Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Dec 16, 2007 09:01 AM

Private label wine in restaurants

know any restaurants-at any price point- in the San Francisco Bay Area especially, who have a GOOD private label wine program?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not really. The Lalime's group has some wines bottled for them by Au Bon Climat that are pretty good, and Pauline's Pizza in San Francisco has a pretty good red they call "Merlin," but I have to ask why -- speaking just for myself, I generally find better wines under "real" (for lack of a better term) labels rather than private ones . . . .

    1. The notion of "good private label" wine sounds like an oxymoron to me.

      Why would you try to hide the actual source of a wine, unless it has a bad reputation?

      And assuming it's very good, to prevent others from getting it? That would be too naive, or plain stupid.

      Any other ideas?

      1 Reply
      1. re: RicRios

        It's not necessarily completely oxymoronic. There are a number of very good wines bottled under private labels for a variety of reasons. But you're absolutely right in that the winery's best wine will have the winery's own name on it, rather than at, say, "Jacques-dans-la-boîte."

      2. Michael Mina has a few wines bottled for him, though I'm not sure if you'd consider them a private label, since the wines are still listed by the winery, but with a designation of "Cuvée Michael Mina" or something similar.

        Never been to the SF location, but have had the Champagne Chartogne-Taillet and a Santa Barbara syrah (don't remember if it was either Qupé or Au Bon Climat) under Mina's name. The champagne was tasty, relatively good value if unspectacular, but the syrah was completely unmemorable (though nearly all Santa Barbara wines in my limited experience taste the same to me).

        1 Reply
        1. re: mengathon

          >>> but with a designation of "Cuvée Michael Mina" or something similar. <<<

          Yes, this is what Lalime's and their sister restaurants do.

        2. Roy's has a Cab Franc cuvee made by Babcock.