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Great article. My wife prefers that her glass not be refilled until she has finished. In that way she can keep track of how many glasses she's had. Tough to do if someone if constantly refilling a low glass.


Thanks for posting. Yes, it's impossible to track your calorie/alcohol consumption with a top off. But that's a simple request for the somm, yet so often ignored.

Marc Stubblefield

I do this all the time, particularly when carrying in my own bottles. I often want to manage consumption, follow a wine as it opens in the glass, or save some for a later course. That said, I don't think I've ever gotten pushback from the somm or server - usually a polite, smiling, "We'll take care of the wine, thanks!" does the trick. I never feel bad about asking, and more often than not it results in a more interesting dialog between us and the server/somm.

I dunno, it's a service industry, but part of that should be respecting the guest's wishes if it comes at no impact to the restaurant (unlike, say, large modifications to food dishes...). Just my 2ยข.


As a somm myself, although not at Patrick Capiello's level (*) I cannot see why one wouldn't simply oblige. If people wish to pour it's perfectly fine with me.

(*) I've never met him, and I work in a brasserie in Norway not in a fine dining restaurant in the US so we might have completely different standards. I am quite familiar with top level service, though. Both from the industry side and as a guest and none of my friends who run those kinds of places have any problems with not pouring.


I side with enjoying your bottle, your way.


I'm with Alice, for all the reasons she and others stated. I figure that my wife and I paid for the wine, we're the ones drinking it, and we are knowledgeable and experienced wine folks. I always say thanks, no thanks, I'll take care of the pouring. If I'm in a upscale or smart place that knows good wine service, I might talk to the sommelier or the waiter and explain our preferences. But our top preference is to take care the wine ourselves.

June McAstor

If the guests know how to enjoy their wine and ask the sommelier to let them pour their own glass he should let them. As long as they enjoy their bottle its fine.


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