Pricing of wine in restaurants
I was interested in Darlene's observation (actually her husband's) about wine pricing, that he thought Baltimore restaurants marked up bottles more than other places. He travels a lot, she said, so he has a chance to observe.
The whole topic of wine pricing interests me, especially after spending time in Italy where it was cheaper than water (sigh). I expect...
(Monica Lopossay/Sun Photographer)
...the markup to be about 100 percent in a restaurant -- not that I'm happy about it -- although I notice plenty of places offer half-price bottles one day of the week, or otherwise make drinking wine when you eat out more affordable. Sometimes new restaurant owners who wanted to stress wine have had deals like $5 over retail price, but those tend to disappear over time.
The markup that most outrages me is wine by the glass.
I asked my wine guru, Michael Dresser, what he thought of Darlene's husband's observation, and here's what he had to say:
That's hard to verify. There is a natural tendency to think that oneself is being charged too much and that everybody else is getting a break. However, it would not surprise me if certain markets where wine is part of the culture -- say California -- may have lower markups. I would say that a restaurateur who has previously worked in several other U.S. cities might have more of an insight.
If there are any of those restaurateurs out there reading this blog, I hope you'll post a comment below. (Or frequent travelers who love wine, for that matter.)