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A Sommelier Explains: How to Ask for Affordable Wine
Mark Oldman, Sommelier

Mark Oldman. Image courtesy of Oldman

Sommelier Mark Oldman is a man who knows good wine. After all, he’s the author of How to Drink Wine Like a Billionaire: Master Wine with Joie de Vivre, a book in which Oldman divulges the wine secrets of the 1% while he “demystifies the secrets of the wine world, so you can drink, enjoy, and savor wine better—and cheaper.”

While not everyone is necessarily looking to drink like a 1 percenter (whatever that ultimately means), almost everyone is happy to score some affordable wine, especially in restaurants where the markup can be as much as triple the retail price. Oldman’s solution? Stop dancing around the issue with vague terminology and use the tools the restaurant has given you: namely the sommelier.

In an article for Business Insider, Oldman discusses his past habit of using terms like “easy on the wallet” to direct wine experts towards an affordable bottle:

“I have discovered that such barely disguised innuendo would often yield distressingly pricey recommendations, because … even expensive wines are good value if they drink like an even costlier wine.”

Now Oldman takes a more straightforward approach, immediately asking for the restaurant employee who “knows the most about the wine” (you’d be surprised how wine savvy some servers, managers, and bartenders are) and giving them a few guidelines as to what he’s looking to drink.

The system might not work for everyone (if you’re just learning what you like, wine-wise, it can be hard to articulate that at first), but it’s a good start. Most sommeliers are eager to introduce their guests to new wines, and picking out a winner is a true victory.

What do think of Oldman’s approach? For more details, check out the original article at Business Insider here!



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