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Annoyed with the surprise price of a glass of wine!

Hi Hounds - We ate at Allen and Delancy this weekend and three of us ordered wine by the glass. One guest wanted white and both myself and a friend wanted a full bodied red wine but didn't want a bottle. We asked the waitress for a recommendation. When we got the bill the individual glass of wine cost $25 per glass. We were really annoyed and felt that the waitress undoubtedly picked a very expensive wine and we felt that since the wine was so pricey she should have mentioned the cost of the glass. I was curious to see what everyone thinks about this.

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  1. She took advantage of you. Absolutely.
    It's fine if that's what you're comfortable paying for a glass of wine and you'll hear all sides of that issue here, but I'll bet that's nearly twice the price of most other wines on their list and you should have been told.

    1. Hope you didn't tip her 20-25%

      1. jfood always dislikes the general laissez faire attitude about verbal menus. Always dislikes the non-written specials as well.

        Did the restaurant have a wine list that includes bythe glass? Did you ask for the price? It is the server's responsibility? You asked for a recommendation, she offered, you accepted. Pretty simple.

        You learned a valuable lesson, and are now a full fledged member of "I Hate Verbal Menu" fan club. Welcome aboard.

        6 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          Amen. That's me, too. It seems to me that waiters are trained to do everything humanly possible to make me feel like a cheapskate if I dare to ask them the price of the off-menu special they just described.

          Sometimes a written menu can be misleading. I got burned once in my mid 20s when I finally had enough money to take a date to an upscale restaurant. Waiter gave me a wine list that I didn't realize were the "featured" wines of the night, all fairly expensive, and led me to believe that was the wine list as he rushed me to make a decision. Once I got to look at the menu, I found the full wine list with more reasonable wines in the back of the main menu.

          1. re: Reefmonkey

            That is bad service, IMO and no "influence" should be exerted. OK, maybe at an Outback Steakhouse, but they are about a corporate dictate, not food, not service.

            I often has whispered conversations with my sommelier (or server), should something not be available, or a vintage change be necessary. Food is usually obvious to me. If a guest wants the full "Surf n' Turf," which is listed at "Market Price," I'll ask to the side, "what is that going for?" If it's past the budget, then I can cut back on the wine - a nice domestic Chardonnay, in lieu of the Le Montrachet, that I had planned.

            Over the years, others have talked about "specials," that broke their bank. Maybe I've been lucky, as I usually can nail the price within a few $'s per course. If my guest wants the abalone, pan fried in hand-drawn truffle oil with saffron sauce, then maybe I will NOT have the foie gras 30-ways!

            To me, a server should know the menu and should NOT upsell any guest. To them: remember, the patron that you "hose" today, will likely never return. Would you not rather have them back, over and over? You might get a few extra $'s today, but where will you be tomorrow? I've gotten "hosed" and pulled upcoming events, because of that. One "cheeky" sommelier cost one restaurant over US$8K over the next week. In an earlier reply, I cited a server/sommelier combo, that cost their restaurant several board member dinners over the following few months. I noticed that they filled fo Chapter X, not that long afterwards. The chef is opening up a new spot, but I doubt that we'll be back. "Once burned," carries a lot of weight with me. We spend some major $'s and are fortunate to have many high-end spots, from which to choose. It might not be Manhatten, in the glory days, down here, but I support the "good guys."

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              I thnk there are reasonable upsells. A customer orders a vodka and tonic and the server asks which brand of vodka he wants (slight, but an upsell none the less). Or, if a guests orders a filet, but there are two sizes available, and the server explains how and why the larger steak is a better cut of meat (example).

              There's upselling that's beneficial to both server and guest, and then there's gauging. Big difference.

              1. re: invinotheresverde

                One of the most annoying upsells, IMO, is the server who asks, "Still water, sparkling or ______'s Finest?" (insert city name).

            1. re: jfood

              Jfood,

              You make a good point. I've been bitten, when I gave a sommelier carte blanch, though usually, I had an idea. When I tell them to "dig into your cellar," the question that *should* be asked is, "how deeply, should I dig?" I've misse the call on a few occasions, and those are on me.

              I have also specified a wine (set price-point from a list), to find out that this wine is not available. The server then comes back with "but, the sommelier recommends wine X as a substitute." OK, we've established the price-point (or so I thought) and then the wine ends up being 4x that price and not on the list. Oops, bad call. Not nice! In front of board members, I don't argue, but do not return either. You got me once, but will never get a chance to do it twice. My "bad" for not talking $'s in front of guests, but I thought we'd already established the price-points. Where did I go wrong? If it's 4x over what I ordered, please whisper in my ear, and we'll go elsewhere.

              If I say, "give me your BEST," then I'd better be ready to pay for the "best." If I give the server an open tab and am not clear, then I'd better expect the consequences.

              Pretty simple, really.

              Hunt

            2. I think the price of the glass of wine was outrageous. Unfortunately, you should have asked the price. Perhaps they had a wine by the glass menu. Was it any good??

              4 Replies
              1. re: joschus

                Agree with jfood about contempt for the verbal menu.
                But you should have asked price. I always do. How is she to know your comfort level with certain price points? It's highly possible that in the past she did volunteer the price and the customers' feathers were ruffled, as if she'd implied it might be beyond their budget.
                The cure-all for all of this unpleasantness? Written Menus!

                1. re: Leonardo

                  Still not sure there wasn't a written menu. I've seen many people ask "what do you have by the glass?" and then just order up whatever sounded good or whatever the server recommended while not looking at the menu, by choice.

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Good point. Were I the server, I'd have said something like, "I really love the Ch. XX for a "full-bodied" red, and it's going for US$25/glass. Is this wine what you wish?" If the patron hesitated, I'd be quickly going over the b-t-g wine list, in hopes that we had something else to offer.

                    The same would hold for a patron, who asked for a wine to pair well with the X. If my suggestion was the Y, I'd offer up, in hushed tones, "we have Ch. Y at Z$. This is a great pairing. Would this wine work for you?" If the patron said, "yes," then I'd possibly talk about the differences between the vintages, and make recommendations, with the exact price of each - pointing them out on the printed wine list. I'd base my recs. on how I thought the different vintages might work, not on "upselling" them to the most expensive. That is how it *should* work. Give the patron the best that you can offer and make them happy. Hope that they come back and tell all of their friends. or other CH's. I'd rather the patron feel as though I had done a great job, offered them a wonderful wine and did it within their budget. It's not about "guilt," or anything else. Make them feel as though they are No 1, and the returns will come, along with the recs.

                    Now, I am not in "the business," but I never want to surprise my client, except in a very positve way. Still, it holds for the restaurant business, as well, especially with sites like CH, where others can hear of bad experiences.

                    Hunt

                  2. re: joschus

                    Joschus,

                    It could have been "outrageous," but maybe not. The OP has yet to tell us what the wine was. That could make all of the difference. Until then, the jury has to be OUT.

                    Hunt

                  3. If you care about the price, ask before you accept the recommendation or specify how much you're willing to spend beforehand. She may have had the purest motives and thought that she had a slam dunk wine that you'd like.

                    I think that $25 sounds high for a glass of wine (though I've certainly seen such prices at several restaurants) and its more than I'd likely pay for a glass; but I also think that if one doesn't ask or check on the price of something before ordering it (which is ultimately what you did) then its the customer's responsibility.

                    50 Replies
                    1. re: ccbweb

                      I guess I learned a lesson - in the past even at better restaurants I don't recall ever spending more than $12 to $15 for a glass of wine so it never dawned on me to ask the price. In the future I will ask if the wine is not described and price is not on the wine list!!!!
                      Fortunately the wine was very good but unfortunately one of us ordered a second glass!!

                      1. re: mboxermd

                        I might be off on this - but thinking back, my impression is that any restaurant that sells a glass of wine for $25, also has a wine-by-the-glass menu. By the same token, you probably don't get to ask for the wine menu at the airport bar. ;)

                        1. re: mboxermd

                          Again, do you recall the wine? That could make all of the difference in the world. Wines run from less than US$2/btl to more than US$50K/btl. While the highest-end wines are not likely to be available b-t-g, who knows? It depends on where you are and what their cellar is like.

                          For b-t-g selections, I am normally in the US$10-20 range, but have found, and purchased some in the US$75 range. It depends on the wine.

                          Hunt

                          1. re: mboxermd

                            And, that wine was? That is the all-important question.

                            Hunt

                          2. re: ccbweb

                            For a $100 dollar bottle of wine, $25 a glass is right on the money. Usually, people who are ordering by the glass do so because they aren't in the mood to shell out for a full bottle. An honest waiter knows this and wouldn't try this stunt.

                            1. re: Reefmonkey

                              Disagree.

                              Many people order by the glass because they can't finish a whole bottle. Does that mean they should drink crappier wine? I love places that offer quality products by the glass; they're few and far between!

                              If the OP was concerned about cost, he/she simply should've asked the price. People always try to blame somebody else for their mistakes.

                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                "If the OP was concerned about cost, he/she simply should've asked the price. People always try to blame somebody else for their mistakes."

                                ok, I'll take the transparent bait:

                                We understand your point but do you believe that there's no reasonable limit? Some restaurants have bottles of wine that reach the thousands and glasses of cognac the hundreds. Does your reasoning extend to these circumstances as well? And if you were an owner or server would that be your policy?

                                Thanks

                                1. re: Chinon00

                                  I agree with both invino and Chinon - my wife and I can normally drink a bottle of wine between us, but if one of us is the designated driver or dining solo we'll order by the glass, and I love it when I'm not limited to house plonk when doing so.

                                  But it's also true that there's a (situational) limit. In this case it appears that the restaurant was fairly high-end, in which case $25 a glass may be steep but is not outrageous, but if I were in a family-style place where most pours were $7 or $8 a glass and got hit with a $25 tab I'd feel ripped off.

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    As I don't know this restaurant, I had to a search. It does not appear to be a "family-styled" place, but fine-dining. I have yet to find their wine list, let alone a b-t-g selection. Still, were I dining at the restaurant that my searches turned up (note mis-spelling in the name), I'd expect the b-t-g list to be a good one.

                                    Let's say that I'm dining at the Savoy House, London, Mayfair and am confronted with the proposition of doing a b-t-g selection. I'd expect that he offerings to be beyond the "usual suspects." I'd also factor in my $ vs £, and expect that if I gave the server a free rein, I'd likely come up with a really good b-t-g selection. If I had reservations (not the ones you make over the phone), I'd specify a price-point, with which I am most comfortable. If I had any worries, I'd just tell the server that I wanted a wine, described as "xxx," in the $yyy range. Actually, I'd ask to see the b-t-g list, and choose from it, but I am a trained professional, and an responsible for my own choices.

                                    If I'm in a pub on Audley St, and do not expect the wines to be near the top of the possible list, I'm cool letting my server pick it. If I'm down the street at Scott's, I'm less likely, unless I know, or have looked at the list.

                                    Hunt

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Fine dining yes - but I would maybe expect that price from a top end steak house $40-60 an entree, but the entrees there seem to be under $30, which I think $25 is too high in comparison for a glass of wine. I would think their top btg would be about 15 MAX.

                                  2. re: Chinon00

                                    Yes, I believe the onus to be on the customer. Think about it. Wine (and cognac) prices vary by a staggering amount. If cost versus quality is a concern, the price should be asked.

                                    Also, we don't know exactly what the OP asked. If he asked for "the biggest red available btg", the server did exactly as was asked. It'd seem kind of condescending, in my eyes, if the server replied with, "Sir, we have Wine X, but it's $25 per glass", as if the OP couldn't afford it.

                                    Also, $25 isn't necessarily that expensive for a good glass of wine. Personally, I'd rather spend extra money for something delicious than $10 for a glass of Rodney Strong Merlot.

                                    I agree with BobB that it's also situational.

                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                      I agree that prices vary staggeringly. So to be clear, not knowing the customer or his/her spending habits, as a server or owner you would as easily suggest a $75.00 bottle as you would a $1,750.00?

                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        If the customer was looking for a specific taste profile, I would (and do, daily, as I'm a somm) recommend the best wine suited to what the guest is looking for. Sometimes the wine is pricey, sometimes the wine is reasonable. My list luckily affords me great flexibility.

                                        Also, I'm not saying the server didn't recommend the expensive wine with dollar signs glowing in his eyes- I'm just saying that to solely blame the server is wrong. The customer needs to be held at least partially responsible in this case.

                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                          "The customer needs to be held at least PARTIALLY responsible in this case."

                                          Now that's more reasonable.

                                          But I still do not believe that a reasonable sommelier, not knowing the customer's wallet would recommenrd a $1750.00 botte of wine. It's ridiculous on it's face.

                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            Perhaps, but most waiters/sommeliers don't know the customer's wallet when they recommend things. No one in this busness RECOMMENDS a $1750.00 bottle of wine; customers BUY those themselves. There's a big difference. I'd have no prob suggesting a $25 glass if it kept within reasonable scope of the resaurant's list.

                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                              "No one in this busness RECOMMENDS a $1750.00 bottle of wine"

                                              Why not? Why even hesitate if it's "the best wine suited to what the guest is looking for" as you stated earlier?

                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                Because any guest purchasing a $1750.00 bottle of wine already knows what he wants.

                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                  My point is that more than merely choosing the appropriate wine governs your recommendations as a sommelier which is what you stated earlier. Cost is a factor.

                                                  Thanks

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    Yes, to the EXTREME cost is a factor. Your given example and a $25 glass of wine are apples and oranges.

                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      Forgetting Allen and Delancey for the moment could you please give us one or two restaurants where you know for sure that the typical b-t-g offering is $25?

                                                      Thanks

                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                        I didn't say a typical glass of wine at any restaurant cost $25 (and I'm sure this wasn't "typical" at A and D). I'm saying it's world's away from a $1750 bottle. A $25 glass is equal to a $70-$100 bottle, depending on the restaurant's pricing.

                                                        I think you're really reaching here and splitting hairs. Still apples and oranges to me (a $1750 orange to be exact).

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          ok, to quote you above:

                                                          "I'd have no prob suggesting a $25 glass if it kept within reasonable scope of the resaurant's list."

                                                          Could you please give me one or two restaurants where $25 is within reasonable scope of the restaurant's list?

                                                          Thanks

                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                            Per Se, TFL, Inn at Little Washington, creeping up there at Citronelle, L'Atelier, Guy Savoy. Those are the ones I've dined at. I'm sure there are more.

                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                              As I expected, Per Se, TFL, and Inn at Little Washington are all very high end places. A&D is not in that category. Therefore it was reasonable for the OP to be shocked at seeing TFL and Per Se prices for a recommended glass of wine at A&D.
                                                              I think that the OP will be asking price from now on but the attitude that some have held on this post that $25/glass is somehow no big deal has I think been sufficiently demonstrated to be unreasonable since apparently only Keller places and the like do it.
                                                              Thanks

                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                Let's take Thomas Keller out of the 26 links I have provided (yes, he's in there), so that leaves 25, that I was able to pull from my recent dining list in about 5 mins. Notice, I do not list anything in NYC. Notice, I do not mention anything in Chicago. Notice, that I do not mention any restaurant in Los Angeles. Notice, that I do not mention any restaurant in FR, IT or GR, though London does figure into my quick list, but that's because I'm dining there about 20x/year.

                                                                Sorry,

                                                                Hunt

                                                            2. re: Chinon00

                                                              $25 certainly isn't the norm, but it's not unheard of in restaurants in that price category in NYC. Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Perry St, Insieme and Babbo all have wines BTG in that range (and up!). As I said in my earlier post, while I think the server should have probably mentioned it, I don't think it's crazy to charge $25 for a good glass of wine.

                                                              I'm still wondering what the mystery wine was...

                                                              1. re: oolah

                                                                Exactly!

                                                                Also, btg wine prices are usually in line with appetizer prices. The appetizers at A and D are $17-$24. $25 fits in just fine.

                                                          2. re: Chinon00

                                                            Chinon00,

                                                            Here's one off the top of my head. More to follow:
                                                            http://www.chefmavro.com/

                                                            Now, this does not mean that ALL b-t-g offerings are at that price-point, but some are.

                                                            Let me grab my Favorite's folder and more to follow.

                                                            Hunt

                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              Per the site Hunt:
                                                              "This may be the only restaurant of its caliber in the world completely dedicated to food and wine pairing. Instead of a wine list, every menu selection is presented with a wine pairing offered by the glass."

                                                              That complicates things a bit don't you think?

                                                              Anyway as I stated earlier I've called Allen & Delancey and all of their by the glass selections are between $12 and $16 save just one offering at $25. The OP and her friends were taken advantage of I think we can now agree.

                                                              Thanks

                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                  My point is that any restaurant with average $25/glass prices is going to be very, very exepensive. Allen & Delancy is not in that class I think we can agree.
                                                                  So If you want to pay French Laundry prices at Allen & Delancy then I'm sure that the owners will be delighted with you. As it turns out the one $25 glass at Allen and Delancey is nearly 100% more expensive than the middle of the rest of their list. Who walks into a restaurant where the average entree price is under $30 and gleefully expects to pay nearly the same for a typical glass of wine?

                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                    If the OP had been talking about Chili's, I would have been horribly surprised, given the price paid.

                                                                    Now, from the A & D Web site, I could never find their wine list. Obviously, you called them. I did not. Still, from the site, it appeared to be a very up-scale establishment. Without that wine list, especially the b-t-g offerings, it's tough to make the final call.

                                                                    Now, what were the other reds b-t-g offered? Did any of the lesser ones meet the OP's criteria. I hope you got their b-t-g list in you call. Would you mind sharing it? That may go a long way to answering the original question/problem.

                                                                    Thanks,

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                      I did not ask for the specifics although the person that answered the phone offered to email me their list.
                                                                      I was born with enough sense to realize that $25 was out of whack for a typical glass of wine at a place where again the average entree is in the same ballpark. And as it ends up I was correct but feel free to be upsold right up the whazoo there if you like.

                                                                      Cheers

                                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                                        When you do receive the e-mail, I would be interested in seeing it here, to maybe support the OP's assertion.

                                                                        Thanks,

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                2. re: Chinon00

                                                                  I think you might have missed your own point, regarding which restaurant actually have US$25 b-t-g selections. Sorry to bring that up to you.

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                    Sorry, I thought you wanted to factor out Allen & Delancey.

                                                                    Hunt

                                                    2. re: Chinon00

                                                      Wow, I missed something here. Were we not talking about a US$25/glass wine? Yes, wines may well cost into the tens of thousands of dollars, but the OP did not buy a bottle of rare wine. The OP gave a server some specifics on a b-t-g selection, and no more, but the post. The OP was astounded by the price of the b-t-g selection, and nothing more.

                                                      Still, we do not know the wine in that glass. Until we do, all else is pure speculation. Also, for me, that might not be an extravagant expenditure, depending on the wine in that glass. For someone else, it might be "breaking the bank."

                                                      Hunt

                                                    3. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      You make a good point on filling the patron's request to the best of one's ability, predicated on the house's b-t-g list. Now, tell me that you want the "biggest Zin b-t-g for under US$15," and I will amend my selections to reflect hat additional info.

                                                      Hunt

                                                  2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                    You (and BobB) are "getting it." There are too many variables to make a definitive statement on a "glass of wine."

                                                    One should have an idea of where they are, and what might be on the menu. To go to Per Se and expect that the mains will be under US$10 is nonsense. Same if I'm at the French Laundry and tell the sommelier only the "style" of wine that I want. Heck, they could "dig deeply" into the cellar and come up with a glass of '00 Screaming Eagle and blow my monthly wine budget. This is not Houston's "happy hour," and the wine is likely not to be Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot. Now, if it is, and it's priced at US$25/glass, then "Houston, we have a problem... " Still, we do not know, as the OP has not bothered to offer this necessary info.

                                                    Hunt

                                                  3. re: Chinon00

                                                    If a patron wants a particular style of wine b-t-g, it should be incumbent on the server to mention the price. Now, I do not know this restaurant's wine list, especially b-t-g. Maybe I am jaded, but US$25 does not seem out of reason, but that is based on the "likely" wines, though maybe not on what was offered. We still do not know what the wine was.

                                                    The question begs to be asked, "are there any wines that you would pay US$25 a glass for?" For me, the answer is, "it depends." This, of course, is based on the wine. I can think of a hundred that it would be a bargain, and a thousand that it would be a "rip-off." Remember, "it depends." Beyond that, it is all conjecture, especially as we do not know what the wine was.

                                                    Hunt

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      The average b-t-g is $25 at Per Se Restaurant (which is one of the most expensive restaurants in NYC). So it's not out of reason there but at other places it might be. And that would end up being most places wouldn't it?

                                                  4. re: invinotheresverde

                                                    That's right, they can't finish a bottle, and therefore do not want to pay for the price of a bottle. There may be people who can't finish a bottle, but still want a high priced glass, and those people will specify that they are going for something more expensive. In general, though, most people who are ordering wine by the glass are looking for something quaffable, not a transcendant experience. If they were, they would know that ordering even a really nice wine by the glass is going to be a let-down versus ordering an unopened bottle, because now you've got a wine that is no longer at its correct serving temperature (or even celler temp at that - it's either going to be too warm for a red after sitting at room temperature, or too cold for a white after sitting in a refrigerator or ice too long) and will also be oxidized because it was previously opened.

                                                    1. re: Reefmonkey

                                                      "and those people will specify that they are going for something more expensive."

                                                      If only it were so easy! That's really just not how it happens, although your idealism is sweet.

                                                      "...ordering even a really nice wine by the glass is going to be a let-down ..."

                                                      My restaurant uses preservation methods to keep wine from spoiling quickly,, and stores opened bottles at the correct temperature. Also, we sell through our higher priced btg wines quickly, so they're very rarely open for more than one day.

                                                      You're making generalities about all restaurants based on lower-end to mid-tier places that don't take their wine program very seriously and don't use common sense. You're out of date and completely incorrect.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        "although your idealism is sweet."

                                                        and your attempt at condenscension is pathetic.

                                                        "My restaurant ...."

                                                        Ahh, you are a restaurant owner, your axe to grind is revealed. You certainly would have no problem if your waiters automatically gave any diner who asked for btg the most expensive glass, would you?

                                                        "...places that don't take their wine program very seriously..."

                                                        "serious wine program" is my new favorite on the list of neologisms that the pretentious in the restaurant industry use to inflate their sense of self-importance.

                                                        "You're out of date and completely incorrect."

                                                        Your transparent defensiveness is duly noted.

                                                        1. re: Reefmonkey

                                                          If you'd read the thread, you'd know I'm not a restaurant owner.

                                                          If you don't believe restaurants that fly their staff all over the world, spend hundreds of hours on staff training, spend tens of thousands of dollars on top of the line glassware and preservation methods, constantly go to tastings and seminars, obsessively keep up to date on new clones, regions, blends, etc. and permanently have their noses in a book or a glass are serious, then we're just not going to see eye to eye on anything.

                                                          Have you worked as a sommelier or server at a high-end restaurant (doubtful, as you'd have already known how much goes into a successful wine program)? If not, you're probably not the best person on CH to tell others how things work and what most people want in this regard. I've sold wine for 15 years. I think I have some idea of how it works.

                                                  5. re: Reefmonkey

                                                    Many wines by the glass are priced the same as it would be to buy a bottle (or close to). So, a bottle of that $25 per glass wine would retail (at a regular store) for around $25.

                                                    1. re: dalaimama

                                                      Exactly. The price of one glass in a resto is usually = to the retail price for the bottle.

                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                        How do you guys feel about that; paying say $11 per glass for a $11 bottle of wine?

                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                          It sucks. Particularly since all they are doing is opening it and washing the glasses. At least the mark up of the food is generally justified - there is a creative element, cooking, plating, serving, washing, etc.

                                                          Peddling wine is easy money for the restos.

                                                    2. re: Reefmonkey

                                                      I agree with the generalities of the stated pricing. That is close to "normal."

                                                      As for reasoning on the purchase of b-t-g, well that can vary. My wife and I find ourselves dining out as a couple, around the globe. We also love to pair our wines with our courses, and will hit the b-t-g list, if half-bottles are not available, much of the time. This allows us to have many wines with many courses. We also seek out "sommelier's pairings," with chef's tasting menus. Wines for each course, without buying a bottle/course. Or, I'm at the bar, and my wife is still in a meeting. We're dining in an hour, but I want wine now. B-t-g is the only way that I am likely to go. While I can drink a bottle, by myself at home, but if I'm going to dine with my wife, it's b-t-g only.

                                                      This is also a reason that we seek out great half-bottle lists, when dining. We get to pair different wines with different courses, and *usually* make out better than all but the better b-t-g lists. Still, good half-bottle selections are rather a rarity in the US.

                                                      Even if we have a group and go with the full-bottles, I give kudos to the sommelier, when there is a great b-t-g selection or half-bottle selection. Who knows, next visit might just be the two of us.

                                                      Hunt