I was recently having a conversation with a group of co-workers including one who I had trained the week before. The topic of Mezcal came up. I gave up drinking years ago and well before the current Mezcal craze hit the Midwest. The new server, with an impressive bartending resume, began to describe it to me. He discussed the “minerality” of it. He noted the hints of leather and iodine it contained. As a former Scotch fan I knew what he meant, but was not the least bit tempted to try some.
As servers we are tasked with not only being able to describe food and wine, but also describe it in a way that is appetizing. Too often servers will fall in to the trap of letting their knowledge and jargon get in the way of describing wine in a way that guests can relate too. As a server, you should never let your expertise overwhelm your ability to describe wine in a way the guest can understand. While you should never be condescending to your guests, you should start with a very basic description and give more details as requested. If you start with the technical, you run a huge risk of turning off the guest or sounding condescending when following up with a more simplistic description.
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