All Black Barn sommeliers are highly trained and passionate about wine and having one at your side is an enormous asset. Today we’ll walk you through what’s going through your sommelier’s mind as you order so that you can use this incredible resource to your advantage.
1. Know What You Want to Eat
Your sommelier knows the menu as well as he or she knows the wine list. “Some people just want to have a glass of wine on the table,” says Andrija, a sommelier at Black Barn. “They think wine goes with food, which is not necessarily a rule.” Your drink pairing can bring out the flavors in your food, and vis versa. If you don’t yet know what to order but you want something to sip on, consider starting with champagne and pairing different wines with each course.
Andrija, a sommelier at Black Barn
2. Know What You Like
“Most Americans are used to California wines. They tend to prefer wines that are jammy or fruity, that have blueberry or cherry-like flavors,” says Andrija. Tell your sommelier what you’re used to so that they can bring you a wine you’ll truly enjoy – even if you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a different kind of wine, your sommelier will be able to smooth the transition.
3. Decide Whether You’ll Order By the Bottle or by the Glass
Hosts, especially, would be well advised to order by the bottle. Your sommelier can help select a wine that will be appropriate for the entire table. Ordering by the bottle expands your selection substantially and takes the pressure of ordering off your guests. There is no need to feel nervous about choosing a bottle. Andrija says he watches the body language of the person in charge of ordering – if the person seems uncertain about choosing a wine, Andrija steps in and advises something that will be appropriate for the type of function.
4. Know Your Price Range
Black Barn has an expansive wine list with variously priced wines. Knowing how much you want to spend on a wine will help your sommelier guide you to the best choice for the table.
Andrija chooses a bottle of wine from the Black Barn wine cellar
5. Trust Your Sommelier
Andrija is a sommelier because he loves wine. He is both passionate about wines and well-trained – he started learning about wines as a child in his father’s vineyard. Use your sommelier’s skills to your advantage! Ask your tableside expert about his or her favorite wine, or ask them to recommend whatever they are most excited about. The best way to learn about wines and to become comfortable around a wine list is by trying new things – your sommelier will guide you on your journey.
Book a reservation online or by calling (212) 265-5959.