WSET Bitesize – An easy guide to choosing wine in a restaurant

WSET Bitesize - An easy guide to choosing wine in a restaurant

Foreign Everyone and Welcome to our WSET bite Size for beginners session and today We’re going to be focusing on an easy Guide to choosing wine in a restaurant And the session is going to be recorded So if you can’t stay around for the Whole session then please do feel free To watch again later And if you’ve got any questions during The session please leave pop them in the Q a box and we’ll try to answer them if We’ve got time at the end of the session And we’ve got an entire bite size series Available also on our events Hub so if There are other subjects that you’re Interested in please do take a look on YouTube wsct events Hub and also on our WSET website there’s a whole List of other events and other talks That we’re doing between now and Christmas Um so just to introduce myself my name Is Rachel Webster I’m the business Development director for emea here at The wsct and I’ve actually been here for 10 years now and I have my diploma my Wsud diploma and I’m a certified Educator Uh prior to working at WSET I worked in Drinks retail for about seven years so Very much used to serving your customers And supporting people choose line for Their dinners and other events

And so I’ve been working in the industry Now for about 17 years and today I am Joined by Nathaniel Morales and so Welcome Nathaniel I’ll hand it to you to Introduce yourself to everyone Hello everyone I am Nathaniel Morales a Member of Institute of hospitality And previously worked in Shangri-La Boracay Resorts and Spa the number one Resort in the Philippines located in Number one Island in Asia and also a Task force bartender in Charlotte Village Resort and Spa in Maldives and Now currently working as a floor manager In thing restaurant restaurant located In 35th floor of the shard And previously senior sommelier From the fullness Shard and the Restaurant there is one of the nicest Views known to man apart from yesterday In the fog Nathaniel what we were Talking about Thank you Um so today Um we’re going to look at the basics of Um how to choose wine in a restaurant so We’re going to be focusing on what um a Family is first of all those we’re also Going to look at um navigating the short Or a long wine list and choosing wine Within your budget we’re going to look At food and wine pairing Um and versus personal preference and Taste we’re then going to go on to the

Very basics of wine etiquette and being More confident in a restaurant setting And then at the end we’re going to talk About Um how to choose wine for a celebration Or a large Gathering if you’re the Person who’s been made responsible for That Um that role we’re just gonna make sure That you Um look at all different options that You’ve got in front if you haven’t Rather than worrying about it Um so first of all Miss Nathaniel um You’re the expert here what is a simelio So as a similar for me it’s a highly Ineligible and qualified professional Person working in the restaurants or any Uh you know fine dining restaurant as Well so they are chooses samples and Monitoring the wine stocks especially The inventory and they are also managing The updating of uh vintages of the wines And they are totally responsible for Training uh plan for the staff Perfect and maybe Um you’ll have lots of different Experiences The Familiar you can do um Specific familiar training and their Wfet training and so you’re hugely Knowledgeable about all wines from all Over the world Okay so we’re going to go on to Um wine list so how to manage wine lists

And how to manage Um budget whatever that is if you want To kind of uh economy drive or if you’ve Got a bit of extra money to spend so We’re going to look at how best to spend That um online Um so first and foremost Nathaniel Um should you and if so how do you Politely let your sommelier or your Server know and what your budget is so That they can recommend something within Your budget that you’re happy with Um and you don’t have to worry about Them suggesting something that is beyond Your budget so yes So you know uh personally I totally Handled more than and you know uh So in my in my own experience in in the Restaurants My suggestion as a some layer To make sure that you don’t spend more Than your budget is to browse the Restaurants menu especially the wine List if you have any celebration okay so You can see the prices you can see the Name of the wines you can see the uh Vintages as well the grape varieties so It can you know you can set the budget Before you dine so you can you know you Can monitor your Um uh budget especially if you have like For example anniversary or birthday Celebration but if you really don’t have Time you can see it then choose your

Food first in my Own experience Then if you’re not familiar with the Wines you can ask immediately the Souvenirs or the servers so they can Totally guide you to choose the wine But most of my age would be really happy If you’re one of their customers to say Look actually I was looking about Spending about 50 pounds on a bottle Um most of my automotives would be happy To be feed as a customer to give those Guidelines and then they can look at on That list about some personal Preferences things that you’re happy With but I think that’s a really good Tip for someone to um you know we’re all The same we always look at the menu the Food menu remember before we book a Restaurant Um but they’re having a look at the wine List as well to see what those devices Are so that you’re not surprised when You sit down you know if they’re quite Expensive then at least you’re prepared Ahead of that yes correct perfect so um Next Um you can see in the middle picture Here there’s a wine list loads of Different Um names of wine vintages prices but There’s absolutely no description of the Wine at all so what would you recommend To a customer who’s faced with a list

Like list with absolutely no description Of a wine Or if there’s if you dine in the Restaurant without you know upon opening The menu of the wine and you can observe And you can see that there’s no Description and you’re not familiar You know please ask immediately you know It’s better to ask uh first before You’re ordering because you once you Order the wine and then you don’t like It it will be I mean difficult for you And for the service because you need to Replace it okay and then you know uh you Know if you don’t know you can ask the Server or if there’s a familiar it will Be helpful and then they will explain You The Taste the aroma the intensity And you know what’s your expectation to The wine so us as familiar we are always Available if you need us and then we can You know we can help you so you can Enjoy your dining experience well you Know while enjoying the food Yeah it’s absolutely simulated role to Make sure that the customer is enjoying Their wine so you’re always happy to Talk through the wines ask about People’s preferences they might have had A wine before that they remember Um and smelier would would recognize What that wine was a great variety and Obviously be able to recommend something Similar on them

Um so we’ve got the the last feature There is Um a wine list with a little bit more Detail so a little bit of a descriptor About it and to do the same rules and Regulations about budget and asking Familiar or server apply in a Non-fighting done Oh Rachel uh can you repeat it again Yeah it does the same do the same rules Applying if you’re in a regular Restaurant Um you know would you still encourage uh Customers to ask the staff for advice About the wines Um or is this something that only Applies for fine dining restaurants I think in my own experience you know Every time I dine in a restaurant even It’s in the regular or normal restaurant Or find any restaurant I always ask Assistant from the surveyors of the Souvenir why because you know it’s Better to us every time and then you Know uh even it’s not that fancy or like A fantastic and elegant restaurant it Will be the same you know same situation Because you will you ordering your own Wine you know not ordering that the uh Preferred wine for you from the Sommelier so because At the end of the day you will enjoy it You will pay it as well so uh it’s Better to you know ask every time for

Example if you want to order only per Class You know it can inform the server or There was somewhere that oh uh it’s Possible to taste this wine before I Order it then you know but if you know The wine if it’s like light body medium Body it’s full-bodied You can inform immediately then they Will you know uh get the wine and you Know you can taste before you uh order It yeah that’s a really good tip because Actually if a restaurant does things by The glass then it’s perfectly acceptable To us to have a small taste we we would Do that quite confidently with beer and Actually you know a lot of pubs and Restaurants would offer you to try a Little bit and before you buy an entire Pint or glass and the same really should Apply with wine there’s nothing there’s No harm in asking to taste just a little Bit if it’s served by the glass anyway Because the bottle will already be open And but another thing I just want to Reinforce is that in in most restaurants These days the staff the service Waitress the um those on the bar will be Very experienced they perhaps would have Done kind of formal or informal Qualifications about spirits and wine And other beverages so it’s always best To ask the worst that’s going to happen Is that they don’t know themselves but

They will be able to find someone else In the restaurant who can help you so All Hospitality staff are well trained Able to offer advice online and ordering Wine Is my recommendation yes yes this is the Main thing if you’re in the restaurant Because as a familiar you know we are Always you know happy to help you uh That’s why you know uh don’t be shy to Us excellent and so we’re going to move On a little bit to um food and wine Pairing so something that um scares a Lot of people but actually it can be Really simple so Nathaniel I didn’t know If you wanted to take us through this Slide about some with some tips of food And wine pairing So for different than white pairing is Then because most of most of the Restaurants now and you know regular Restaurants they’re offering food and Wine pairing as a package you know so Most of the sommeliers or had souvenirs They tasted the food and then they Select Wines or they they select Specific wine for the specific food why Because you know not all food are Suitable for all the wines because Nathaniel you’re back sorry you froze a Little bit there so you might need to Repeat Okay so most of the head simulator or The sommeliers they prepared the food

And wine pairing and most of the Restaurants and you know regular Restaurants they offering this as a Package okay So uh they choose the specific one for The specific food for example if you Have you know filet mignon then you know They have like for example ryoka for That or you know light to medium or Medium to full blooded wine okay for the Fish you know it’s better to have white Wine for example if you like Chardonnay Or sauvignon blanc they totally assign That for this specific food for example The fish okay because not all the food Is suitable for the wines for example if You have you know spicy food then you Have like you know high in alcohol uh Wine and you know you feel like it’s Burning in your mouth okay so that’s why There’s a big role assassin layer to Find the specific one for food Okay so we um on our level one Qualification are level one in one Qualification we talk about the basics Of food and wine pairing and I’ve got a Few tips as well so you’ve already Talked about spicy food and how that’s Really difficult to pair with uh wine so Absolutely the the um Spice in food Makes a wine taste even more alcohol EXO Selecting something with a lower alcohol Um is usually a good tip when you’ve got Spicy food

Um another one that people really Struggle with as well as sweet food and So if you’re having pudding sometimes or Dessert sometimes you’re still going to Have your red wine left over from your Main course and that’s going to taste Really dry when you’ve got something Sweet so we always recommend pairing Um sweet dessert with sweet wine as well And in a lot of restaurants now you can Order a sweet wine by the glass and that Has high acidity and high sweetness Which is a really good balance with the With the dessert and my favorite one is If you have a really oily food and so It’s quite obviously I’m based in the UK So a classic would be fish and chips We’re famous for that and but it can be Really oily and really greasy and so if You’re feeling like you want to splurge Then a good champagne or sparkling wine Is a really good pairing because the Sparkling one is really high in acid and It’s just like um you know we would put Vinegar on our chips to make them less Oily and champagne’s exactly it’s it’s High in acid so it performs the same Role as a vinegar so that’s one of my Favorite food and wine pairings if You’ve got a favorite food and wine Pairing Nathaniel Yes yes we have a food food and wine Pairing in our restaurant because it’s Part of our package in the room so if

They guess book the room then they can Have the package with uh dinner with Food and wine pairing because I’m in my Experience as well you know even they Have a food and wine pairing some of the Guests they intend to switch to you know One grape variety or one wine only even Though they have wine pairing because That’s their preference because we don’t Need to push our guests to to have wine Pairing for example we have a five foot Stand in five wines so it’s up to them That’s why as I mentioned we are here Just to help you we just here to assist You and having a food and a wine pairing Menu it’s a great opportunity for people Who don’t know a lot about wine to try Lots of different things so it’s Um someone else has done the hard work The Familia and the chef have worked Really hard on putting that combination Together so it’s a really yes and also It’s if you really want to have a Different experience in the restaurant This is the best experience for you to Explore your palate with the different Wines perfect excellent and I always Love going for those because it makes me Try something that I haven’t had before Which is always nice Okay so we’re going to move on to talk About kind of a really formal settings And so a lot of people aren’t very Competent in a more formal setting it

Might be that they’re only going and for A celebration or a really special Anniversary and that normal environment Is a formal restaurant and so what tips Would you give them to be more confident And to ask for advice So if you are in the formal settings I Can advise to you you know Relax you know enjoy the moment enjoy The Ambiance not you know if the Familiar or us as familiar give you to Taste and then you know grab grab the Wine you know Smell it look and then you appreciate The aroma of the wine and then if you Think the wine is totally you know out Of a range of you know in good quality Wine or it’s faulty wine You can you know politely inform the Familiar that You know this is I mean in my own Opinion Uh this is not in the right condition of The wine because if you know the wine Then you you can totally tell easily That this is faulty so you know as Familiar we can we cannot argue with That it’s your own uh feedback and Reaction then you know so simulator we Can change it you know or if you don’t Like it we can switch or we can offer or Suggest With a different grape variety yeah I Think it’s like to even to me you know

I’ve been in the industry 17 years so I Always freak out a little bit when uh The smellier or waitress and whoever They pours the wine and asked me to to Check and I’m always a bit like oh you Know are you are you asking me to check If it’s faulty are you asking me to Check if I like it Um the answer there is we just check we Are you’re asking them to check that It’s okay Um and that could be that it’s not Faulty that it’s as you expected rather Than if you really love the wine they’re Not really asking you’re not really Asking your customers opinion Um but I think as you say like the first Statement here is similarious are there To help and if you really do you know if A customer really does have a problem With a wine that that’s been served then Absolutely they should ask the Somalia Or their server Um to have a conversation about it is it What it’s supposed to taste like etc etc Yes Yeah I think um yeah top tip here is you Know you’re going out for a meal Celebration whatever it might be and There are people on hand to help never Be afraid of asking Um and a good tip again that you you Mentioned earlier is to kind of check The wine list before you go if you’re

Really worried about what’s on the wine List and not knowing things and most Restaurants now will have their uh wine List or a sample wine list online so you Can have a look at that and you can do a Bit of Googling or asking for friends Who might be a bit more knowledgeable About wine Um so yeah it’s about not being scared It’s true yes because most of the Restaurants now are you know we are in The internet or you know uh mobile you Know you can easily browse their menus Whenever you’re in the train or in the Bus at home so it’s better to prepare Especially if you if you have you know Celebrate celebrating special occasion Yeah well that’s um good timing I think Actually because on our next slide is About the big celebrations and big group Um events and would you like to go Through your tips about how people can Prepare best for those big events or Those really important events they’re They’re helping to organize Sure so if you have celebrations in the Group or like some for example Seven Persons or 15 persons it’s better to Prepare your budget first so you can Tell And you can inform the organizer just in Case if you have it or you can inform The restaurant’s owner or restaurants Manager

So set a budget you know because it’s Better to have a budget on hand before You you know book some celebrations So you know you can pre-order in advance Or if you have you know if you have time To visit the restaurants or the place of The event you can do uh wine tasting With the food just in case if you have For example you have like 30 groups or 50 groups or like corporate event it’s Better to have Food and wine tasting because you know Uh it’s better to you know be prepared And then you can choose the right wines With the right food And then be clear to your budget you Know so as a familiar we can uh offer You the right ones but in high quality Then make sure that you know uh inform Your organizer that you know if you Reach your budget On that day you know They need to inform you so you know it’s Better to have as well extra budget Yeah we were we were talking about this The other day when we were just talking About the content of the web other than I get asked quite a lot by family and Friends to choose one for a wedding Celebration and I’m my first question is Always how much do you want to spend Because I don’t want to recommend Something that’s going to push them over The budget or means that they have to

Have less wine Um you know a price that they they Didn’t really feel comfortable spending Um but yeah I always spend time like Looking at that wireless or emailing the Restaurant asking them specific Questions Um about the wine because I was really Happy to to help I think the budget Thing is really important because on the Night or the day of the event and if You’ve run out of the wine that’s been Allocated someone somewhere needs to be Able to approve either having more Um or kind of moving to them you know Customers paying for their own Additional wine at the event whatever Might be so yeah having a really clear Budget is is really important and having A few of the staff know what that is so It can be controlled Um so you have no surprises at the end Of the meal there’s nothing worse than Being presented with a a bill a check That is uh considerably more than what You were expecting So I also like your recommendation here With them asking for a tasting so I used To work in wine retails we do a lot of Tastings with people who are buying wine For wedding for example and so that’s Absolutely possible a lot of your wine Retailers now will be able to facilitate That so trying a few different great

Varieties to see what might be suitable Restaurants and especially for really Large events happy to do the same yeah To give you a sample tasting of you know Four or five of their wines so that You’ve chosen something that that you Like one thing for a wedding or for your Own if it’s your own party I would Always say choose something that you Like rather than trying to please all of Your friends and family yes you’ll never Find one wine that suits everyone so Always choose something that you like Yourself because you’re going to be at The party celebrating Yeah that’s true yeah be yourself in Your budget you know Just in case you know be be true in Yourself so you don’t need to please Everyone because they are there in your Celebration or you know yeah to Celebrate to you know to have time to Each other you know not to impressed That you know we you’ll be serving you Expensive wine yeah it’s not about that But yeah Yeah it’s about it’s about like time Giving time to each other and Yeah 100 I think that’s my take away From today Nathaniel is that when you’re Having a big party an event is about the Company uh rather than the the why That’s being served and as long as you Enjoy it then everyone else is going to

Be having a good time yes correct okay So I’m just going to recap a few of the Things that we’ve talked about Um today and then uh I do have any questions pop them into The Q a box and now just while I’m Running through uh recap and then we’ll Try and answer your questions Um so here we’re just really saying ask For help you know everyone now has Access to Um formal or informal training about Wine so those who are front of house and Hospitality will have that knowledge and If they don’t they will know someone Else in the restaurant amongst the staff Who does have that knowledge and they Really want to be able to help you so Always ask for help don’t be embarrassed About what you know what you don’t know That’s exactly what Hospitality staff Are there to do and that’s what they Love doing so their role is to help People so just ask Um know your budget we’ve mentioned this A few times Nathaniel yes particularly At the moment when the Just recovering from the pandemic and There’s a you know tricky kind of Situational recessions and financial Situation at the moment so know your Budget know what you’re happy on Spending check out that wine list uh Before you head to the restaurant so

That you’re prepared for the prices Um and then the last bit the most Important thing is have fun wine is not Supposed to be difficult it’s not Supposed to be snobby we all love wine It doesn’t matter what kind of wine you Like Um I used to take pictures of wine I Tried to restaurants to say have you got Something like this and Um that doesn’t matter what it is how Expensive it was I liked it that’s all That that matters so have fun with wine And more than worrying about it when You’re going out to dinner supposed to Be an occasion yeah that’s true you know I’m gonna have a look at the Q a box for A minute and you carry on talking if you Want or um bear with me let me just have A look see what else is in there Um oh the first ones are really tricky One and I don’t know if I can answer That Um any recommendation for um food and Wine pairing for something that’s really Bitter uh like a gourd or something like That so a food that’s really bitter Notoriously difficult to pair Nathaniel have you got any advice or Something Can you repeat again yeah someone’s Asking um how to what kind of wine to Choose for really bitter food so and They’ve given an example of a gourd but

Something else might be like broccoli Um spinach something that’s really Really bitter to taste what wine would Go well with that I can recommend if they like the wine That’s you know crisp because you know You have a bitter uh taste from the food Then it’s better to have you know Refreshing light but crisp yeah white Wine yeah red wine that’s quite bitter Or redial with a lot of tannin is not Particularly good with really bitter Food Um so yeah a nice white wine perhaps Would be something would be better but Bitter food is a really hard thing to Pair Um yes Another question is Um so if there’s no familiar in the Restaurant how do you choose the wine Um we kind of covered this a little bit Like usually in a restaurant there will Be someone who knows something about Wines that always ask if there isn’t Then you’ve got everyone these days has Got Google on their phones Um so they can do a quick search Actually of some of the great varieties On the list if they don’t Um know what they are or what they taste Like so um yeah that’s my that’s my Cheat sheet is always looking on my Phone just to check if it was a good

Vintage or if it’s a good producer or Something Yeah and it’s also too good to you know Uh most of the time you know As as the familiar you know because um Most of the wines that are listed on the Menu they know the aroma they taste it Because we we don’t we don’t put the Wine on the list that we don’t know the Flavor The Taste the aroma so that’s why We if you ask us We can easily uh mention the description Of the wine But sometimes it’s better to explore as Well your palette for example if you see Unusual destination for example Chardonnay or some Reds yeah As as the description from the soldier Then you know it’s good to explore your Palette you know it’s good to discover New Wines in your in your list yeah I Think as well we mentioned earlier that If um if they’ve got a few different Wines by the glass asked to try Something you haven’t had so if you see A show and they think oh that I don’t Think I like Chardonnay why don’t you Ask just to try a little bit like There’s no harm in that if it’s served By the glass it’s going to be open so Definitely do that yes um I think we’ve Got time for one more question there are Loads of questions on here so thank you So much

Um let me just have a quick Look through here there’s a question About different apps that um we would Recommend that to you I don’t use any Apps I just use I use Google And some of the retail websites to have A look so I I personally don’t send any Apps I’m not sure if allowed to mention It here Well we can always say that other apps Are available so there’s an app uh uh Starting V so that’s a good one because Most of the you know you know wine lover Use that app because you can see Yeah you can you can see or uh there’s One person as well it’s a very popular Person rating the wines so on that app You can see the uh ratings you can see The flavors you can see the uh you know Uh other comments of other wine lovers And then you can see the description of The wine and the origin it’s very useful App actually and you know just take a Picture of the label and automatically Give you the details of the wine yeah Excellent I think again Diego that was Your question thank you um but have a Have a quick Google I don’t use any of The other ones apart from the one that You’ve mentioned in your question Um I think just one one last question I Did say that a minute ago Um Um a really interesting one and actually

We did we talked a little bit about it But not a lot someone has asked how do You know how can you tell if a wine has A fault so obviously Um Somalia server would know if the wine Was smelling and tasting as it should But as a customer what kind of things Should we be looking for So you know if you are the customer in The restaurants then we pour a small Amount of wine in your glass you know Grab it swirl first to release the aroma Or the natural flavor of the wine It gives like few seconds like two Seconds you know then smell it if you Smell Unnecessary smell like you know wet Cardboard you know like wet wood Something like that you know then Taste it first before you give the Feedback to the summary then if you Totally you know taste it that not you Know not you know for example not food Enough no flavor then you know smile to The Familiar or smell to us you know Then oh I’m sorry I think this is not uh Perfect in not in perfect condition uh I Think I will pass it or maybe I can Replace it or I can choose different one So you know but don’t be rude you know Uh as a customer don’t do it you know Because uh we are here as a professional To assist you to help you Then you know be polite yeah I think um

It’s actually quite Um so the rate of 41 is quite High Surprisingly High actually so it’s not Uncommon to be And you were right like the um a romance Of um cardboard Um kind of like Dead Leaves rotting Leaves uh wet dog as well so if it’s Like a musty doggy smell so those are The key things to look out for to detect If it’s faulty Um and like no fruit Aroma or anything Like that so no freshness so they would Be my uh key tips on that Um I think that is all we’ve got time For I’m afraid today and thank you so Much for your questions and sorry that We haven’t been able to answer all of Them and thank you very much Nathaniel For your time today really appreciate You guiding us through the tricky world Of choosing wine in a restaurant Um There are other bite-sized episodes on Our events Hub page so please do check Those out Um and of course if you’ve got any Questions then my details can be found On the website so don’t Hesitate to drop me a line Um but thank you very much for coming Along and I hope you’ve enjoyed it so Thank you very much everyone Thank you

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