When the advice of a wine steward or sommelier is accepted, do I tip him or her aside from tipping the waiter and if so, how much?
About tipping extra for fine wine.
No matter how well you know your wines, the advice of a wine steward or sommelier can indeed be reassuring and even helpful. A hearty few words of thanks may be all that is necessary.
- Traditionally, you would tip 15% to 20% of the cost of the meal including the wine, before the tax is added. It is always good etiquette to tip a sommelier, but it is not mandatory when the cost of the wine is included in the bill.
- On the way out the door, you can, of course, slip the sommelier cash, again 15%-20% of the cost of the wine, along with your generous words of appreciation.
On the other hand, if you do not like the recommendation, the wine steward should find you a different wine. You shouldn’t feel stuck or intimidated into drinking a wine that isn’t to your taste.
- The wine steward should exuberantly say, “Let me find something else.”
If you’re going to pay for a great bottle of wine, you should drink what you like. If the wine is particularly good — a real find — you may want to slip the sommelier an extra $5.
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Accepting A Compliment