Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Any Dry Sherries?": A Lesson Learned

Been really busy with work lately, but I've got a few minutes, so I thought I would share a learning experience from behind the bar recently. A nice couple sits down at the bar waiting for the restaurnt to open so they can be seated. Before I can get them a beverage list, they ask "any dry sherries?" Then I have that moment which I'm not too fond of, and until I was actually bartending, rarely happened. That moment is the moment I realize that I've been asked a booze-related question and that I don't know the answer. Thankfully, I'd happened to notice at some point that there was a bottle of oloroso behind some ports on the backbar. So, I quickly retrieved it, showed them the bottle, and they agreed that this was acceptable. They liked it, but when I got a minute to look at our spirits list a little later, I noticed that we had an amontillado listed along with the oloroso. Like most Americans, I don't know much about sherry, but I was pretty sure that amontillados were drier than oloroso. Upon conferring with my beverage director that evening, I was informed that the amontillado was stored in the fridge. Well, at least I know now, and will be ready should the couple return or other like-minded, like-palated customers take up a seat at my bar. In the end, they still enjoyed their sherry, and I learned something new. All in all, a new bartender success.

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