EDINBURGH. When faced with a bewildering wine list and an incomprehensible sommelier, ordering the second cheapest bottle of wine on the menu is a “pretty reliable” way to choose a bottle of wine, a local man revealed today.
David Walsh, 26, made the statement while he and a group of old friends were struggling to decipher an inexplicably confusing wine list at a restaurant in the city last Sunday. “The second cheapest is usually the way to go”, Walsh explained. “It’s pretty reliable, and will usually get you something solid, albeit not spectacular. I mean, it just stands to reason: etiquette says you can’t order the absolute cheapest wine in a restaurant, but since you don’t understand anything about wine you don’t want to order anything too expensive. So just go for the second cheapest.”
When pressed further on the subject, Walsh did reveal, however, that the days of ordering the second cheapest bottle might be numbered. “I think ordering the second cheapest of anything is a pretty widespread practice”, Walsh said. “I’m pretty confident I didn’t event that. So you’ve got to ask yourself - do the restaurant owners know about the second cheapest too? If they do, they’ll make sure the second cheapest wine on the menu is something rubbish and overpriced, since people are going to order it anyway. Pretty soon we’ll need to start mixing things up, and go for maybe the second second cheapest, the second second second cheapest, or maybe even, in extreme cases, the cheapest.
“Basically, all wine tastes pretty similar”, Walsh concluded. “The game is basically to not look too tight, while at the same time not overpaying for something too expensive, since you probably won’t be able to taste the difference anyway.”