I need some input please. I really need to know if I am alone in this, or if my view is widely held. If it is then we should instigate a wine service revolution.
On at least three occassions this year I have attended dinners where I had been asked to choose the wines to go with the food.
Each time I really need not have bothered for the following reasons: first the waiters brought the food round to the entire table, then when everyone had their food they poured the wines – painfully slowly.
The upshot was that long before the waiters had finished pouring the wine the diners at the far end had finished their food – and I had been waiting for a refill for far, far too long.
All my careful planning of what wine partnered each dish was wasted, hardly anyone actually got to sample the 2 things together at the same time!
On each of these occassions my pleas to have the bottles put on the table were met by deaf ears.
The same thing happened with the water. It came too late, too slow and in such miniscule quantities that my glass was empty by the time my neighbour had theirs.
So, someone please tell me, why do swanky places do this? Why do they not let us have the wine before the food? Why is it all so slow?
I am willing to accept that such service would be fine for a party of 2 or 4, but these were groups of 20 or more.
Surely we want our food and wine together, not staggered. I for one seldom drink the wine after the food has gone, especially when there are other courses, but I do like to drink it before the food arrives if I can.
The best way to achieve the food and wine being in front of the diner at the same time is surely to pour the wine first – don’t most of us do that at home? It would seem logical to me.
Better still put all the wine bottles and bottles of water on the table and let us serve ourselves!
It all comes down to what matters most, etiquette or experiencing the wine and the food as they are meant to be. I am all for the experience and simply do not understand the etiquette of wine service, where it comes from and why it is like that. What is more, I don’t really approve of it either, it all seems very alien to me.
The comedian Michael MacIntyre made a very good point when he wondered why the customer is asked to check if the wine is off – they are not asked to verify the milk or the fish, so why the wine?
I believe that a revolution in wine service is called for. Comrades, to the cellars!