Wine service – BY THE GLASS


I have recently written about wine service in restaurants. While it is a bit of a hot topic right now (depending on who you ask) I want to take the conversation in a slightly different direction; “by the glass service”.

To bring this all together, my issue with wine service in restaurants had to do with how servers were pouring wine, or more specifically, high much they were pouring in the glass. Frankly I felt that almost EVERY TIME I allowed a server at a wine bar to pour, they would invariably pour to a level that did not allow me to swirl the wine – thereby detracting from my full appreciation of said wine.

Today I bring up by the glass service as this is something offered at my restaurants and wine bars for those who want to try a wine, but may not be prepared to buy a full bottle. It is especially helpful if two (or more) diners want different wines.

So the question is, do you want to be served a full glass or only a small glass??? Well, obviously, you want as much wine as possible, but if you get too much the first few sips will have to be taken without swirling. And if the glass (depending upon size of course) is only filled to about 25% (as it should be) then you may feel cheated – you are not getting your money’s worth.


A simple solution and one I have only seen once or twice is to serve all wine by the glass in small carafes. Yes this adds an expense to the restaurant/bar. Yes there is now the chance for more breakage. And yes, I have been given wine in a carafe, only to have the waiter bring it over and pour the whole carafe into my glass.

But it makes sense on so many different levels. People can share. People can pour at their own pace. It looks classier. AND, the restaurant/bar has a built in portion control. No more worrying about excessive pours.

Happy wine by-the-glass Wine Tasting!


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