Gone are the days of simply going with the house red or white. Bianca Bosker, who pored over hundreds of lists for her new book, Cork Dork, tells us how to order wisely.
1. Seek out a grape you don't recognize.
"Oftentimes, the most unusual wine is the somm's pet favorite and a good value," Bosker says.
2. Avoid the "gimme wine."
Beware: That Chianti or Chardonnay usually commands a premium price. "This is instantly recognizable and makes people go, 'Give it to me. I don't care what it costs,'" Bosker says.
3. Look for repetition.
if you see three Chenin Blancs, it's no mistake. "When you figure out the somm's 'thing,' order that thing."
4. Don't fall for the second-least-expensive wine.
Instead, speak up about your budget and what you like. "A good somm can steer you in the right direction."
5. Consider what's missing.
If you don't see Bordeaux on the menu, don't ask for it. "The sommelier wants you to try something new!"