Restaurant's House Wine
October 19, 2009
Last Sunday I was invited to a Birthday in a restaurant, we had delicious food and pretty good wines, however, the wine list was poorly made, we had to opt for the most expensive wines on it. At the end of the long lunch, we finished at 5pm, because we did not want to go home yet, we decided to stop for another few minutes in the restaurant bar. The boys had a glass of wine and the girls that were driving, had soft drinks. We had a look at the wine list again and did not have enough choice so we went for their house wine, however, the wine was undrinkable. After the first sip, we left the wine in the glass and left. The wine was very poor, had too much acidity and no flavour at all. This final glass of wine, or better, its poor quality, changed our opinion on the whole restaurant experience. We went from being very happy, we will come back soon to a sort of it was all right, we may come back.
The house wine in a restaurant should be seen as the wine that can pretty much, pair the majority of dishes on the menu and not as the cheapest wine. Unfortunately, on both sides, it is wrongly misinterpreted. Both sides, in the vast majority, see it as the cheapest wine; for the restaurant the less they can pay for it the better is, for the diners the low priced wine on the list. A house wine, like any other wine, should be good and balanced but what often happens is that house wines are not, and the only component that stands out is the body. Many diners though, see this body as an indication of the quality of the wine, even if this is not the case. The body of the wine is a component and should be seen into context and non on its own. I personally, unless I know it, never order a house wine in the restaurant, often with only a few pounds more you can get a much better wine, however, if I am forced to choose one, I will be looking for all different elements, a nice and persistent nose, full of flavour in the mouth with the body blending perfectly into it.
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