becca (starph1sh) wrote in bad_service,

wine bar

my husband and i had our one year anniversary last sunday and after a yummy dinner, we decided to visit a local wine bar. we'd never been to a wine bar before, and were excited because it was a sunday night and this bar had 1/2 price bottles on sundays.

the menu was huge, so we chose a type of wine (i believe it was cabernet sauvignon) and asked our waiter for a reccomendation of which brand to buy. he reccomended one in our price range, which was originally $60, but with the 1/2 off special, it was $30. we decided to honor his reccomendation and he brought us the wine.

if you've ever ordered a bottle of wine in a nice restaurant or wine bar, you know that the waiter brings the bottle out, you look at it, he opens it and pours a small amount into a glass, you taste it and if you like it, he fills your glasses. after all that jazz, my husband and i sat back to chat and enjoy our wine.

we got to the bar at 10:00, the bar closed at midnight. it took us a while to decide which wine we wanted, so we ended up getting our wine at about 10:30. about this time, all the waiters began clearing all the tables, sweeping, mopping, etc. they were obviously closing early. we asked our waiter what was up and he said that sometimes when it was slow they close early, tonight they had decided to close at 11 instead of 12.

...okay. we start drinking a little faster. it was annoying because we had 1/2 an hour instead of an hour and a 1/2 and this was the most expensive wine we'd ever bought so we damn well wanted to enjoy it.

anyway, we finished our wine and the waiter brought us the bill. keep in mind that this guy's only responsibility was to take our drink order and pour it into a glass.

now please, tell me if this is customary to wine bars, because as i mentioned earlier, this was our first time.

the bill showed that the waiter had added a 20% gratuity to the original price of the wine (it was a $60 dollar bottle of wine, so he added a $12 tip) it was just my husband and i, not a large party.

i understand that if you recieve a discount off of food, you should tip on the full price, but this guy only brought the bottle and filled our glasses and he made $12 in the 30-45 minutes we were there. it was our anniversary and we didnt know if that was customary for wine bars (we had told the waiter it was our first time at a wine bar) so we let it go. the more people i discuss the situation with, the more i think he ripped us off.

thoughts? are we ignorant of wine bar customs or did this guy rush us out of the bar and pocket a giant tip?
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