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Apr 10, 2011 08:18 AM

Question ?? size of a glass wine pour

Ate at a restaurant that gets good feedback on the board yesterday. Sat at the bar which was the experience i was looking for .. which at the moment i will leave nameless... the food was excellent but the pour of a glass of wine was minuscule which to be blunt pissed me off and in my humble opinion gave me a negative view of my dinning experience.
When getting such a small pour (for a regular price) how do you handle this and does that part of the dining equation impact your overall experience from that restaurant?

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  1. i use the general rule that a good pour is 1/5 - 1/4 bottle, so about 150 - 180 ml. anything less seems insulting, especially if you're paying $12+/glass. Ms. Coasts and I usually order by the bottle, so it's not an issue, but i have looked around at others before ordering by the glass. if the pour is minuscule, as you say, i'll pass and order something else.

    1. Agree with coasts that a 5 or 6 oz pour seems normal. Berns in Florida has varied sizes depending on the wine and it's category, even down to 1.5 oz, but they always tell you exactly what you are getting. To give you a short pour unwarned is rather cheesy

      1. Wine by the glass is rarely a good deal. A normal pour is 4 ounces. Anything less would be very stingy, 5 or 6 would be generous. Since the price of a glass is typically 1/4 that of a bottle, it is always more economical to buy a bottle if you will be having 4 or more glasses, unless you want to try several different wines.

        17 Replies
        1. re: rrems

          true, wine by the glass is rarely a good deal by the numbers...but pretty often, especially if i'm having dinner at the bar, the bartender will give the third glass for free, plus very liberal quarter-glass tastes of various things...granted, it's expected that you tip a little bit more as a thank you, but in my personal experience it often ends up far cheaper than ordering a bottle...

          1. re: Simon

            I'd fire my bartenders if they were screwing up my wine cost doing that.

            1. re: invinotheresverde

              invinotheresverde, many restaurant owners actually encourage this practice (to an extent) as a way of tipping their own bartenders, since the customer always tips more in these situations, and it also generally contributes to a convivial atmosphere where the customer is likely to return, w/ friends, and/or stay longer and order more food, digestifs, etc...

              1. re: Simon

                It's either sanctioned or it's not.

                1. re: Simon

                  I know many, many restaurant owners......and not one encourages what you suggest.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    it's quite's called a buyback...

                    1. re: Simon

                      Much more common with beer, but regardless, good customers are often taken care of, and owners know. There are even codes in POS systems specifically for this.

                      1. re: Simon

                        the last buyback i got in new york was probably around 1997. you used to get them all the time though.

                        1. re: psawce

                          Huh. The last buyback I got in New York was this past Thursday. Which makes me wonder what I did wrong on Saturday. Harrumph.

                        2. re: Simon

                          Nowhere NEAR as common as you think, and illegal in some jurisdictions.

                      2. re: Simon

                        I'm not above sliding a regular a complimentary glass of wine every once in a while, but no one is getting every third glass for free. My barstaff would catch holy hell and heads would roll.

                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                          This topic originated on the manhattan board, so I guess many New Yorkers are following it. I agree with smallh that it's quite common to be comped on your third or fourth drink.

                          1. re: coasts

                            Ahh. I've heard it's common In NYC. It's definitely not in Boston.

                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                              It is common to buyback or 4th or 5th drink...and yes usually it is on Beer or Liquor(usually in shots) as wine is far too expensive cost by glass ranging from $2-$6 cost to the owner per glass. No one seems to realize that you are not just paying for whats in the wine are also paying for the GLASS itsself...the bartender who poured it and the server who served it to you as well as the busboy who had to clean it off the tabe to the actually dishwasher who has to actually clean it among the many other costs that there are in the restaurant business. I love how the one person responded by saying "typically it is a 5oz pour so there are 6 glasses to a bottle" lol. Do not even know how many ounces there are in bottle of wine and making comments.

                          2. re: invinotheresverde

                            basically, what is being described, is a form of stealing.

                            as a regular, i often get "special" treatment.
                            this special treatment comes in the form of the MANAGER or the OWNER coming by my spot or my table and pouring whatever he chooses to give me.
                            normally, these gifts come in the form of "special occasion" drinks or desserts (i..e. a new special wine that they just got in or a birthday celebration or some other excuse to define the gift as being connected to a special occasion.)
                            the last time i was given such a gift it was a shot of Brennivin that the bar manager had just started offering.

                            it is NOT the bartender's call, and it is never presented as the bartender's gift.

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              " is NOT the bartender's call..."
                              Depending on the establishment, the bartender has been given the ability by management to be able to comp drinks for high tippers or regulars ***at their discretion***. So yes, in that case, it's the bartender's call.

                              I've never thought of it as a "bartender's gift". It's still coming from management or the owner, but it's still at the bartender's discretion. Sometimes I get it at the few places I'm a regular; sometimes I don't.

                    2. re: rrems

                      Most that I encounter have been 4 - 6 oz. In the stemware that most restaurants that I frequent, that is about 1/3 - 1/2 a "glass," but that is what I want.

                      If they serve in a mini-carafe, I most often ask the server to NOT pour the entire portion, as I want some room in my glass.


                    3. i was dining solo so ordering a bottle was not an option

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: muskie

                        How small were the pours? 3 oz?

                        1. re: muskie

                          When dining solo, half bottles are a good option (if a restaurant has them).

                          1. re: muskie

                            Perhaps regretfully, tonight at Gagnaire in Paris did just that.

                            1. This is a pet peeve of mine... particularly when ti happens at a wine bar. A strict glass is 6 to a bottle so roughly 5 oz.... Have a look around to see the glasses the use and how they pour... order appropriately. More often than not the pours especially at the bar are liberal... moreso than they might be at the tables.

                              Last week had dinner at "What Happens When" waited 30 minutes for my 8:30 rez, they comped the first glasses and the bartender kept giving us tastes of cocktails. Then the 2nd glasses with dinner were poured as if they were water glasses. Food was pretty good too... I like it when a place does the right thing. (and to cap the night off, the cabbie screwed up on the way home and turned off the meter without me arguing any point (I gave him the same as it cost on the way there... he shouldn't be penalized for doing the right thing))

                              What Happens When
                              25 Cleveland Pl, New York, NY 10012