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Ordering a bottle of wine when having a nice dinner out seems like the right thing to do if you are a wine lover.

The net cost is usually less, and — because the bottle arrives unopened — there’s no worry about the freshness of the wine. You also have confirmation that you’re actually getting the wine you ordered.

During a recent dinner out with friends, however, I opted for the by-the-glass route. Yes, there were some bottles that appealed to me, but there was no consensus among my party regarding choice of entrée.

I had decided on salmon. Another diner chose grouper. Someone else wanted veal. I could have chosen a wine that worked for everyone, but it would have been a compromise.

Because there was a surprisingly good selection from which to choose, the by-the-glass route allowed each diner a good deal of flexibility. Choose a white, a red or even a cocktail.

I was having fish, so I chose a lighter red — a Russian River pinot noir — that worked perfectly. My salmon was topped with a light dill-cream sauce, which added a bit of weight to the overall presentation. The pinot was light enough to not overpower the fish, but had enough body to complement the sauce.

My friend’s veal worked well with a lighter zinfandel. This was a fruity, medium-bodied zin with a hint of spice — a good match for the veal osso buco, which is a rich, herb-infused dish.

A sangiovese would have been my pick for the chicken Parmesan another friend ordered, but the nod ultimately went to a merlot. That works, and most merlots are fairly flexible wines, pairing well with many meaty, saucy dishes.

One of the other benefits of choosing wine by the glass is that you are not — obviously — tied to drinking the same wine all night. That’s a fun way to explore different wines if the restaurant’s selections are inviting.

I ordered a second glass of my pinot, but others at the table — after sampling from a few glasses — changed things up. If, for example, the zin was too heavy for the veal, no worries; order a merlot the next time. If appetizers are part of the dinner experience, try ordering a glass of one wine with your appetizer, soup or salad, and a different glass with your main course. Consider a pinot noir or even a Prosecco with a fried calamari appetizer, and a bigger cabernet with a rib-eye steak entrée.

At most restaurants, wines by the glass range from $7 to about $15; the sweet spot is often $10, which works out to about $45 or so per bottle. That’s not an unreasonable price to pay for a little flexibility — and variety.

A great everyday wine

I stopped by Bouharoun’s Fine Wines & Spirits last week to pick up a bottle of gin, but also walked out with a bottle of 2014 Jacob’s Creek Classic cabernet sauvignon. Owner Peter Bouharoun was selling this for $4.99, and — always on the lookout for a great value — I wanted to try a bottle.

This wine typically sells for about $10 a bottle, making it perfect for everyday drinking. It’s topped with a screw cap, which is not a bad thing at all for an inexpensive wine (or, really, any wine, though I’ll admit the screw cap can seem a bit less classy than a nice cork).

Saturday night I took the bottle to a friend’s house. Livia was making authentic Italian lasagna, which contained meat but didn’t include the red sauce to which we are so accustomed in the United States.

The Jacob’s Creek, which hails from the Southeastern region of Australia, did not disappoint. It’s not a huge cab I’d serve with a grilled rib-eye steak, but it’s not thin, either. It was fruity, with flavors of plums and berries, capped by a hint of spice. Tannins are fairly moderate. It worked well with Livia’s lasagna, and it also would work well with other beef dishes — even a lean steak such as a sirloin or filet.

For $4.99, this wine was a good value. Bouharoun, however, told me Tuesday he has reduced the price of the cabernet — and a 2015 Jacob’s Creek Classic pinot grigio and a 2015 Jacob’s Creek Classic chardonnay — to $3.99 a bottle. Bouharoun’s Fine Wines & Spirits has a good bit of this on the floor, but it may sell quickly.

I haven’t tried the pinot grigio or chardonnay, but at this price, there’s no excuse not to pick up a few bottles. See what you think. If the cab is any indication, I think you’ll be back for more.

Find out more

Bouharoun’s Fine Wine & Spirits

301 Falls St., Greenville

www.bouharouns.com

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