The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

When to send your wine back

I hate when this happens, but I had to send a glass of wine back last night. Friday night, end of a long week, relaxing with my fiance, getting ready to go to the comedy club...and served a glass of wine that tastes not quite right. We were in a Northern Kentucky restaurant better known for its family fish and chicken dinners than for its wine, so it's not like I was going to get a sommelier to confirm that the wine was corked, or bad, or whatever. I'm no expert, but the Seattle wine blog says corked wine "smells like wet cardboard, sweat socks or running shoes." This was none of those, but there was something very off, and perhaps kind of vinegary about the wine (a Kenwood red zinfandel).

This is how sending wine back is supposed to happen. Our not-so-good waiter last night took away the offending wine, brought me the wine list, let me choose another selection - a white this time, always safer in restaurants where wine is not necessarily a mainstay - and promptly returned to the table 30 seconds later to ask, again, what was the name of the wine was that I ordered the second time around. "Uh, I think we'll just skip the wine tonight." I didn't want to work that hard for it. And really, I didn't want another bad glass.

I do hate sending things back, but if they are bad, they're bad. I decided not to take it anymore after I decided - against all better judgment - to be adventurous in a Cajun restaurant in Hong Kong 10 years ago. I ordered the alligator, and that, unlike the wine, tasted and smelled like dirty sweat socks. I suffered through that (what was I thinking?). But never again!

Do you have horror stories about sending back wine - or food for that matter? Hopefully you don't have to do any of that this weekend. Happy Easter!


at 6:59 PM Blogger Rick said...

Julie, as experienced waiters, no longer in the business, like to say: never, ever, ever, ever send food back and EAT what comes back out. I just thought this was pretty common knowledge...

Complain if you want to. Get a comped meal if you want to. Never return if you don't want to. But leave your protest outside the realm of your lips...

at 6:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate at a local restaurant a couple of weeks ago. The person I was with asked specifically for something to not be put on the steak. Waitress didn't listen. He sent it back and the food he got back was cold and raw on the inside. Complained to the management, got no results. Won't eat there again.

at 6:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cold and raw on the inside, with God knows what on the outside... My stomach is turning at the thought.....

at 12:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you implying that the cooks would do something unsavory to the food? If so, that's highly unprofessional and the cooking staff should be sacked.

at 1:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to catch them before you can sack them. I waited tables for years,(I no longer do) and there is no way, I would eat anything that was sent back to the kitchen and brought back out to the table.

at 5:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen it. I have heard from others who've seen it. Honestly, I thought everyone knew this.
I am very serious about this. This is no joke.

at 7:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't read these comments without posting a reply.

Even though Julie Gaw's original blog was about sending WINE back, the thread has dwindled down to a discussion of illicit acts done by seriously unprofessional kitchen personnel.

Think about the type of restaurtant you are patronizing when you decide to send something back.

A good restaurant's reputation rests on what is served in front of you. If its not up to your standards, or if a mistake was made by the restaurant, you have a right to be satisfied, and a good restaurant will make sure you leave the establishment happy.

Your bottle of wine is corked? Send it back. get a new bottle. Your glass of wine tastes funny, while eating at TGI McFunster's, use your judgement.

Anyone that openly admits they have witnessed such vile acts by kitchen staff, should be ashamed of themselves for not stopping the act.

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