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!
Thanks for taking the time to peruse the list, Alex. I'm glad we didn't live up to your "evil restaurant with ghastly wine markups" expectation!
To comment on the wines that are "utilizing some form of sustainable growing and/or production methods" - the restaurant I am employed at just received the Green Restaurant Association's highest rating to date, naming it officially the "greenest restaurant in America". This spans everything from the building materials used, to our glassware, items on the menu and even the wine list. We strive to choose from small producers using sustainable methods of cultivating their grapes and producing their wines. If anyone is interested, the local paper just wrote us up today on it:http://omaha.com/article/20101209/MONEY/712099858/0?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d0100c4ef89fb04%2C0#restaurant-serves-up-sustainability
As for the rationale of thinking in the order of the list - this was created by a consultant to be categorized in flavor and body styles rather than by region. I'm not a huge fan of this approach, but that is not my call. Since the list was posted we have made a few changes by moving some wines around.
Wines by the glass - we vacu-vin them and store them in a cooler after shift (even the reds) to prolong their life as much as possible; and will use them up within a couple of days. If we determine the wine isn't sound, then we don't serve it to the guest. If the guest ever isn't satisfied with their wine, they can choose something else. We always want to make sure they enjoy what they are being served, and if they aren't happy, we will do whatever we can to make it right.
As to the pricing - we pretty much employ an even percentage based markup to all the wines. Unfortunately, being in Nebraska, wine prices (even at retail) are often quite a bit higher than online pricing or wine shops I've been to in larger cities such as Chicago. Overall though, I would say our pricing is very reasonable and not exceeding 2x retail (often less). We do take time to educate the staff (part of my job!
) and although the list is small now at 49 bottles, we are looking forward to morphing it and bringing in exciting and unique offerings.