This is how my wine list at Restaurant 213 begins:
“Can't we just get rid of wine lists? Do we really have to be reminded every
time we go out to a nice restaurant that we have no idea what we are doing? Why don't they just give us a trigonometry quiz with the menu?” ~ Jerry Seinfeld
It is my opinion that a very large number of restaurants hide their ignorance of wine by the use of incomprehensible wine lists. There is little reason that in this age of democratized information that wine retailers cannot do a better job of sharing information required by the customer at the point of sale.
Here are a few suggestions to make life easier for the wine buyer:
1. Provide a listing of suggested wines for each of the restaurant entrees.
2. Provide an opportunity for the customer to provide comments back to the restaurant in an un-moderated blog.
3. Winelists which can be downloaded into individual PDAs, iPhones, Crackberries, etc.
4. Increase training for the wait staff. Note: I dine out a lot and only once in past year have I dined at a restaurant with a dedicated Sommelier. Most often it is the wait staff which makes the wine recommendations and in most cases without benefit of knowledge.