My manager ran up to me as I exited the kitchen. “Patrick! Okay, Eric, our house wine Rep. just got sat at table 9 in your section.” She whipped out our wine list, and strolled her finger down the columns. “Recommend to him one of his own wines. Can you remember any?”
If my life was a movie this would be the moment where the slow-motion would start and my heart beat would thump slower and slower, drowning out my manager’s voice, clanging of the dishes, but most importantly, my train of thought.
This was my greatest fear ever. As a new server (less then 36 hours old) I was terrified of opening a bottle of wine in front of customer, let alone the wine Rep! Yes, I had practiced, which only consisted of inviting my friends over for a wine party a couple of nights prior but, that was all fun and games. This couldn’t be happening to me, not my first one!
My heart beat began to return to normal as it faded out. My thought process came back as well as my manager’s voice. “The Velvet Devil,” I finally blurted out. She agreed and raddled off a couple others. I looked at the list then to her, the stare that she left me with said, “You’ve got one shot.”
My mind clicked to list mode:
[Return of Slow-Mo/Heartbeat sequence]
- Get to table
- Remember your name
- Remember restaurant’s name
- Remember “Velvet Devil” Merlot
- Greet with your and restaurant’s name
- Suggest “Velvet Devil” Merlot
- Hope that he orders “Velvet Devil” Merlot
- Get to the computer
- Order “Velvet Devil” Merlot
- Pray for dear life
Each of the above bullets went according to planned (Even him ordering it!) As I went to the bar to retrieve that bottle I was greeted by a smile. I thought to myself, “How could anyone smile at a time like this, I am about to die a wine bottle death and the bartender is smiling at me, SICK!” I realized why she was smiling when she uttered the two most beautiful words I have ever heard. “Screw Top.”
I about fainted.
I grasped the bottle and inspected it for myself. She was right! Glasses in the right, bottle in the left, I took a deep breath and made my way to table 9.
I presented it to him, he gave me the knod. I opened the bottle (easiest part) then poured him some. He tasted it then gave me the “OK.” I poured for his wife then back to him, all with touching the rim or spilling!
I DID IT!
I served wine properly to our house wine Rep.
Now, I have my favorite bottle of wine to suggest. The “Velvet Devil” Merlot. Come on by the Grill at Highland Row and order a bottle or two.