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May 29, 2011 09:05 PM


So I go to a sort of coveted Italian restaurant Sunday night with 3 friends. All is good - appi, pasta, main, wine. For desert I order a middle of the road dessert wine. It tasted great, but, my last sip was full of sediment, I mean FULL. Quite a bit of sludge in that. I told our server but she didn't really care. I thought I'd be actually helping the restaurant. But she was kind of put off by the comment as if it was unnecessary. I just want to know - is it abnormal to get an off-putting amount of sediment in you dessert wine, or is this a common occurrence? Am I just a dick? Or was our server evil?

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  1. No one is a dick or evil. I assume your dessert wine was white (i.e., not a bottle of recioto della valpolicella). On occasion, some white dessert wines will contain tartrate crystals, and that is probably what happened in your case. Some unfiltered wines may also contain other bits that make up the sediment.

    There's nothing your server could have done. The bottle was in all likelehood not flawed. If you order the same wine next time, I suppose you could ask the restaurat to pour it into a decanter trhough a filtering funnel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      (sludge is different than tartrate crystals)

      "There's nothing your server could have done."

      Me think the waiter should have been more careful serving the wine.

    2. +1 to Brad Ballinger............ with the addition that a server would hopefully be aware of the characteristics of wines they serve and might be more careful when pouring towards the end of a bottle known to throw sediment.

      1. Can you recall what the dessert wine was?

        4 Replies
        1. re: penthouse pup

          It was a Porto Crusted. Red. I think a 2006.

          1. re: brickscoli

            This information is a game changer. These wines often have a fair amount of sediment. And now I can say that the server should have been aware of that fact, and should have asked you if you want the wine decanted (and filtered).

            1. re: brickscoli

              Ah, had not seen that, when I re-asked the question.

              A Crusted Port WILL have sediment (hence the reference to "Crusted"), but a good pourer, will either decant, or will be very, very careful, and stop, well prior to much sediment getting into a patron's glass. Was the server pouring? If so, he/she did not know enough about wine service to be doing it. If the diners were pouring, then it's up to them to ask that the wine be decanted, or be very, very careful.

              Good luck,


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                And the restaurant might be at fault if the bottle fill was low--inevitable that there would be sediment...

          2. The server definitely needed to be more careful.

            Most folks don't like to strain wine through their teeth.

            1. What was the dessert wine?

              That might tell the story.

              Also, was the server pouring, or was a diner at the table pouring?

              I've gotten the dregs of B-T-G Port, and have returned some of those, if poured to the last drop of liquid, plus the sediment.

              Good luck,