Restaurants think young, single women know nada about wine. Ha.

on 10/03/11 at 11:25 am

Booze News

Working as a restaurant critic requires me to eat out several nights a week, which is an undeniable perk of the job. But several recent dinners have irked me enough to rant about the way I’m treated when it comes to ordering wine. In short, sommeliers and waiters think that just because I’m a young woman, I’m incapable or don’t possess enough knowledge to a) navigate a wine list, b) order the wine, and c) taste the wine. Which is downright insulting.

Here’s a scenario from a dinner two weeks ago. I was dining at a nice restaurant with a male friend about 15 years my senior. When it came time for us to choose our wine after we ordered, he handed me the list and let me discuss the wine with the sommelier. I then chose a wine varietal that I like and picked a bottle that was within the price range I wanted (inexpensive, yes, but not the cheapest on the list). The sommelier returned saying that he was out of that wine, but there was another similar one that he thought would work well with our dishes. I told him that was fine, and he promptly returned with the bottle. Yet when he returned, he showed the bottle to both my male friend and me and poured us both tastes of the wine.

True, it’s possible that this gesture could be perceived as the sommelier’s wanting for us both to experience the wine, but I’d be willing to bet a significant amount of money that if my dining companion had picked the wine all on his own, we both wouldn’t have gotten an opportunity to sample the wines.

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