When is it okay to tell a drinker to order a bottle of wine? According to a woman who took to British parenting site Mumsnet to complain about her bartender, never. Newsweek reports that this woman was drinking several glasses of wine and then a “judgmental” server told her to just buy a bottle, saying, “do you know just how much wine you drink?” The commenters, of course, are divided, some agreeing with the original poster, who saw this as rude, and some saying that it sounds like the server was just trying to be helpful. The potential tone of the comment aside, I’m with the server on this one. Ordering wine by the bottle is almost always better than ordering by the glass.
Benefits of ordering wine by the bottle
The wine bottle menu can be intimidating. Seeing prices in the high double-digits for something you usually pick up at the grocery store for $7 is enough to make your head spin. But if you’re already out at a bar or restaurant, spending more than $7 per glass, why not just go all in? If your table collectively drinks more than three or four glasses of wine, you will end up saving money. And while there is a markup on bottles at restaurants, these probably aren’t the same bottles you’re spending $7 on. You’ll be able to taste the difference in quality.
Having the whole bottle on the table also helps you control your pour. Sometimes the restaurant pour isn’t quite enough if you’re used to filling your glass generously at home; alternatively, if you’re a slow sipper and want to keep your chilled wine cold, you can pour a little from the bottle at a time. With the whole bottle at your disposal, everyone at the table can get exactly as much wine as they like in their glass.
Especially if you’re dining in a large party, ordering bottles can be a good way to try a few different menu offerings, ones that may not be easily available in grocery and liquor stores (and which aren’t available at the restaurant by the glass). If you’re not sure about the red that someone else is raving about, you can taste a sip before deciding whether or not to commit to a full serving.
And don’t underestimate how classy you’ll feel when ordering a bottle. Saying things like, “Ah yes, I’ll take a sip, this is delicious, for the whole table please,” and sniffing the cork will make you look like a sommelier in the making. And when others walk in and see that ice bucket on your table chilling a full bottle of rosé they’ll think, Who are they? They must be famous or something, or at least the most confident person I’ve ever seen in my life. That alone is worth the price.