Wine By The Glass programs have many benefits, but in reality there are a few issues to watch out for next time you pick up a restaurant wine list.
Most open bottles will last only a couple days (or in the case of some Pinot Noirs, only a few hours!) before the oxygen introduced to the wine starts to change the flavor.
Many bars, even in major cities like NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle do not preserve their opened bottles.
There are a few available wine preservation systems, so be sure to ask your server or bartender if they use one.
If they don't use a preserver, ask for a taste of the wine you'd like to drink.
Most restaurants and bars will be happy to oblige! 2.
Discount Wine Selection.
Lets say a glass of wine at a big restaurant is $9.
Chances are that bottle cost the restaurant only $6-$8, thus, the quality of that $9 wine glass is relatively low.
In contrast, at a smaller boutique restaurant or wine bar, they'll offer that same glass for about $5-$6.
Smaller places tend to have less overhead, and more often than not, they depend much more on the rapport they build with their clientele.
Big brands have major presence.
Distributors and large restaurants get kickbacks from major brands if they feature their product in their wine glass program.
At the steakhouse I work at, only 2 of the wines by the glass out of 20 were NOT major brands.
(read: You are paying for advertising, not quality wine.
Ask for help from someone who knows.
You can still get a tasty glass of wine the next time you go out.
Keep in mind these two simple facts: know what flavors you like in wine and ask for advice from someone who clearly knows their wine list.