“I’ll have your second cheapest bottle of wine, please.”
For anyone who’s ever eaten out at a fancy restaurant on a pre-pay day budget, we all know the unspoken rule.
Order the wine on the list that costs the least and risk outing yourself as a tigharse in front of your date. Order the one that costs a few bucks more and look like you’ve got cash to burn.
Now, sommelier Mark Oldman has revealed we’re actually ordering wine all wrong, and you’ll get a better bottle by picking the bargain priced drop.
It turns out restaurants are onto our penny-pinching ways and know we’re more likely to pick the second or third least expensive bottle on the list. As a result, they’re more likely to boost the markup on these bottles.
“You are better served to order the cheapest wine, which diners often neglect out of fear or embarrassment and thus is often a better value,”Mark explains in his book How to Drink Like a Billionaire.
“Knowing that it will sell swiftly they may have slotted an overstocked bottle into the position on the list.
“Even worse, [they] may have marked up this wine more than any other, making it potentially the worst value on the list.”
There is one thing to remember though, says Mark.
This tip generally only works when you’re at a good restaurant that stocks decent wines, and “where even modestly prices wines are of admirable quality”.