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Achieving Wine Immortality




Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am


Portland, OR

Re: Wine by the Glass

by Hoke » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:31 pm

It's not just Napa/Sonoma that's charging high prices, Tim. There are a lot of places outside of those counties where the establishment is charging whatever the market will bear.

(Robin's summary post on pricing/policies is very good, and basically covers things. And he's right that the standard rule on btg pricing is charging a glass price equal to the restaurant's cost of the bottle.)

If that's a high price for you, then by all means complain about it. You might be surprised at how many of us in the business complain (and often vociferously) about those very same prices. So I'm all for letting the place know you don't like their pricing policy on wine. If enough people were to voice those objections enough times, more restaurateurs might get the message and lower their damned prices!

What I would ask, though, is that you not direct your ire at those people serving you, for they usually have little or no voice (usually no voice) in setting those prices, and there is no reason whatsoever for your server to get abused because you're upset at the owner. Unfortunately, most people DO take it out on the server. Or what might be even worse, and not say anything at all to anybody, and just appear to be generally foul tempered and irritable. :)

It's no faux pas to call ahead (or check the internet website today) and determine the general range of prices, along with an idea of what the wine offerings are, along with what the food style is, and what the food prices are. Also the dress code, if there is one. That way you get fewer surprises and are better able to enjoy the experience for which you are shelling out your hard earned bucks.

And while I would wholeheartedly agree with you that there's too much priceing up on wine by the glass or by the bottle, if you're getting that in all your Napa/Sonoma places.....well, you may not be going to the right places (especially in Sonoma, I can't speak for tha over priced and over rated county to the west of us). There are plenty of places where you can get decently priced wine---or bring your own bottle, if that's what you wish. Also plenty of places that offer varied sizes, tasting flights, etc. And many restaurants have wine specials, half-off deals, etc.

Heck, even in Napa, you can go to Julia's Kitchen in Copia on a certain night and bring your own bottle and not even get charged a corkage fee!

So, complain. But complain politely and to the right people. And look for those places that do better. And tell them they are doing better, and you appreciate it.

And maybe prices will go down in our lifetime. :D
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Re: Wine by the Glass

by TimMc » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:03 pm


Good post.

Just so you know, I'm only picking on Sonoma/Napa to see what the posters on this BBS will bear. :) No, seriously, I am fully aware that other high digit restaurants in other counties will charge up the wahzoo for their corkage/wine list/wine by the glass, too. Sausalito in Marin Co. is notorious for this....San Franciso, too.

I never have nor will I ever start to get on my waitperson because of the high prices their bosses charge. They are the working stiffs and have nothing to do with it. I'm not sure why this came up, because I have been very clear as to whom I see as the culprit: The wine industry/restaurant industry. We're talking coporations and business ownerships at this point, not the hard working men and women who serve us at the table.

In fact, I tend to tip 20% or more and make it a point to thank the chef(s) after a satisfying eating experience.

And please do not think for a moment I believe all restaurants are gouging. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I have eaten at several downtown Santa Rosa establishments [a Ma and Pa Thai restauurant, if it's still there, was just fantastic!] as an example, and never felt I was being mistreated, price-wise. However, in St. Helena/Yountville, well, let's just say I don't do my "laundry" there any more....if you catch my drift. :wink:

I mean no disrespect, I've just grown tired of this whole snooty attitude of making the consumer pay big just because they can. Make sense?

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