You sit down at a restaurant and you’re presented with a wine list. Unfortunately your knowledge of wine ends with ‘it kind of tastes like fruit!’ So you decide to let price lead your choice.
You don’t want to pick the most expensive because hey, you’re on a budget. But you’re not cheap, so you’re not going to pick the least expensive. So you settle on the second cheapest bottle on the list.
Well, bad news, according to Vinepair, a website entirely focused on wine, the second cheapest bottle is probably the worst choice you can make.
"First off, no one else at the table is fooled by someone who orders the second cheapest," writes Vinepair crushing the dreams of the cash-strapped everywhere. "Unless the person ordering knows something about the wine and got it for a reason, the order still looks cheap."
But beyond how it looks, ordering the second least expensive bottle is actually wasting money in a lot of restaurants.
"Restaurant owners are fully aware of the type of people who order the second-cheapest bottle," writes Vinepair. "No one is fooling the business that makes its money through markups and supply and demand."
That bottle you're choosing because it has to be better than the least expensive is most likely marked up because the restaurant is trying to get rid of it and knows more people are likely to order it at that price point.
Vinepair notes that this is not a hard and fast rule and that restaurants with sommeliers who want good wine to be enjoyed won't try to capitalise on our cheapness and lack of knowledge. But, I can tell you, most of the restaurants I go to are probably doing it.
This revelation got us feelin' like....
So if you're not sure if you're being duped, they suggest pulling up the wine on wine-searcher.com which will tell you if you're being overcharged and in a lot of cases give you a zero to five star review.
Show that sommelier who's boss.