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Do the Math the Next Time You Order Wine

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When out with friends, how often does everyone order a glass of wine? Quite often it turns out—and the restaurants love it when you do.


But did you know that that glass of wine at $8, $10, $12—for a 6 or 8 oz. pour—has just covered the wholesale cost of the entire bottle of wine for the restaurant? And did you know that by ordering a bottle to share between friends, colleagues, or clients that you actually get a second glass “free”?


There are six pours (restaurant size) to a 75-ml bottle of wine. The $12 glass of wine probably translates on the wine list to something in the $30 to $40 bottle price range if that wine by the glass appears on the wine list.


If three people are drinking wine then you each get one glass from the bottle at the by the glass cost of the bottle divided by three—so your second glass is free!


And, if you ask your waiter or sommelier if there’s a better bottle on the wine list in that price range than what’s on the by the glass list the answer is most often, YES!


The waiter or sommelier can be your new BFF when it comes to ordering wine. They know all of the great “finds” on the list (after all, that’s what price range they drink) and they can guide you to the best of what’s available at a reasonable price.


If you’re entertaining clients and don’t want them to see that you’re trying to keep the cost of the wine down—since enjoying a bottle of wine with a meal is the equivalent of having another person at the table—just signal to the person taking your order with your finger that you’d like a recommendation “like this one” and point to the price column that you’re comfortable spending. Your secret signal will let them know what you want to spend without having to reveal to your guests that you’re trying to watch the check.

By Julie Brosterman, CEO  & Founder, Women & Wine.

Updated, November 9, 2008 

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