Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Sep 4, 2008 07:39 PM

Top Restaurant Wines in the US

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good! Another list to stay away from.

    6 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      Why would you automatically stay away from this list?? There are some decent value priced wines that are consistant from vintage to vintage. Not every meal needs a $75 bottle of wine.

      1. re: chrisinroch

        Which ones are decent value priced wines?

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Don't have the whole list, but.....The MacMurray (assume its the Pinot), the Bogle, the Domaine Chandon, the gabbiano, the Relax riesling, the K-J, the copperidge, the Chat ste Michelle, and maybe the yellow tail shiraz although I'm not a fan.

          to clarify, these are not wines that I would build a wine list around or that I buy in my personal cellar. Still, good daily drinkers.

          1. re: chrisinroch

            Thank you for your answer.

            Well, darn it, we don't know the wines -- just the brands -- for the MacMurray Ranch, Bogle, Domaine Chandon, Gabbiano, and Ste. Michelle, so I can't say whether these wines are good daily drinkers or not.

            I agree that the Gabbiano regular release Chianti is well-priced, and that the Bogle Petite Sirah is a good buy. I've sampled both (not lately) and thought they were good efforts. Have also enjoyed some Chandon bubbly in the past, so that might also be a good buy. Can't get there on the Yellow Tail or KJ Reserve Chard or Copperidge, though. Haven't had the Relax but would like to try a $7 German Riesling.

            Does anyone have a link to the complete list or can copy it here so I don't have to fork over the $50 Restaurant Wine is charging for this issue?

            Also, does anyone know the difference in the data collected for the Ronn Wiegand/Restaurant Wine Top 100 and the Wine & Spirits 50 Most Popular Restaurant Wines? The two lists are strikingly different -- the W&S is more "upscale." Does the W&S data not include chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster?

          2. re: maria lorraine

            ML --

            I don't have the entire list of 100 wines, either. All I have are the "Top 20" that were listed on the website. You have to subscribe to the publication to receive the full ist, or buy the specific issue -- and for $50, I'd rather buy some wine . . .

            That said, these are the wines that I would drink . . .

            1 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay USA
            2 Beringer Vineyards White Zinfandel USA
            3 Cavit Pinot Grigio Italy
            11 Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Italy
            15 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Italy
            17 Martini & Rossi Vermouth Dry Vermouth Italy
            20 Blackstone Merlot USA

            Note I said drink, not buy. I wouldn't buy them -- not because I did not think they were values (if "value" were my sole criteria, I'd probably add back in the two from Yellow Tail and the TCC Chablis, at the very least; not to mention that I don't think Santa Margherita is that much of a value, period!), but because they are not wines that are to my personal taste. But offered the choice between having a glass of any of the above, versus having -- say -- a Budweiser, or drinking nothing at, for example, a wedding, I'd opt for the wine.


            1. re: zin1953

              Love your last line. Sure, I'd drink the SM Pinot Grigio in a pinch (how SM made such in-roads in American purchasing with a wine at that QPR is a true testament to the power of advertising). *Maybe* the KJ, but only if the other options were as you described or I was on a desert island with a gun to my head. For my $12 (assuming I'm the purchaser now), I'd drink something else.

      2. very interesting, thanks!

        1. These lists shouldn't be surprising when you consider that the national average price for a bottle of wine at retail is <$6.00. People drink what they are comfortable affording at home and tend to drink what they know when they are out. The mass of our population is fine with mass-market wine (that's why it's called 'mass-market'.) More serious wine drinkers may snub this list but it's what the majority drinks. No problem for me....... they're drinking wine and many will move up in quality as they are able.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Midlife

            Could you cite a source for your claim that the national avergae retail price of a bottle of wine is less than $6?

            I think if any reader here went into their local and reviewed prices, they would find both the median and the mean price of a bottle would exceed $6.

            Think of your own local - think of how many wines there sell for under $6. Now think of how many sell for over $6. Which category is larger?

            1. re: FrankJBN

              Frank? It isn't the number of available bottles in a certain price category that count. The bottles have to actually SELL . . .


              * * * * *
              Over the last three years, though, the average price of a 750 ml bottle of wine has risen 3.2 percent, from $5.47 in 2005 to $5.88 in 2007. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, consumers are still buying wines at higher price points despite economic concerns and more restrained budgets. "Premium­ization continues to drive the category," said Brian Lechner, director, client service at The Nielsen Company. "Wines over $10 have been showing the best growth rates in the category, and that clearly continued in 2007." <<<

              * * * * *
              So, Frank, the best rate-of-growth was over $10, but the national average price for a bottle of wine was $5.88 in 2007 . . . .


              1. re: zin1953

                That's crazy. I can't remember the last time I saw a bottle of *anything* for less than $8.99 in any NYC store. Do these stats include things like Mad Dog 20/20 and Thunderbird?

                1. re: oolah

                  I find decent wines in NYC wine stores for under $8.99 - not much under, but La Vielle Ferme's Cote du Rhone is $7.99 at K&D, and is certainly an acceptable wine for every day drinking.

                  1. re: oolah

                    No. Those do not fit the legal definition of "table wines."

                    But, at the risk of offending umpteen million New Yorkers, it's not the center of the universe. Neither, of course, is California, but if you go to the Beverages, and more! website, click on "Wine" and then on "Up to $10" -- or simply follow this link: -- you are presented with Eight Hundred Nineteen (819) options under $10 . . . .

                    And it doesn't include the various varietal wines under the Charles Shaw label (aka "Two Buck Chuck"), as that is exclusive to Trader Joe's . . .


                    1. re: zin1953

                      Ha! I didn't mean to imply we're the center of the universe (although now that you mention it...) I recognize that prices here tend to be higher because (among other things) there are no big liquor chains and you can't sell wine at the supermarket.

                      That said, I'm sure a lot of wine is sold here, and most of it for well over $10, so that means that a whole lot of $2 is being sold and consumed somewhere else to balance that out. I guess I'm just very surprised that there's that much of a market for $2 wine.

                      1. re: oolah

                        Next time you're in a small, corner bodega, check out the prices . . .