When working in the hospitality industry, part of your service role involves providing advice to customers when required. If a customer asks you whether you are able to recommend a food, style of food, or beverage, you need to know how to respond. Responses will depend on what your establishment offers and will further be dependent on your product knowledge. It is up to the service person to be observant to ask appropriate questions and to make suggestions that will meet customer’s needs.
There used to be customs associated with food and wine matches. As a general rule, you served white wine with white meat, red wine with red meat, strong wine with strong flavours, light bodied wine with delicate flavours and sweet wines with desserts. These days, however, the beverages that accompany meals are based on personal taste rather than the general rule. In reality, the right wine is the one that the customer enjoys drinking. Therefore you need to ask the customer questions that will enable you to offer options that will meet personal taste.
There are many great books and online resources that detail specific wines to specific foods, information can often be found at the back of the wine bottle labels. Wine companies will often make suggestions about the storage, aging time and recommended foods a particular wine is suitable for. To update your specific knowledge in the hospitality industry, it is recommended that you take the time to get to know your particular wines (and other beverages) that you sell.