Yes, you've been tasked with choosing the wine from a seemingly incomprehensible list, and what's more, both the waiter and your dining partner are staring avidly at you, awaiting your selection.
You could do what many before you have done and choose the second-least expensive bottle, but that's the easy way out. The truth is, ordering wine properly isn't so difficult once you know what to look for. Here's how!
Where are you?
By gauging the atmosphere, mood and surroundings of your location, your conscience can automatically fit into a frame of mind that will help you choose. So too can the people that you are with, the weather and how you want to feel.
Perhaps a light and fruity wine will suit a late sunny afternoon, or, if you're looking to take things a little more seriously, go for something with a little more earth. If you're feeling professional and business-like, perhaps a bold, muscular, earthy bottle will suit.
Don't be afraid of the list
To some, a restaurant's wine last may as well be written in Latin, but don't let it put you off. Normally, they'll be separated into color, and then into styles or possibly region. Once you've established which color to go for, perhaps after asking for preferences, you should try your best to match it with the food you've ordered.
If you're at a loss as to what goes with what, do not be ashamed to ask. It's part of a waiter or sommelier's job to recommend good wines, and he or she will be only too happy to help.
Try to make sure it is within your price range though, as the more expensive bottles don't automatically mean that they are the best.