Thanks to fellow blogger Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy for e-mailing me a note about a recent article in the LA Times that takes up the subject of wines that don’t appear on the wine list at fancy restaurants. We’ve all suspected at one time or another that there might be a secret list that well-heeled or well-known customers get to order from, and perhaps even experienced it ourselves. In fact many fine restaurants do have stashes of bottles that don’t appear on the regular wine list for many reasons, chiefest among them being either the restaurant has very little of the wine or that the restaurant is aging the wine and doesn’t feel it’s ready to serve. Sometimes, though, there are just some bottles that restaurants want to reserve for someone special. Luckily for those of us who aren’t celebrities, that someone special can simply be a serious wine lover who takes the time to talk with the Sommelier and inquire as to what might be on offer.
Beware, though, ordering off-list comes with the somewhat unspoken rule that if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it.