A faithful reader has an idea for taming the wild sommelier. She writes:
“One of my fellow gourmands and I have had recent experiences with sommeliers that were memorably good. In one, the sommelier at The Palm in Coral Gables came over to talk to us, as we'd brought a bottle of Turley to dinner there. She came over to chat about it and was incredibly cordial.
"The entire restaurant seemed to treat us with a lot of respect and affection that night b/c of that one bottle of wine that set us apart. (We're not regulars and are not well known, so it wasn't personal.)”
Good idea. It’s true that bringing a really top bottle of wine to a restaurant can buy you some respect. Turley Wine Cellars of California is noted for turning out cult wines –- particularly their zinfandels. And a lot of them are in the $25 to $35 range.
But readers who want to try this should call ahead to be sure the restaurant allows patrons to bring their own wine by paying a corkage fee.