Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers

by Rick Jelovsek CSW


Book Details

Is there a right way

and a wrong way to choose and serve wine?

Restaurant Wait Staff - Earn bigger tips by learning to recommend and correctly serve wine.

Wine lovers - Entertain at home, learn the intricacies of wine service and food pairing.

Wine Industry Sales - Know your basics and educate your customers to make more wine sales.

Book Reviews

Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers by Rick Jelovsek
Reviewed by Melissa Koltes for RebeccasReads (11/10)

Forget about Idiot’s or Dummy’s books…this book is all you need for an understanding of wines. The author explains everything from types of wines, how to serve, to when to serve, what to look for, taste for and smell.

I thought I knew a bit about wine but nothing like what I was able to absorb in the short time it took to read this book. This book can easily be read in less than an afternoon or gleaned right before you head out for the evening. The average person is not a sommelier, so general basic knowledge is all you need and you will get it from this book.

I was always concerned about ordering wine at a nice restaurant because the waiters expect me to smell and taste the wine before pouring and I wasn’t sure what exactly I should be doing. Now, because of this book I feel empowered to understand what I am looking for within the wines that are ordered.

The author also fills the reader in on what appear to be little known facts; such as, when a red wine can be served chilled or when a white may not have the right color. These are invaluable to know if you enjoy wine.


Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers Rick Jelovsek
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (09/10)

I have to admit that I knew very little about wine until I reviewed “Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers.” I drink wine and know what I like, but I’ve never taken the time to understand it. I thought this book would help me out and, I must say, it didn’t disappoint.

Rick Jelovsek claims “...retail wine stores and grocery stores where wine is sold, 80% of wine is sold to females. Women are more likely to be wine drinkers than men.” I found this interesting because in my experience it seems that my male friends have more knowledge about wine selections than my female friends. However, this is about purchasing, not knowledge.

Jelovsek’s writing is very concise and clear. He explains storing, serving temperature, choosing glassware, bottle and cork observation, pouring, decantation, aeration, and refilling. As well, he covers tasting, grape flavors and aromas, and food pairing. For me, “Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers” gave me a basic understanding.

This book is intended for restaurant wait staff, wine industry sales personnel, and, of course, the people like me; wine lovers. This is certainly a book that I will keep for reference and will use it regularly. In fact, it spiked my interest to the point that I’m searching out wine appreciation classes.

“Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers” by Rick Jelovsek would make a great addition to a wine gift basket.


Book Excerpt

How much wine to pour

There is no one authority on how much wine to pour into each glass. In the scientific literature when experts compare the amount of alcohol in beer, wine and distilled spirits, they assign equivalent drinks at containing 0.6 oz of pure alcohol. This would be 12 ounces of beer at 5% alcohol, 5 oz of wine at 12% alcohol, and 1.5 oz of 80 proof spirits (40% alcohol ). Thus a 5 ounce wine pour is about equivalent to a 12 oz. beer or a drink of liquor containing an ounce and a half (a shot) of spirits. Of course wine alcohol content can vary from about 10-15% as can beer (4-7%) or spirits (35-45%) so there is no "standard" amount of alcohol by volume (ABV) that is ever poured.

A standard wine bottle contains 750 ml of fluid which is about 25 ounces. This would mean there are about 5 - 5oz glasses in a bottle or about 4 - 6 oz glasses. In practice, most restaurant pours are 5 - 6 oz. However there is nothing to prevent a server from pouring 4 oz or 8 oz of wine. If you are a bartender in a restaurant the management will let you know how much to pour when a guest orders wine-by-the-glass because glass prices are calculated according to a specific number of ounces in a pour.

As a wine server pouring a bottle for diners at a table you have less restrictions. We suggest that you initially pour 1/2 - 2/3's of the bottle into guest's glasses. That way you will still have some wine to top off the glasses of those guest's who consume their wine faster. This would mean perhaps a 6 oz pour for two people sharing a bottle; a 5 oz pour for 3; a 4 oz pour for 4 people and a 3 oz pour for 6 people. It is up to you to know your wine glasses and how full they would appear at different ounce pours.

At a wine tasting, the amount of wine poured in a glass is even smaller. The ISO wine tasting glass is meant to hold about 50 ml which is 1.67 oz. We recommend about a 2 oz pour at a wine tasting event. In this way a tasting of 6 wines would result in 12 oz (2 full glasses) even if the guest swallows all of the wine and doesn't pour any in the dump bucket. This is a situation in which using a measured pourer is very helpful so as not to waste wine or make guests inebriated before they taste all of the wines, especially for those guests who find a wine they like and want to try a second glass.


About the Author

Rick Jelovsek CSW

Rick Jelovsek CSW is a retired physician and a wine lover of over 40 years. He has an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Wine by the Society of Wine educators.

His writing simplifies the complicated wine service world.

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