02 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I do not personally mind whether smelling the cork is a polite act or not, I just do it. I am not a particular restaurant goer person, however every time I decide to dine in a restaurant and I order wine I always smell the cork and make sure the wine is in good conditions.
Here in England wine service is acceptable only in top quality restaurants and Italian restaurants, surprisingly, do not seem to particularly care about this aspect which is pretty strange, at least in my opinion, as wine seems to be an important part of the Italian culture.
Richard Johnson
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Quote  Posted: 08/13/2004 7:59:10 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jc wrote:
Miclan, I wish I could write Italian as good as you write English! There is nothing wrong! And I promise you I will smell your cooking if I have the opportunity to dine at your restaurant. I love lasagna, gnocchi, linguine, and certainly tiramisu and gelato!

Well, thank you jc!
Now I think you should come to Italy and come to my restaurant!!
And you seem to know Italian cooking very well. I guess you have a good knowledge about Italian wines too.
Wine service is, at least in my opinion, very important in restaurants but I must admit even here in Italy the service is not always that good. I think in many restaurants wine is considered just something you can sell and make profit from it.
And it is strange most of the people do not get upset when they are served wine this way. After all, most clients do not even pay attention to the cork and, even worse, do not even smell the wine.
Michele Landolfi
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Quote  Posted: 08/13/2004 5:50:27 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I supposed the culture of wine was well established in Italy, but according to what miclan said, there is no difference from other countries, which is pretty unbelievable to me.
I have always thought in Italian restaurant in Italy wine service and food service were taken in high consideration, in my opinion, only France could beat Italy on this.
I mean, Italy is known worldwide for its rich food and wine heritage and the idea people do not usually pay attention on this is pretty hard to understand.
Cathy
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Quote  Posted: 08/16/2004 11:53:17 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
cathy wrote:
I supposed the culture of wine was well established in Italy, but according to what miclan said, there is no difference from other countries, which is pretty unbelievable to me.
I have always thought in Italian restaurant in Italy wine service and food service were taken in high consideration, in my opinion, only France could beat Italy on this.
I mean, Italy is known worldwide for its rich food and wine heritage and the idea people do not usually pay attention on this is pretty hard to understand.

You are right about one thing: wine culture in Italy is well established and it historically played an important part in the culture of this country. No matter how hard this is hard to believe, wine service in Italy is not always impeccable and appropriate. The main cause is lack of competence and professionality. In many restaurants they believe serving wine simply means uncorking a bottle (even with a noisy "pop") and leave the bottle on the table.
I do agree with you about this to be pretty unbelievable, but that's how things are now in many Italian restaurants. Things are changing, though. The culture of wine is improving and there is more awareness about wine service and people is getting more and more exacting on this. However we are still far from a reasonable and appropriate wine service, just like - in my opinion - most of the restaurants in other countries.
Antonello Biancalana
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Quote  Posted: 08/16/2004 5:58:15 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
antonello wrote:
You are right about one thing: wine culture in Italy is well established and it historically played an important part in the culture of this country. No matter how hard this is hard to believe, wine service in Italy is not always impeccable and appropriate. The main cause is lack of competence and professionality. In many restaurants they believe serving wine simply means uncorking a bottle (even with a noisy "pop") and leave the bottle on the table.
I do agree with you about this to be pretty unbelievable, but that's how things are now in many Italian restaurants. Things are changing, though. The culture of wine is improving and there is more awareness about wine service and people is getting more and more exacting on this. However we are still far from a reasonable and appropriate wine service, just like - in my opinion - most of the restaurants in other countries.

I think one of the reasons why wine service is usually poor is that trained and expert personnel is very expensive. I can see this in the restaurant where I work at. I once proposed to my boss hiring a real sommelier and he said it would have been too expensive. Most of the times in restaurants wine is served by waiters who have no knowledge or competence about wine and wine service. I think this may change in the future, but not in this moment. I think it will take time for things to change.
Michele Landolfi
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Quote  Posted: 08/17/2004 11:19:18 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
miclan wrote:
I think one of the reasons why wine service is usually poor is that trained and expert personnel is very expensive. I can see this in the restaurant where I work at. I once proposed to my boss hiring a real sommelier and he said it would have been too expensive. Most of the times in restaurants wine is served by waiters who have no knowledge or competence about wine and wine service. I think this may change in the future, but not in this moment. I think it will take time for things to change.

I think you are right and only restaurant goers can change this. As long as clients are happy with the wine service at restaurant, nothing is going to change, but as clients begin to claim a better service, restaurant will need to adapt to this request of they will lose clients.
Antonello Biancalana
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jc
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Quote  Posted: 08/18/2004 10:51:51 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
This certainly sounds like a serious issue.. Like many, I too assume that because Italians have a deep wine culture, I have a certain presumption and expectation that serving and drinking wine in Italy will come with the right ettiquette and even style.

Sounds like an unfortunate fact that this isn't the case. Miclan has a point, many restauranteurs only care about profits and less about quality. I can understand that hiring a proper wine waiter or sommelier is more expensive than Jack the waiter but ultimately, it reflects the image and quality of the restaurant itself.

I tend to agree with Anton that this has to start with customers and if people can notice the difference (of quality) in other restaurants, they will go there. Restaurant owners will recognise this and ultimately have to provide a better service. However, if most customers don't give a dime about the levels of service, they are either ignorant or they are not into wine themselves. I know a lot of people are intimidated when they are served wine at a restaurant and they will not question anything that is served. One or two may check the cork or taste the wine condition but most will simply accept the wine in whatever way they were served, rightly or wrongly.

This lack of wine education is also part of the problem. For instance, I know many restaurants in this city simply do not have a proper place (let alone a cellar) to store wines. Fluctuating temperatures or sometimes effects from direct sun may not be ruled out. Maybe the majority of people cannot tell the difference and perhaps the level of complaints restaurants receive is far less than what they deem as necessary to "make a change".

There is no easy solution to this but it has to start from somewhere. The wine industry too should have a part in this. With wine education and customer demands, the rest will follow suit with time. Let us hope things will change for the better.
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Quote  Posted: 08/18/2004 6:31:45 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jc wrote:
This certainly sounds like a serious issue.. Like many, I too assume that because Italians have a deep wine culture, I have a certain presumption and expectation that serving and drinking wine in Italy will come with the right ettiquette and even style.

I live in Italy and go to many restaurants, both for pleasure and work. Well, most of the times you cannot even imagine how good they are to mess with the wine service...
Of course I am just generalizing and not all the restaurants in Italy are like this. The top-average ones can usually offer a good service and top class restaurants can also be impeccable.

jc wrote:
Sounds like an unfortunate fact that this isn't the case. Miclan has a point, many restauranteurs only care about profits and less about quality. I can understand that hiring a proper wine waiter or sommelier is more expensive than Jack the waiter but ultimately, it reflects the image and quality of the restaurant itself.

You definitely hit the point. Restauranteurs have not realized yet the quality of the restaurant itself also includes the professionality of its personnel. Bad trained personnel can ruin the prestige of a restaurant for sure and many restauranteurs still believe that anyone can be a waiter. They probably did not realize that every average client can tell the difference!! Being a professional waiter is not easy!

jc wrote:
I tend to agree with Anton that this has to start with customers and if people can notice the difference (of quality) in other restaurants, they will go there.

Right! Everyone has a car and can move quickly from a place to another!!!

jc wrote:
Restaurant owners will recognise this and ultimately have to provide a better service. However, if most customers don't give a dime about the levels of service, they are either ignorant or they are not into wine themselves.

This is why I personally insist on the spreading of wine culture! It is up to us to decide whether being ignorant or not. If you know something you can recognize it and if you can recognize it you can tell the difference!!!

jc wrote:
I know a lot of people are intimidated when they are served wine at a restaurant and they will not question anything that is served. One or two may check the cork or taste the wine condition but most will simply accept the wine in whatever way they were served, rightly or wrongly.

This is another problem, you are right. In my opinion people would like to be educated on this. I can tell this by talking to the many people who attend my wine tasting classes and wine-food events. They usually do not know how to behave in such circumstances but they want to know how to do for sure! They usually bombard me with hundreds of questions and of course it is good they do, at least they show they want to change things.

jc wrote:
This lack of wine education is also part of the problem. For instance, I know many restaurants in this city simply do not have a proper place (let alone a cellar) to store wines. Fluctuating temperatures or sometimes effects from direct sun may not be ruled out. Maybe the majority of people cannot tell the difference and perhaps the level of complaints restaurants receive is far less than what they deem as necessary to "make a change".

In many restaurants they do not even know how to properly store and keep wines. It could happen they could serve you a completely oxidized or ruined wine without even knowing it because they do not how to recognize such wines.
Sad as it could be, in many restaurants if you complain about a corked wine they definitely refuse to replace the bottle because they say it is not their fault. Well? Is it then client's fault???

jc wrote:
There is no easy solution to this but it has to start from somewhere. The wine industry too should have a part in this. With wine education and customer demands, the rest will follow suit with time. Let us hope things will change for the better.

It is up to us!! Let's begin to be more exacting at restaurants: they will understand or lose clients!
Antonello Biancalana
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Quote  Posted: 08/19/2004 8:04:48 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I do agree with you all. We should begin complaining about the wine service and claim for a better one. After all if we do not complain at all, restauranteurs will believe their service is acceptable or even good and therefore things will never change. We are the ones who can really make a difference on this, after all they want us to pay the bill, so we should ask for something more or just go to another place.
Jörg - A passion for Italian wine!
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Quote  Posted: 08/19/2004 11:15:36 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Here I agree with you all. It is up to us to change things in restaurants and to claim a better service. Maybe you wonder in Italy the wine service is not excellent, well, even here in France the situation is almost the same. If you want a good wine service you have to go to a top class restaurant. In average restaurants it is the waiter to be in charge of wine service and most of the time he or she does not even know how to uncork a bottle.
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Quote  Posted: 08/20/2004 8:38:08 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
It seems France has the same problem as well Germany, Italy and of course the US. Even Australia seems to have the same quality. I end up saying that wine service in restaurants, no matter the country, can be considered as poor or average.
I agree on the fact we clients should claim for a better service, however I also believe restaurants should understand themselves they need to change the quality of wine service. Maybe it's just a matter of opportunity and culture. I guess they would raise prices in case they are going to give a better wine service because you know trained personnel can be an issue on this regard. Or we may also end up not ordering any wine at restaurants...
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Quote  Posted: 08/21/2004 6:18:18 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
What I get from this discussion is that wine service is generally poor in every restaurant, saved top class restaurants.
This makes me think that only top class restaurant goers care about wine service? Ok, I understand quality has a price and since top class restaurant are expensive they can afford the extra cost for a good wine service. The point now is whether we'd better go to top class restaurant in case we want to have wine served right, or just go to normal restaurant and not complaining at all because we accept the fact they do not offer a good wine service. Maybe we'd better stay home and enjoy wine with friends?
Steve
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Quote  Posted: 08/23/2004 7:54:38 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
Maybe wineguy hit the point.
If we cannot have a good service at restaurants, we'd better stay home and enjoy wine with our friends, after all if we should get what we pay, if we do not get a good wine service we should not pay anything for that, not even a dime.
Anyway we all occasionally go to restaurant just to spend some good time and possibly eating nice food and drinking a good wine, so I think we clients should complain everytime we do not get a good service. This may help them understanding we want more because we know more than they do.
Jörg - A passion for Italian wine!
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Quote  Posted: 08/24/2004 7:47:39 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I do not think we should stop going to restaurants, we should simply learn to choose and compare. If we go to a restaurant and we do not like what they serve us, we have the chance to go somewhere and choose another place. We may politely complain about the service, but we have the power to choose another place and forget the bad one. As restaurants will lose clients, they will realize themselves they have to change something in order to keep clients.
Organizing get togethers with friends at home certainly is good, sharing a bottle of wine with friends is something very social and a tribute to the good company. Although I like staying home with friends and sharing a meal together as well as good wine, I think going to restaurant is just another thing.
It is up to us: if we keep on being silent while accepting what we do not like, nothing is going to change. If you do not like what they give you, tell them!
Antonello Biancalana
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Quote  Posted: 08/24/2004 6:38:31 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
It is not always easy to tell them! I know many people who just do not know what a good wine service should be. They usually are intimidated by the waiter or whoever is going to serve wine and they take for granted he or she is doing a good job. They do not dare arguing about this aspect because they simply do not know.
Of course this is too bad to see and I do agree with you all things should change and whoever knows what a good wine service should be, he or she would tell others and complain.
This makes me think about the reason why restaurants cannot provide a good wine service... I mean if they can offer something good they can also keep clients because they will go back there again!
Richard Johnson
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Quote  Posted: 08/25/2004 7:36:01 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I do agree with Rickie. We have the power of choosing and if we do not like a restaurant we can go somewhere else. Anyway I think we should complain when we do not like how things are done in restaurants. After all, and I am talking about the food culture of my country here, eating is a strong aspect of our daily life and we do pay attention on the quality of it as well as of wine.
I know most of the French people drink Vin de Pays every day and even at restaurants, but this does not mean it should be served bad because it is not a premier cru. I also believe this is a matter of respect towards both the client and the wine.
We have to complain about what we do not like and go somewhere: on the long run they will realize what's wrong in their restaurants.
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Quote  Posted: 08/30/2004 7:44:01 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jimmy wrote:
We have to complain about what we do not like and go somewhere: on the long run they will realize what's wrong in their restaurants.

This could surely be a good way for changing things, however - in my opinion - it would take time to show significant effects. I think we should spread a better wine culture instead. Not only by means of magazines or media, we all should also tell our friends about the differences, we have to share our opinions, to bring up this subject and to have them realize the difference between a good service and a bad one: drinking wine is not just emptying a glass of wine into your stomach!!
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Quote  Posted: 08/31/2004 7:53:24 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
antonello wrote:
This could surely be a good way for changing things, however - in my opinion - it would take time to show significant effects. I think we should spread a better wine culture instead. Not only by means of magazines or media, we all should also tell our friends about the differences, we have to share our opinions, to bring up this subject and to have them realize the difference between a good service and a bad one: drinking wine is not just emptying a glass of wine into your stomach!!

I think every decent wine lover knows the difference between drinking wine and tasting wine, that's why we wine lovers should make something in order to claim for a better service in restaurants. I agree with you, drinking wine is not just emptying a glass into your stomach!
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Quote  Posted: 09/01/2004 6:18:38 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jimmy wrote:
I think every decent wine lover knows the difference between drinking wine and tasting wine, that's why we wine lovers should make something in order to claim for a better service in restaurants. I agree with you, drinking wine is not just emptying a glass into your stomach!

I agree with what you're saying, anuway it is not always easy to have people understand this, in particular at restaurants!!!! However I too think we should do something in order to change things.
To be confident, I love the romance of wine and I hate seeing people ruining all that by paying little or no attention on important details!!!
Cathy
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Quote  Posted: 09/02/2004 8:40:26 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
cathy wrote:
I agree with what you're saying, anuway it is not always easy to have people understand this, in particular at restaurants!!!! However I too think we should do something in order to change things.
To be confident, I love the romance of wine and I hate seeing people ruining all that by paying little or no attention on important details!!!

Cathy, I agree on the romance part of wine and I to hate seeing people being uncaring on this aspect. After all great things are also made by small things each of them being equally important.
If we really want to change things, we have to spread the word. We have to tell our friends about the differences and to help them understand a bad service from a good one. It is also up to us!
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Quote  Posted: 09/02/2004 5:49:45 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I think you guys are missing an important point: good wine service has a cost. It takes qualified and trained personnel, last but not the least, it takes the culture of service. I can tell this by looking at what happens in Italian restaurants, and as far as I am concerned and as far as I read in this forum, things seem to be quite the same elsewhere.
Most of the time wine is served by a waiter, or better to say, a person who sometimes works as a waiter. They think being a waiter means delivering plates to the client's table and that's it. Serving a wine is done more or less this way.
I am not saying all waiters do not know their job, what I want to say is that being a waiter is, first of all, a profession, let me add, a noble and indispensible profession in a restaurant. The problem is there are no waiters in restaurants, only people who occasionally work as that. If it is a problem to have a good waiter in a restaurant, do not even mention sommeliers!
In case restaurants would hire professional waiters and sommeliers, that would mean for clients paying more, in fact only top restaurants have such professional figures.
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Quote  Modified: 09/07/2004 7:15:10 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
miclan wrote:
I think you guys are missing an important point: good wine service has a cost. It takes qualified and trained personnel, last but not the least, it takes the culture of service. I can tell this by looking at what happens in Italian restaurants, and as far as I am concerned and as far as I read in this forum, things seem to be quite the same elsewhere.

Ok, I agree with you when you say it is a matter of costs and we all know professional and trained personnel has a cost. What about respect?
Clients going to restaurant should be respected and respect is also something you show by means of good service. After all, it is also a matter of culture.
Would you enjoy the company of a person who is not showing you any respect? I do not think so. I think you would go and look for someone else. Well, the same happens in restaurants: when you go to a restaurant and you do not like it - because of any reason - you simply go somewhere else. In this case the restaurant has not only lost a client, it also lost an opportunity because, we all know, clients are used to spread the word about the restaurants they like or don't like.
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Quote  Posted: 09/07/2004 7:16:51 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
miclan wrote:
I think you guys are missing an important point: good wine service has a cost. It takes qualified and trained personnel, last but not the least, it takes the culture of service. I can tell this by looking at what happens in Italian restaurants, and as far as I am concerned and as far as I read in this forum, things seem to be quite the same elsewhere.

Ok, wine service has a cost. You should also consider we go to the restaurant because we want to have nice food and nice wines, in case we are going to have just ordinary food and ordinary wine, not to mention ordinary service, we'd better stay home or change the restaurant. After all we clients are not coming to restaurants and claim to eat and drink for free, we do pay what the restaurants give us!!
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Quote  Posted: 09/08/2004 7:31:04 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jimmy wrote:
Ok, wine service has a cost. You should also consider we go to the restaurant because we want to have nice food and nice wines, in case we are going to have just ordinary food and ordinary wine, not to mention ordinary service, we'd better stay home or change the restaurant. After all we clients are not coming to restaurants and claim to eat and drink for free, we do pay what the restaurants give us!!

I agree with jimmy. After all we do pay what we get from restaurants and the point now is whether what we pay is right for what we get. You probably get less whwnever you are going to pay less, you get more when you pay more. I may also end up saying it is better staying home? In this case you always know what you paid and what you got, and the only one to blame is just you!!!
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Quote  Posted: 09/10/2004 7:46:40 AM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
This subject seems to be pretty serious to us. We complain about wine service in restaurants but we have never said how this service should be. Maybe there are many ways to serve a wine in restaurant and all are just acceptable. Or maybe there is only one formal way to serve wine and no one in restaurants knows it.
I think we should consider wine service as the act of uncorking and pouring wine and the quality of glasses in the table as well as serving temperature.
Maybe they uncork wine poorly but they serve it at the right temperature and proper glasses, and I would prefer such a condition instead of the other!
Richard Johnson
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Quote  Posted: 09/17/2004 5:46:49 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
rickie wrote:
This subject seems to be pretty serious to us. We complain about wine service in restaurants but we have never said how this service should be. Maybe there are many ways to serve a wine in restaurant and all are just acceptable. Or maybe there is only one formal way to serve wine and no one in restaurants knows it.
I think we should consider wine service as the act of uncorking and pouring wine and the quality of glasses in the table as well as serving temperature.
Maybe they uncork wine poorly but they serve it at the right temperature and proper glasses, and I would prefer such a condition instead of the other!

I too would prefer to have the right glasses and temperature instead of a poor uncorking of the bottle. Of course, if we could have both, it would be better!
To be honest, I do not know exactly how a wine should be properly served, I am sure there are formal ways that could make the difference, but I do not know them. Maybe I have never seen a formal wine service.
However I think we should complain about what we do not like, including wine service and food service/quality.
Jörg - A passion for Italian wine!
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Quote  Posted: 09/20/2004 6:05:18 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I think wine service should be considered as a whole and not just glasses, temperature, uncorking seen as being one unrelated to the other. Wine service is made of all those details at once.
Of course it is better to have the right glass and wine served at the right temperature instead of an impeccable uncorking, however I do not agree to see these phases apart from the rest.
Every part of wine service has a reason and every action is done because makes sense in the service, not just because it is formal.
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Quote  Posted: 09/23/2004 6:25:04 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
jimmy wrote:
I think wine service should be considered as a whole and not just glasses, temperature, uncorking seen as being one unrelated to the other. Wine service is made of all those details at once.
Of course it is better to have the right glass and wine served at the right temperature instead of an impeccable uncorking, however I do not agree to see these phases apart from the rest.
Every part of wine service has a reason and every action is done because makes sense in the service, not just because it is formal.

I agree with you. We should consider wine service as a whole. In my opinion serving temperature is as important as wine glasses as well as every other aspect.
Cathy
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Quote  Posted: 09/27/2004 5:50:43 PM GMT Previous MessageNext MessageTop of Page
I completely agree with Cathy. Wine service should be considered as a whole. You cannot consider each factor without considering all the others as well. In case one of the factors making the wine service is being neglected, that means the wine service was not done properly.
Of course there are factors more important than others and in my opnion the most important ones are temperature and glasses. This does not mean I am not interested in all the other factors, like I said, they all are equally important in order to tell a good wine service from a bad one.
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Quote  Posted: 09/28/2004 6:05:19 PM GMT Previous MessageTop of Page
If it is true wine service should be considered as a whole, can anyone tell how a good wine service should be? Until we do not know, how can we tell the difference?
Richard Johnson

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