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Restaurant Etiquette; bug in the wine

You are out for a meal and you order a bottle of wine that is fairly expensive and not available by the glass. Around the third time the server pours (you're on the second bottle now), you notice there is a fruit fly in your glass along with a significant amount of this somewhat pricey wine. You're not dining al fresco (which is clearly eat/drink at your own risk when it comes to critters) so this is theoretically unexpected. Although not an incredibly high-end fine dining establishment, it's a crisp linens, average $25 entree sort of place. Should you not be the kind to fish it out yourself, what are your expectations of the server?

Should s/he offer to 'remove' the offending beastie for you? Offer fresh (but empty) stemware? An entirely new bottle of wine? What if the last bottle you had was the last in the house?

Also, do your expectations differ according to the price of the bottle?

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  1. if it were me, i would just fish the thing out and keep drinking because it's not enough for me to discard an entire bottle or glass from that bottle just because a fly found it's way in to my glass while i wasn't looking. i'm not queasy about things like that and i'm sure i've unknowingly eaten all kinds of critters in my organic salads and vegetables. fruit flies happen, even in the fanciest of places. however, if it were just a cocktail or glass of wine from the bar i would return it for a new one because it's easy and not a big deal cost-wise for the restaurant to just make a new drink. as a server, i always check my drinks for flies, lipstick stains, chipped edges, little pieces of mint, etc. before i leave the service bar so i guess i expect the same when i'm being served.

    if i were the server i would offer to take the glass away and replace it with a new glass. then offer a glass of something comparable from the bar to make up for the lost wine. i don't think a whole new bottle is in order because the fly didn't come from the bottle and you've already drunk 1 1/2 bottles.

    1. I would remove it with a spoon and keep drinking. If the server noticed my doing this, a fresh glass would be nice for the rest of the bottle. I would also either tell the serve or call later and let them know fruit flies are in their dining room. If I was the restaurant owner, I'd want to know. The kitchen needs to take measures, you know?

        1. re: Davwud

          Most places charge extra for the protien!

          Seriously, a new glass is fine!!

          1. re: kimmer1850

            Psst! This happened at 40 with the Maltroye. ;-)

        2. A new bottle of wine because a fly landed in your glass? C'mon. It's pretty unlikely that it actually came out of the bottle.

          Fish it out and keep drinking. Even at the highest-end and cleanest places, there's still a door to the outside that flies as well as people can use to enter the establishment. Chalk it up in the "sometimes these things just happen" category.

          1. I agree with rebs.
            What kind of person would ask for a new bottle of wine?!
            That non-Lt. Ralph guy from Florida, that's who.
            May he forever hear voices....like the Rachel Ray show(s) over and over and over and over in his head. That would be sweet justice.

            1. Fish it out and drink on. It's alcohol in the glass so what's the worry.

              Now, I did find a fly in a bottle of wine I purchased. It was well preserved needless to say. I put it in an envelope and returned it to the winery our next trip to Napa (we live in the bay area). It's a winery we frequent once or twice a year and he gladly gave me a new bottle of their outstanding Syrah. Oh, that's was without even asking for a new bottle, he insisted.

              1. "" Should s/he offer to 'remove' the offending beastie for you? Offer fresh (but empty) stemware? ""

                I'm having visions of the waitron sticking their stubby fingers into the wine glass to remove said offending "beastie" which would probably be worse than the fly to begin with.

                A new glass, a spoon, perhaps some comforting words or a dessert liquor to make up for the "problem". Certainly not a new bottle of wine. Flies and other parts of nature can and DO manage to get into the environs of even the finest restaurants through open doors, through no fault of the management.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sethboy

                  Well... I suppose one could stick their finger in the glass, waggle it around a bit and try to get the beastie that way, or you could, say, use a spoon.

                2. I wouldn't be too upset. Flies don't drink much.

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