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Half- and quarter- bottles on wine in a Paris rrestaurant

Half- and quarter- bottles on wine in a Paris rrestaurant

Old Apr 28th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Half- and quarter- bottles on wine in a Paris rrestaurant

Quick question:

In Italy, one can order a mezzo (half-bottle) and quarto (quarter-bottle) of wine at most restaurants.

I seem to recall that can be done in in France, too.

What are the correct French words?

Thanks.
SS
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Old Apr 28th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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A "bouteille" contains 75 cl of wine; a "demi-bouteille" contains 37.5 cl. Quarter-bottles are not usually on offer, and the range of half-bottles is usually quite limited.

You can also order wine in a carafe. The measures are "une carafe", which contains 100 cl; "un demi": 50 cl; "un quart": 25 cl. The wine served in carafes is classed as table wine, meaning that it is probably quite okay, but not likely to be memorably good.
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Old Apr 28th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Thanks...that's what I needed to know. I must have been remembering it wrong...it was a half and quarter of a carafe.

SS
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Old Apr 28th, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Is there a noticeably difference in price when getting un carafe for four persons vs. 4 separate glasses if they all want just simple red wine?
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Old Apr 28th, 2014, 07:05 PM
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It would depend on what you're drinking. Wine by the glass is normally more expensive than ordering a carafe or a bottle. If you order a bottle, I believe that most restaurants will allow you to take what's left in a brown bag.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 12:41 AM
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"What's left"? What's that?

If you don't manage to finish the bottle, no restaurant will refuse you your right to take it away with you, no brown bag needed.

As Robert says, wine by the glass is usually more expensive because you can normally choose from the wine list those wines that are sold "by the glass". The carafe wines as Padraig says, are usually just table wines.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 01:12 AM
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A lot of this depends upon where in France you happen to be. What is available by the glass at a restaurant in Beaune might be a much more expensive option in Perpignan and only available by the bottle.

Referencing specific wording, carafes often refer to water as in <i>une carafe d´eau</i>. Wine, other than in full bottles, is commonly ordered either by pichet or container size such as un quart or un demi or even en cinquante (.50 liter).

Since the big push against drinking and driving and a relatively low blood alcohol level (.05) being considered too drunk to drive, half bottles are now much more common than in the past and many restaurants stock a relatively good selection of half bottle options.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 05:01 AM
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'un quart or un demi or even en cinquante (.50 liter).'

Regarding litres:
un quart, or 1/4 of a litre is 250 ml., about a cup in American
un demi is 1/2 litre, 500 ml., or 2/3 of a regular wine bottle, which is 750 ml.

'en cinquante, .5 litre' - what is this? You seem to indicate that this is smaller, but .5 litre is 1/2 litre, 500 ml, the same as the above. Do you mean 50 ml? This is less than 2 oz. I haven't seen this measurement anywhere near us in the Perigord.

Anyway, for the OP, just ask for un quart de rouge, (or blanc), or un demi, and the waiter will understand you.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 05:24 AM
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To order a 25cl carafe of wine, you say "un quart de rouge" "un quart de rosé" or "un quart de Côte du Rhône" )if the place has a variety of carafe wines -- most do not).

For 50cl, it is "un demi de rouge" etc.

At least that's the way we talk in Paris. There may be regional variations.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 09:35 AM
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I think the point of the brown bag was just so you wouldn't be walking around the street visibly holding a bottle of wine, just for taste, I think.

Wine by the glass isn't more expensive because of the brand necessarily, it's just that paying for one glass is always more expensive than buying a lot of something, if it's the same quality or price point of wine. There is economy is scale. Wine by the carafe is about the same quality as the cheapest glass of wine, but bottled wine is usually more expensive than either. Of course, you can sometimes buy a glass of an expensive wine, also.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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My wife and I could never pass as oenophiles. House wine by the carafe (or demi or quart or glass) is fine with us. It just always seems to taste better in Paris.

SS
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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It's all very simple as perfectly described several times above. In reality, and because Paris is Paris, and you're a dumb tourist, you might not, and it often happens, get what you think you've asked for.

So...

Question: You order a demi-rouge (50cl red house wine) in your best French accent. But the 'Monsieur' (knowing full well that you're from across 'The Pond') brings you a bottle of expensive vin rough off the a la carte wine menu. What do you do?
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 02:05 PM
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Adding to my last.
Lunchtime in Paris is a great time to eat. And a plat de jour, often with a demi-rouge is great vfm, and choose the right place and you could be in famous company.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 02:14 PM
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In my experience the house wine served in restaurants in France, (and Belgium, and likely other places in Europe) is better quality than the house wine in most US restaurants.

And, LL, I'd send it back - very nicely of course. Oh, non, Monsieur. Je voudrais un carafe de vin rouge, s'il vows plait. (if I remember my high school French correctly)
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Kathie. I'd send it back too, avec la puce à l'oreille!

But you can't do that if you've let your guard down and only notice it when you get the bill (l'addition).

Seen it happen loads of times, good laugh. It helps being an expat!!
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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So true. But I can't imagine not noticing that I'd been brought a bouteille and not a carafe!
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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<<What do you do?>>

In your impeccable, unaccented French you point out that an error has been made, no doubt without malice, and ask for your order to be filled properly and promptly. With a smile and a "je vous remercie bien, Monsieur."
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 03:03 PM
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@Kathie<<But I can't imagine not noticing that I'd been brought a bouteille and not a carafe!>>

You're right, it's not a giraffe!
But what volume of carafe did you order? 25cl, 50cl, 75cl, 100cl? Sometimes, we're so focussed on trying to get the lingo right that perhaps we get lost, suck it, and just pay the bill.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 06:30 PM
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And sometimes, most times, we don't.
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Old Apr 30th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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And sometimes it just doesn't matter. Many many years ago, I mentioned to my (then) husband that we were in the Loire, where they made very good wine. He, thinking that meant the 'vin du pays' would be excellent, ordered a pichet. It happened to be my birthday, and we were in a nicer than usual restaurant (at the time we were staying in cheap hotels where the bathroom was down the hall somewhere, and eating from 'Europe on $5 a day' A long time ago)

Well, the maitre d' did not appreciate anyone ordering such declasse stuff, and refused to even handle it. Instead, a lower being carried it across the room, while both of them sniffed audibly. It was so over the top that we just laughed, rather than being insulted/overwhelmed. I don't remember what the wine was like, but will always remember the parade of two bringing it to us. So even if you do come across someone who tries to intimidate you, it doesn't mean you have to let him/her succeed.
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