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Kelly Young

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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Kelly Young » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:05 am

AlexR wrote:I am probably in a minority here, but this is the way I see it.

First of all, "when in Rome"...<snip>

The States? Hmmm. If I were on my own, I probably would leave 15% (and not 20%) on the food, but not on the wine.
If, on the other hand, I were paying for a friend, I would probably follow the majority drift on this thread and ante up.
BUT, not without thinking that I had been seriously gyped by the restaurateur.
He buys at *wholesale* prices, and sells at double or triple *retail* prices.
That's clearly enough money for him in my book, and tipping on top of that seems very much like a racket to me.

The costs of providing glasses and printing a wine list on a word processor do NOT provide sufficient excuse for
a tip on top of the atrocious mark-up in my most humble opinion.

Best regards,
Alex R.


Your willingness to ignore local custom when left to your own devices does not sound like "When in Rome" to me.

Yes restaurant owners mark up their food & drink significantly, it's how they stay in business. The service industry is a very difficult one, certainly in the States. In review of the number of restaurants that go under each year will prove that.

If one thinks that restaurant mark ups are too dear and that tipping is an abomination, stay home.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by AlexR » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:40 am

Covert,

I enjoyed your post a lot.

I too highly value the dining experience and spend an unconsionable amount of money on wine and food.
You might even call me a sybarite :-).

The question then becomes: why is it that a person (me) who spends a couple of hundred dollars on a bottle of wine (which I have done on occassion) is reluctant to tip?
There is definitely a subjective element to this all... If the wine is good, aged, properly served, and possibly even reasonably priced, I might be moved to leave the sort of tip people are talking about on this thread.
It's really the percentage aspect that makes the operation seem mercenary, and the thought that a fine - read expensive - wine should be "taxed" as much as an inexpensive one.

All the best,
Alex
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:43 am

Joy writes as she sums up....Bottom line - if you are going to dine out, enjoy yourself and don't complain. Make the experience pleasurable and beneficial to all around you, including the waitstaff. And if you can't leave your attitude about wine/food markups at the door, then please do everyone a favor and stay home.

You start off great here but final remark is not encouraging. Pity.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:04 am

Joy, Hello....

As a man who loves few things in life more than dining out and who by chance for more years than I care to admit in public has also been a restaurant critic, your comments struck me oddly.

Agreed that we dine out for a pleasurable experience, that including not only the quality of the dishes served but the service and indeed the ambiance. As to waitstaff, however, I have never dreamed of making my dining experience pleasurable for them.

Certainly I do not perceive wait-staff as my servants or as inferiors, but I to perceive them as people who are there for my pleasure and not me for theirs. Indeed, I do hope such people find reward in their work, that possibly involving a certain attainment of pleasure, but it is their responsibility to ensure my pleasure and not me theirs. We are agreed that all staff in any place should be treated with courtesy and respect but in no way beyond that is it up to patrons to provide for their pleasure.

We are agreed as well that tipping is an essential part of the potential satisfaction of wait-staff. Indeed when service is "above-and-beyond" additional tipping is certainly called for. On the other hand you will almost surely agree with me that those who tip too-too largely are making fools of themselves. Those super-tippers may receive subservient service in the future but we both know that they are often the laughing stock of the wait-staff.

As to tipping before-hand or, if we prefer, bribing the staff for hoped-for good service, I am opposed to that as it is demeaning to both the briber and the bribee.

With specific regard to complaining - as that is my privilege when I purchase a computer or a pair of shoes that does not function as it should, so it is my privilege in a restaurant when I find the food, service or ambiance not up to standards.

Perhaps we might do well to agree with the play on the old saw - that to the effect that the customer is not always right but he/she is always the customer.

Best
Rogov
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Redwinger » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:37 am

I posed this question on Robin's Louisville restaurant site last year:
"Some of the recent threads here seem to reflect the angst on both sides of the counter about the tipping issue. Let's descend into my weird little world for just a moment. Let's suppose the tipping custom in the USA were to be "outlawed" and we suddenly found ourselves more in the European Model where there is no/limited tipping but servers are paid "the going rate".
What do think this wage would be in this scenario? Sure, I expect there will be ranges probably based upon the type of establishment, but I'd be interested in just how much you think a servers services are worth in terms of an hourly wage. Is there a different point of view between labor and management on this issue?

It may be "interesting" to see what WLDGers think as it is at least tangentially related to wine service.
For those with lots of free time there hands here is the link to that thread where many of the responders are in the food service industry:
http://forums.louisvillehotbytes.com/vi ... lit=+worth
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Covert » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:39 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:As to waitstaff, however, I have never dreamed of making my dining experience pleasurable for them.


Wow! Old friend, we sure differ on this point. We have eternity before our hour on stage and eternity after; or eternity in the moment, however you want to look at it. How can you spend a moment on earth without even a thought about the pleasure of another person with whom you are sharing an intimate undertaking? I accuse my father of such thinking; I call it linear and relate it to generations of yore, even before mine. You and I are too close in age to have such generational-esque divides between us, I would think.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Sam Platt » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:50 am

Covert,

You walk into the restaurant thinking "how can I make MY dining experience more pleasurable for the wait staff"? Do you ever send back poorly prepared food? Ask for an extra napkin? Change your mind after ordering? I would think all of those things reduce the pleasure of the wait staff. While I hope to not agitate the wait staff, I agree with Rogov that their pleasure is not on my mind.

I bet that you and Rogov are not as different as you believe.
Sam

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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Covert » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:36 pm

Sam Platt wrote:Covert,

You walk into the restaurant thinking "how can I make MY dining experience more pleasurable for the wait staff"? Do you ever send back poorly prepared food? Ask for an extra napkin? Change your mind after ordering? I would think all of those things reduce the pleasure of the wait staff. While I hope to not agitate the wait staff, I agree with Rogov that their pleasure is not on my mind.

I bet that you and Rogov are not as different as you believe.


Indeed (I suggested it in one small fragment when I said 'some waiters...are dense'), not every dining experience is exulting. If a waiter is unredeemable I just make sure I don’t get him again. I don't make any other statement about it. It just becomes part of the non-active part of existence.

But I am sure you know I am not talking about ordering eggs over easy at a diner, where I almost always ask for a second paper napkin so that I can tuck one into my pants, permanently. I am talking about fine dining, where you get a huge linen napkin which stays put on your lap and has enough room on it for various utilities. Never in a great restaurant did I or would I ever send anything back (I wouldn't, but a person might reasonably if he was ordering steak, which is not what I call fine dining). Food in a great restaurant is usually a creative expression that you either relate to or don't. If I thought the food was bad enough to throw away (and I can’t remember such an occurrence), to send it back would ruin the dinner by upsetting the rhythm; so I would figure I was screwed no matter what I did and just let the matter go – and maybe grab a Big Mack on the way home. I have changed my order from one bottle to another as I realized I might like another one better after I ordered the first. That doesn't hurt a waiter, nor would asking for second napkin, especially if you are tipping properly.

This is just a modest suggestion, not a declaration: I wonder if you and Rogov had my attitude about making the experience pleasurable for the staff if it might be noticed and appreciated and increase the effort that is put forth for you so that you might end up with more rewarding experiences.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:56 pm

Covert, Hi....

Don't misunderstand please. I am certainly not in favor of in any way making my experience in a restaurant unpleasant for waitstaff or anyone else. It should go without saying (even though I said it in my earlier post) that I am all for respect and courtesy and will at times even go out of my way to be sure that respect and courtesy "show".

On the other hand, perhaps because I am not enough into Zen, my purpose in dining out is not to cheer up or "make the day" of a maitre/maitresse d'hotel, sommelier, waiter or waitress. Indeed if my enjoyment reflects positively on the wait-staff that is well and good but, as I expect a waiter to go out of his way to pick up and replace a knife that I have dropped accidentally, I will not pick up the napkin that he or she has dropped. For sure, if the cork breaks as it is being removed from a bottle or even accidentally spills a few drops of wine on my jacket I will make a casual but sincere remark to let the wine waiter feel at more at ease but on the other hand if a wine waiter or sommelier treats patrons as if they were mental midgets I would make an equally casual and no less sincere comment (very quietly though, I assure you) or gesture to let them know that this is not appropriate behavior.

True, because I am known in many restaurants (in some as a critic, in far more simply as a long-time client), I will often ask permission after a fine meal to enter the kitchen, there to thank the kitchen staff for their fine work and if the service has been especially good I will thank my waiter or waitress for having added to the pleasure of my evening.

Beyond that, I frankly do not want to know the waiter's name, whether his bunyons hurt, if his mother is ill or what kind of car he drives. In a phrase, I do not want a sense of intimacy with wait-staff. What I do want and search for is mutual respect and courtesy.

Best
Rogov

P.S. By the way, I lived long enough in Europe and am of that certain age where I now find it perfectly appropriate when dining on certain dishes to tuck a napkin into my shirt collar in order to "protect" myself. And as much as I will do that, I refuse to wear what some refer to as "lobster bibs". Truth is I'd rather have a butter-stained shirt than feel like an idiot with a paper or plastic bib slid over my head.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Bill Hooper » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:57 pm

I am glad that the servers in Germany are compensated through a service charge on the bill and have health care benefits. One often rounds up the bill to the nearest 5 euros for good service, and rounds to the nearest euro or two for decent service, never really taking into consideration what percentage of the bill this may be. Great service in Germany is of course an oxymoron except in the very highest-end restaurants.

Conversations about tipping always remind me of this scene:

(Rated R for Adult Situations/Language)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qV9wVGb38


Cheers,
Bill
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Joy Lindholm » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:34 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Certainly I do not perceive wait-staff as my servants or as inferiors, but I to perceive them as people who are there for mypleasure and not for theirs. Indeed, I do hope such people find reward in their work, that possibly involving a certain attainment of pleasure, but it is their responsibility to ensure my pleasure and not me theirs. We are agreed that all staff in any place should be treated with courtesy and respect but in no way beyond that is it up to patrons to provide for their pleasure.


I absolutely agree that it is not up to the patron to provide pleasure for the staff of the restaurant. The staff is there to serve the guest. What I was referring to was the contrast of the guest that is civil, well behaved and pleasant vs. the guest who complains and makes a reputation for themselves as being difficult and unpleasant. Guest number one could be just as demanding - ie, sending food back, requesting extra napkins, etc - but what separates the two is their attitude. One makes the experience a pleasure for all, and the other makes those around him uncomfortable and frustrated, not to mention draws attention to himself and often creates an embarrassing situation. We can all choose the attitudes we have. Let's make dining out a great experience for all those around us (other guests and staff included).
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Joy Lindholm » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:48 pm

AlexR wrote:As for "enjoying and not complaining", sorry, I cannot take your advice. I will indeed complain when my hard-earned money buys something sub-standard or vastly overpriced.
Telling people to "stay home" if they don't want to be taken for a ride as you do is the worst possible suggestion and I was very surprised to read your comment.


Alex-
You have obviously had some very bad restaurant experiences, or you would not comment with such passion. But pardon me if I suggest that you may be lumping those restaurants that have offended you unfairly together with all restaurants (of which there are some bad ones, but also a great deal of excellent ones).

First of all, you are assuming that the restaurant carries the same wines that you are drinking at home. If that is the case, and you are so upset that you have to pay more for what you already have, why are you eating there? Take your business somewhere else where their wines are more unique or more reasonably priced. In my experience in the restaurant industry, I have never once had a guest complain about the prices of wine on our menus. They may order the wine they drink everyday, or one they have never heard of. Obviously we aren't "fleecing" our customers, or we would hear about it. And no restaurant I have ever worked as has charged 3x the normal price. I'm sorry if the restaurants you have experienced have gone to that extreme.

You know nothing about my restaurant or wine list, and yet you suggest that I milk my customers and take them for a ride. I find that a bit childish and insulting. And if that is how you treat restaurant staff when you dine out, then maybe you should reconsider. If you don't like how a restaurant treats you or marks up their wine, then go somewhere else, or eat at home. But don't demonize everyone in the restaurant industry, as there are many of us who have a passion for what we do and put a lot of thought and care into creating a value- based wine list and menu that will attract guests and serve them in such a memorable fashion that they will keep coming back for more.

Cheers,
Joy
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by AlexR » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:18 pm

Joy,

If a restaurant has a special or rare wine, then I sit up and take notice. Tipping aside, I think it is normal for an older wine to be more expensive, and I actually don’t mind the mark-up (OK, mind it less :-) if there is the notion of discovery, of the person buying for the restaurant being adventurous.
Sadly, this is all too rare. And wine service is frequently bungled, even in France.
The issue here is added value. And there is precious little for fine wine in most restaurants (not all, of course!). That is the crux of this discussion, and nothing I’ve read so far really justifies the *degree* with which wine is marked up in restaurants.

And I just love the restaurants that let me bring my own!
I don’t feel like so much of a victim...

You say that you have never heard guests complain about the price of your wine. But is it really in the nature of English or American people to do so?
Have you ever thought about asking your customers? Maybe what they think is quite different from your impression. No feedback does not mean they approve... That reminds me of Richard Nixon’s “silent majority”.

Are you fleecing your customers? Basic economics says that if they agree to pay (and some of them may even come back again) that the right market level has been found. However, that line of reasoning only goes so far. If your profit margins were less greedy, would you sell more? Would you attract more wine lovers and have more repeat clients? Would the restaurant be more, rather than less prosperous?

You are right, I have indeed seen outrageous mark-ups on wine in several countries (including, yes, literally three times the retail price) and been burnt more than a few times. Since you said that it was insulting to assume that you were robbing your customers blind, would you please be so kind as to send me a link, either publicly or privately, with your restaurant’s wine list?

I most certainly do treat waiters politely. That has nothing to do with my impression that many people are in the restaurant business as a stop-gap measure and aren’t professional. Even so, they will be treated politely for sure. But they will be asked to improve service if this is called for, in the nicest possible way.

You keep telling me to accept the rules of the game or go somewhere else. That will be for me to decide, actually. I do go out fairly often, but find that the worst abuses are generally in the higher-priced establishments. The outrageous wine mark-ups usually force me to buy something very affordable to drink, whereas I love wine and have many expensive bottles in my cellar. I just don’t like to be taken for a sucker.

Yours truly,
Alex R.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:26 pm

Joy, Hi.....

You say you have never had anyone complain about the prices of wines at your restaurant. I believe that they have never complained in public and that largely because they are either unaware of or have come to accept the sometimes outrageous markups on wine in many restaurants. I cannot help but feel, however, that in many cities an increasing number of people are reacting to this by bringing their own wines and gladly paying corkage rather than feeling "ripped off".

As to markups on wine, in my opinion the two best models are the finest restaurants of France, Italy and Monte Carlo and the wine bars and bottegas of France and Italy, as in many of those the markups on wine by the bottle for lower priced wines is about 50% over retail and for truly fine and expensive wines about 30% over retail, both of which I consider reasonable (even with the realization that the restaurant is buying wines not at retail but at wholesale, and even acknowledging that on many wines cellaring for 5, 10, 15, 30 or more years is required).

I think you may be forgetting one important thing. Despite the passion of chefs and sommeliers and the diligence of staff at every level, restaurants are meant to be profit-making enterprises and in that are have not set out to become our "buddies" but the providers of a service that pleases us enough that we will return often enough to make their efforts profit-bearing. And in that that wait-staff regardless of whether they are university students or dedicated professionals are not there primarily to please us. Simply stated, they are there in order to earn their keep.

As a point of information, as a restaurant critic for many years, I rarely complained about problems or sent back dishes when dining out, reserving my comments instead for my published reviews. My response to "is everything okay" or similar questions has always been a friendly but non-commital "thank you".

Best
Rogov
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Joy Lindholm » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:56 pm

I agree with the last comments from Rogov and Alex that we may not hear all verbal complaints about wine pricing from guests. But regardless if they choose to speak up or not about their satisfaction or otherwise, customers speak with their wallets, and if they were feeling "robbed", why would they choose to order a particular wine? And why do they keep coming back to the restaurant?

I can't state enough - if you don't like the way a restaurant prices their wine, eat somewhere else or BYO. Speak with your $$, and those restaurants who provide value and pleasure to the guest will hopefully be the ones to succeed.

Thanks for everyone's insight!

Cheers,
Joy
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:15 pm

Joy, Hi...

You ask why customers would keep coming back and/or pay what they consider outrageous prices. Several possibilities..

(a) They pay those prices in order to maintain a level of what they perceive as "status", that either to impress themselves, those they may be entertaining or even the staff of the restaurant
(b) Because they feel cowed by public pressure and think that they are "wrong" in their own evaluation of a given wine
(c) Because they do not want to feel "shamed" by a sommelier
(d) Because they are impressed with the wrong things (e.g. labels and prices)
(e) Because in the words of a critic far better known than I, "they know not what they do"

I can speak to today's American scene only with passing knowledge but in quite a few European and Mediterranean Basin cities it has grown increasingly popular for restaurants to offer to cellar a certain amount of bottles (general limit is 36-48) purchased by their clients to be consumed by them at the restaurant. (Most places that do this do it with regular clients and will only rarely even charge corkage knowing full well that most couples will start off with an opening bottle from the restaurant's own wine list).

Best
Rogov
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Bob Henrick » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:40 pm

When dining out, I always tip the customary 20% unless the service is truly awful, and I mean awful. Now though, if I were to buy a $100 bottle of wine (which I won't) I think that (for me, and me only) I would assume that the wine at retail would cost me $50 or less. If I knew for certain the retail price was 1/2 or less of the restaurant price, then I can justify (to myself), of tipping at less than the 20% rate. Therefore, if our dinner was for example $100 and wine was $100, I would probably find myself tipping on what I knew the retail price of the wine to be. In the case above, my tip would be $30. Any waitstaff or manager, or owner that would have a problem with that can always take me to task, and I can always take my business elsewhere. When restaurants adopt a reasonable markup on wine (and I don't even want to hear about their markup on booze is, because I don't drink booze at restaurants) Then I could give my thinking an adjustment as well.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Covert » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:16 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Don't misunderstand please.


Hi Rogov,

I didn’t misunderstand. I know you are a quintessential gentleman. And, yes, I was talking about intimate connections with strangers, something I still live for, but at an earlier time often worked into subsequent romance. Now I leave it where I find it. And it might be connected with something like a Zen philosophy.

Coincidentally, my longest romantic bond with a waitress happened with one of the five or so I permitted to tie a paper lobster bib around my neck. I think it facilitated an exchange of pheromones. I don’t consider eating lobsters fine dining any more than eating steaks, so paper napkins and bibs are perfectly appropriate, as far as I am concerned. Lobster and steak go wonderfully together for casual dining. I have a reservation in a restaurant named Flames in Westchester County on Friday night for just that combo.

Best,

Covert
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:39 pm

Given that I have a number of good restaurants as customers, which certainly changes the nature of the relationship, my take on this is to agree with others who said

1. there are plenty of restaurants (in better markets, anyway) who have good, reasonably-priced lists (and maybe even staff training, good glassware, and the proper serving temperature for their red wines). Patronise them, not the bad eggs
2. whether or not the wine prices are reasonable has nothing whatsoever to do with the waitstaff. Penalising them for the supposed sins of their employer is a mistake. If you care that much then don't go to those restaurants in the first place.
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Neil Courtney » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:41 pm

Covert wrote:I have received marriage proposals from waitresses I would almost consider marrying, if I were single, and had male waters pay homage to my female companion as thought she were a queen or a movie star. These connections have reached the empyrean for me, in the way that I used the endlessly upward spiral metaphor in my above response, which I lifted from a critique of a Liszt sonata which did that.


So do you feel deprived that you have never had a proposal from a male waiter, or is DADT alive and well outside the armed forces? :P
Cheers,
Neil Courtney

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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:40 pm

Let me try to put this issue in a somewhat different light. Let's say for example that I dined tonight with three friends at New York City's Union Square café. As first courses we order half a dozen oysters each, from there go on to a medium-sized pasta offerings and then to the main courses, side dishes and desserts of our choice. The food bill for the four of us would come to about $400 including side dishes, mineral water and coffee.

Let's say even further that we were celebrating a very special event and decided on two very special wines to accompany our meal, opening with the Krug's 1989 Blanc de Blancs, Clos de Mesnil and then, with our pasta and main courses the 1988 Chateauneuf-du-Pape of Chateau Rayas, the two bottles costing $1450.

Let us then say that on the I tip $80 on the food bill (that's precisely 20%) and 10% on the wines (that's another $145). On those figures the tip would be $225.

Do we honestly believe that any waiter in his/her right mind would feel slighted at receiving such a tip? Or, for that matter, consider me a "cheapskate". I sincerely doubt it.


N.B.: The Union Square Café is one of my favorite ports of call in New York. One can dine well for less than the amount given and the restaurant does have quite a few very reasonably priced and quite excellent wines in the $30-60 range. The above selections were given simply an example…..
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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by AlexR » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:51 pm

Hi,

I would like to point out that Joy was kind enough to send me the wine list of her restaurant that will shortly be opening in a private mail.
If she were a man, I'd say that was very gentlemanly of her! Suffice it to say that it was very polite and considerate.

A couple of comments:

- My fuming about wine prices + tips wasn't meant to be directed at Joy, but it sort of came off that way as the discussion progressed. My apologies to Joy.
- Perusing Joy's restaurant's list humbled me. At this stage, I am woefully ignorant of California wines, and other non-European regions
- I was intrigued to see several wines designated as "utilizing some form of sustainable growing and/or production methods". I wonder how much of an inducement this is to buy in 2010?
- The wines are divided into several taste categories rather than by region or grape. But can't a wine be both "intriguing" and "bold"? Seeing as the list is on one (very long) page this isn't a problem though.
- The rationale of ranking within categories is neither by region nor by price, so one wonders what it is! Once again, the choice is restricted so this apparent randomness isn't off-putting. Just curious.
- It is always appreciable to have good wine by the glass. But how to guarantee customers that the wine is fresh by the time it gets to them?
- The choice spans 5 continents. The French wines seem pricey, but not outrageously so, and this is maybe only normal considering the distance.

There's another point to all this: I'm increasingly careful about drinking and driving these days.
When you eat out and the wine is expensive, it further induces you to drink less - which is not a bad thing at all!

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:56 pm

Alex, Hi....

With regard to drinking and driving, I belong to that school that believes that's why God made taxis. 8)

Best
Rogov
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Neil Courtney

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Re: Tip 20% on pricey restaurant wine? Why or why not?

by Neil Courtney » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:56 pm

AlexR wrote:- The choice spans 5 continents. The French wines seem pricey, but not outrageously so, and this is maybe only normal considering the distance.


I would say that this has very little, if anything, to do with distance. Rather it is the perception of many people that French wines MUST be better than Californian (or Marlborough, or...) so they MUST be worth more. This perception has likely been increased by the likes or RP et al. No, I am not having a poke at RP here. :lol:

When you can get a bottle of Spanish red shiped half way round the world (almost exactly half way) that retails here for $NZ15-16, and everyone in the food chain is probably making a profit, transport costs per bottle are very low. Tasted last night at our local wine shop - Cota de Hayas Grenache Syrah 2009 at $14.99, Castano Monastrel 2009 at $17, discounted on the night to $12.99 and $13.99 respectively. Both were very drinkable wines.
Cheers,
Neil Courtney

'Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.' --- Anonymous.
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