We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Wine List?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A wine list is a list of wines written on a bill of fare. Wine lists are presented and offered like menus and usually in conjunction with them. While in some restaurants, a wine list is included on the restaurant's main menu, wine lists can also be offered on separate menus.

Wine lists are meant to provide a customer with a selection of wines from which to choose for purchase. Besides informing customers of what types of wines the restaurant offers, wine lists can also help a customer select a wine based on personal preference. Prior wine knowledge will help the average customer select a wine out of the many that are listed on the menu, but extensive knowledge is not required to select a suitable wine for a single person, a large party or a specific occasion.

When someone looks at the typical wine list, he may first notice that the wine list is organized into sections. Many restaurants separate the wine selection into two general sections: white wine and red wine. However, some restaurants may add additional categories such as rosé wines and dessert wines. It is also not uncommon to come across a wine list that is categorized by grape type, wine style, variety, region, country or specialty. Regardless of the way that a restaurant chooses to categorize its wines, they are usually presented from lightest wine down to heaviest wine.

A sommelier, or a highly trained wine waiter, will often provide a wine list to patrons. Sommeliers may aid customers by answering questions about the wines available for purchase or even offer suggestions. They may also be charged with composing wine lists and informing other restaurant staff members about wines.

Wine lists will include wine prices. These prices will reflect the cost of wine per glass or bottle. However, some restaurants do allow customers to bring their own wines to the table, provided that they pay what a restaurant will deem a corkage fee. This fee is meant to recoup any losses that that the restaurant might have incurred, since the customer declined to the order from the wine list.

In addition to being offered at restaurants, a wine list can be presented at wineries and wine stores. These lists can be employed during wine testing events, where those in attendance may select a wine from the list to taste. Tasters may also use the lists to learn more about the wines that they are imbibing. Some wine lists will include information about wine producers, the years in which they were made, best food pairings and other miscellaneous facts.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By tigers88 — On Apr 14, 2012

I never drink white so I always ask for the red wine list. My girlfriend rarely drinks red so she is always asking for a white wine list. We both love wine and yet we hardly ever share a bottle. I wonder what that says about our relationship?

By ZsaZsa56 — On Apr 14, 2012

@chivebasil - I can appreciate where you are coming from but personally I like the epic wine list. I like choices in general and I do not want to be limited by the tastes of the chef. I came to that restaurant to satisfy my own appetites and I want to be able to get any wine that suits me.

I also like to see the great variety. I have discovered some amazing wines, wines I would have never found in a store, by being adventurous with my choices off the wine list.

By chivebasil — On Apr 13, 2012

I have been to a few restaurant where the wine list was like a novella. It was hard backed and went on for pages and pages.

I appreciate having choices but I also appreciate the curatorial aspect of a wine list. The goal is not to give you every wine under the sun but only the choices that the chef and restaurant owner believe are the best to be paired with the food. More than 15 or 20 different choices and it just becomes overwhelming.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.