Sommeliers take stress, guess work out of selecting wines
By Leslie Gevirtz
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Can't chose between a Muscadet and Merlot? Confused by the latest Cabernets or shocked by the prices?
Leading sommeliers around the globe can help to take the guess work out of selecting wines and the sting out of prices. Looking for bargains, comparative shopping, being open minded, and if in doubt, asking for help, they say are just a few tips to relieve the stress of selecting wines in restaurants.
U.S. master sommelier Doug Frost likes bargains. Frost and other experts look for wines from lesser known regions before they become popular.
"While everybody else was enthusing about super Tuscans or Barossa Valley bombs, we were shopping Spain, southern Italy or Austria," said Frost, who is based in Kansas City, Kansas.
Frost suggests one of best ways to find a bargain is to select wines from countries that are not in fashion - yet. He is now finding good deals in wines from Portugal and Greece.
Lorie O'Sullivan, sommelier for TOCA at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, agreed, and suggested bargains can be found close to home.
"If you love Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon but would prefer something less expensive, then look to Washington State for a very similar style Cabernet for about half the price," she said.
Another tip is selecting a wine from the Bin Ends page of the wine list, where restaurants have their one-off bottles. O'Sullivan also said don't be afraid to tell the sommelier what you are looking for and the price range you are willing to pay. Continued...