This article originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com.
See what peeves New Orleans-based wine expert, Amy C. Collins, the writer behind the wine blog Pig & Vine, when customers come in to order. You could be shorting yourself out of a good pour if you’re doing any of these.
- Don’t try to fake it if your wine knowledge is limited. A good server is open to helping you learn.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We guarantee it won’t be the first time your server or sommelier hears, “I don’t know what you mean by full-bodied.” If, for some reason, they’re condescending to you, shake it off. No one likes sour grapes.
- Don’t smell the cork. Contrary to popular belief, it won’t tell you anything about the wine.
- Don’t worry about a party foul. If you spill your wine, here’s an easy trick for removing that red wine stain.
- Don’t be afraid to mispronounce a wine you want to try. No one is born knowing this stuff!
- Don’t be afraid to talk money upfront. If you don’t want to spend more than $60 on a bottle, say so.
- Don’t stick to the same old thing because you know it. Live a little, try something new! Ask your server or sommelier to recommend something a little different than your normal go to bottle.
Use these tips when you explore all the great wineries throughout the South.