Wine Tips from Sommelier Michael Scherzberg of The New Orleans Grill - New Orleans, Louisiana
Taste everything - nothing can replace the experience you gain from tasting.
Read everything - there's so much information out there you have to read all the time to stay on top.
Overlook half bottles. These give you the chance to try new wines without the investment of a full bottle, and you get to try a variety of different wines with your meal.
Be afraid of wine; go to a good wine shop and have them help select a variety of wines to try. Get a mixed case (you'll usually get a case discount) and start enjoying wine with your dinner at home.
Forget dessert wine. There's an amazing range of quality dessert wines produced. Just remember that the wine must be sweeter than the dessert, otherwise the wine will taste too dry and astringent.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
If you don't see what you're looking for, or want to know what the best value on the list is, ask. We'll help you and you won't have to spend an hour searching for a treasure. Plus I often open a half-bottle of something I don't pour by the glass so I can pair a wine with a guest's meal. This leaves me with an extra glass that may be the perfect compliment to your dinner. If I don't have anything open, I may still find a great bottle and open it and pour it by the glass or use it for staff training, or hand-sell the remaining glasses. The point is, a good sommelier can go above and beyond to accommodate requests - this is the fun part of our job.