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Tips for Ordering Good Wine in a Restaurant: The Ruth Chris Pinot Noir Debacle

Wine 1294895 300x199 Tips for Ordering Good Wine in a Restaurant: The Ruth Chris Pinot Noir Debacle

Ordering Wine at Ruth Chris Steakhouse 

By Matt Goldstein

Last weekend a few friends and I dined at the Ruth Chris steakhouse in Atlantic City.  I know, you might think it’s an over priced cliché chain restaurant but the fact is that they make an outstanding steak.  The problem is that they don’t know the first thing about storing their wine.  And the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of restaurants make the same exact mistakes over and over.  When the waitress brought over two glasses of Pinot Noir for a friend and myself, I could smell that the wine was spoiled from about 5 feet away.  This Pinot Noir was opened a week earlier and somebody just stuck a cork in it thinking it was OK.  After the 2nd day that wine is done, let alone a week.  Now, if restaurant owners, management, sommeliers and bartenders all just invested in those little rubber stoppers and pumped the wine bottle every few days we would be in good shape, but since millions of restaurant workers aren’t all about to jump on board and do the right thing to save the worlds wine, there is a simple fix to your problem.  When ordering a glass of wine, all you have to do is ask the waiter or waitress if the wine was opened that night.  If it wasn’t, choose something else.  If they claim it was just opened and it comes out spoiled, send it back.  It’s just that simple.        

How can you tell if your wine has spoiled and not just a bad wine?  Easy, spoiled wine has a much stronger odor and resembles a moldy, wet basement or wet cardboard or even a heavy raisin smell.  Send it back!  Better yet, don’t order it in the first place if it wasn’t just opened. 

After all, why should we be drinking spoiled wine when paying a 500% restaurant mark up?  Yeah, that’s right, most restaurants have a 500% mark up on wine.  If restaurants want to charge such an outrageous figure for a glass of wine, then at the very least they should store it and serve it properly. 


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