Ordering wine at restaurants is often incredibly necessary. Yes, it would be 2,000% cheaper if you just bought a bottle from your local wine shop, but you don’t have that luxury right now. You’re shelling out for a nice dinner, and what could possibly make a dinner nicer than a glorious $10-$25 glass of wine?
So right off the bat, you’re in a weird position. You’re overspending on wine regardless of which one you choose, but still, you don’t want to look cheap in front of your gracious waiter/cool friends (obvi, your friends are cool). So what do you do? You pick not the cheapest glass or bottle, but the second cheapest. This way you don’t look stingy — maybe the second cheapest is the one you really wanted..? It’s a common thought process. People have been choosing the second cheapest wine on the list since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of wine snobbery.
But here’s the thing, you’re getting scammed. Restaurateurs and sommeliers know that you’re likely to choose the second cheapest option, so this is the spot they reserve for the cheapest wine they have. The less expensive house wine is either the same value as the second cheapest option, or even more expensive. So reputation be damned, do not order the second cheapest wine. Stay with the least expensive (frugality is totally IN), or make it rain with your extra $2-$3 and spring for the third cheapest option.
Don’t forget to check out: The One Thing You Should Never Do When Drinking Wine and The Pros And Cons Of Drinking Red Wine