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Morton's: BYO or order from wine list?

Eating at Morton's tonight. They don't post their wine list online, I assume because they're a chain and the lists vary from location to location. Wondering if anybody familiar with the Morton's wine lists in general, and the Beverly Hills location specifically, happens to know of any decent bottles on the list in the <$50 range?

We'll probably want a red wine, though I'm very open to different varieties and appellation (meaning, just because I'm going to a steakhouse doesn't mean I need to have a Napa Cab).

Most likely, I'll bring a bottle and pay the $25 corkage...but if there are some gems on the list, throw them out there!

Thanks.

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  1. My local Morton's (Orlando) has a large Napa/domestic cab selection, and not much else. If you're looking for what I consider gems (old world varietals, etc) then you may be better off bringing your own. And if you call the restaurant they will probably email you or fax you a copy of their list.

    1. If you are seriously looking to spend <$50, paying the corkage fee is DEFINITELY the way to go!

      4 Replies
      1. re: zin1953

        corkage fee. there list is very poor for what they are charging. we brought in a 2001 Insignia which I paid less then $80 and they wanted $325 (without tax,tip).

        1. re: wineglas

          Thanks. This is what I was assuming. My guess is the list will be full of Silver Oaks et al at very high mark-up.

          1. re: olivethegreat

            I thought that the 89 Silver Oak Napa Valley was pretty decent.

          2. re: wineglas

            Re the Insignia: The '03 vintage wholesaled for $96 in California and the latest vintage had risen to something more like $130 (wholesale). If you had the '01 to bring in, so much the better, but $325 is not that out of line (outrageous though it may be). Go figure!

        2. Pretty much at any steak house, BYO is better than to order form the list.

          1. I would BYO if your local Morton's allows it. However, I would make sure to get a copy of their wine list to make sure that anything I was planning on bringing was not already on their list. BYO etiquette dictates that even if the restaurant is charging a 300% mark up on 2001 Insignia, it's still not cool to bring your own bottle of a wine that they already stock.

            Also, ordering a glass of wine or Champagne from their BTG list prior to enjoying your own wine is always a welcome gesture.

            Vinny

            1. Though too late to help, I find that the Morton's, that I have gone to, have had interesting wine lists, with markups from 400% to 1000%.

              As I am always a guest, BYOB has never been considered. Though I am often the one, who must order the wines (on someone else's account), I still feel a tad ripped-off. I rather find them to be the adult's version of McDonalds. This is for adults on an expense account. Interesting, but quite over-priced.

              Also, there are usually different BYOB laws by state, county and municipality. One is best served by checking specifically.

              Hope that the OP enjoyed,

              Hunt

              1. olivethegreat,

                So did you find anything good on the list? If not, what did you end up bringing?

                2 Replies
                1. re: baron45

                  We brought our own, happy we did even though I ended up not loving the wine we brought - an '05 Pax Alder Springs Syrah. I used to love Pax, it's just not to my taste any longer. Still a better value to pay corkage than buying ANYTHING on the overpriced (and uninteresting) Morton's list.

                  1. re: olivethegreat

                    Do not know the Pax. On my visits to Morton's, always as a guest, I have seen some interesting wines on their list. I often am pressed into service to order the wines, by the various hosts. I do cringe at the markup, but comply with my hosts and order for the group. The wines have all been there, but not at prices that I would enjoy.

                    Hunt