Wine choices – red or white?

There is no use whining about wine (yes, I went there!). These day even in small places your wine selection is vastly improved over the days when a rafetta covered bottle of cheap chianti was considered classy. Still, sometimes picking a wine in a restaurant can be fraught with too many choices, but in the case of this month’s stories, the exact opposite is true.


About 12 years ago I was serving in the lounge at Boston Pizza. Key words being ‘lounge’ and ‘Boston Pizza’.

A well-dressed lady sits down, and please note that she had to seat herself because again she was in the lounge at Boston Pizza. I approach and ask how she is, and if she would like anything to drink while she was waiting (she mentioned she had two more people joining her).

“I can’t drink Chilean wine, what’s your house red?”

I mentioned it was from California, a Cabernet.

“You’re positive it’s not Chilean?”

“Ma’am we have a wine list that consists of four wines and the two house wines are from California” (Boston Pizza was and is more geared towards beer, we were lucky enough to carry the four we had).

“I would like to try it before I order.”

I said I would be right back and went to get her a sample.

So I put the box of wine (yup, it came out of a plastic bag with a tap on it) and a clean glass on a tray and walked over. I got to the table, plopped the box of wine down, on the edge of the table so I could access the tap properly and poured her a sample.

She was appalled of course but said, “Ahem, that’s fine. I’ll take a glass.”

“Wonderful, 6 oz or 9?”


My job takes me across Canada and sometimes that means I end up in towns with limited restaurant choices. One trip, I was in a small town in Labrador and went to the hotel bar after my workshop.

This was the conversation that I had with the bartender.

Me: “Do you serve wine?”

Bartender: “Yup, we have red and we have white”.

Me: “What’s the red?”

Bartender: “It’s that one there—on the shelf”.

So. I took the red. Only two bottles on the shelf.

We are hoping you can be a part of this series by submitting firsthand experiences of imperious bosses, difficult guests, and your own and others’ gaffes. Please send stories to or private message on social media.

Thanks to everyone for their submissions! I haven’t used them all but keep ‘em coming!

About Rod Weatherbie

Rod Weatherbie is a writer working in the hospitality industry. He spent a number of years in Toronto as a member of the financial press before returning to PEI. Rod has published one piece of short fiction, one book of poetry, and has had work published in Red Shift, the Antigonish Review, Mitre, and the Toronto Quarterly. He has also recently co-produced, co-directed, and acted in a stage production of old television shows.

He also likes writing about food. Go figure.

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