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How to make friends with the sommelier


     A faithful reader has an idea for taming the wild sommelier. She writes:

Dear Fred,

     “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.)”

Hilda Mitrani

Dear Hilda,

     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.

Fred Tasker


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