Ordering wine by the glass is always problematic.
Since my husband is pretty much a teetotaler, I'm often forced to find something worth drinking on a restaurant's anemic by-the-glass list, which is why I've had more than a few great meals spoiled by uninspired, overpriced, oxidized wine. (I now usually instruct my server to bring me a glass of whatever was opened most recently, even if it means drinking Reisling with my rib eye.)
Lettie Teague, the Wall Street Journal's award-winning wine writer, has some great suggestions for improving by-the-glass programs in her latest column. Since none of them come cheap, it's unlikely restaurants will rush to adopt them: She advises restaurant owners invest in fancy dispensing systems that keep wine fresh; make sure they're not stiffing customers on pours and sell exciting, interesting wines by the glass at cost. That makes sense, since it might be difficult to get an entire table to rally behind, say, a South African Bukettraube.
But Teague shares her thoughts only after again taking a swipe at Dallas drinkers, some of whom she apparently considers too dopey to appreciate the flaws in a typical by-the-glass program:
"My sister in Dallas loves this sort of program," Teague writes. "She loves to order wine by the glass because "you can try a bunch of different ones and if you don't like one you can throw it out--or finish it off--and try another." When I informed her that every glass she consumed--fully or otherwise--was actually funding the entire cost of the bottle, she affected a level of indifference that could best be described as Texas-sized. "I don't care. I would never bother to add it up," she said. This is no doubt an attitude that restaurateurs hope all their customers will adopt."