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Per Se Wine

I was just wondering, I have very little experience with wine, and I would not want to embarrass so could someone give me suggestions on how to order wine at per se.

The wine list is very extensive, though there are quite a few bottles in the $60 range, and if I were to go, I would like to maybe do one white, one red in that range (with maybe a couple glasses of champagne and cocktails to start). Anyone have advice on good items in that range on the list? A way to give the waiter a price range without embarrassing myself?

I just hate to spend too much on wine because I would rather just go out for the meal twice.


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  1. There's nothing embarrassing about stating your prime limitations. You should just say something like, "I'm looking for a red in the price range of $60-$80 a bottle. My preferences are __________________ (insert what you like -- fruity, grassy, etc.)." Sommeliers know that everybody has a limit, even super rich people.

    1. "A way to give the waiter a price range without embarrassing myself?"

      Say to the sommelier, "I'd like to spend in the $60 range for the wine. What do you suggest?"

      1. You won't embarrass yourself. They will ask your range, and just tell them. You may end up with some free drinks!

        1. I chose the wine pairings to go along with the tasting menu, and the wines that the sommelier for me and my Mom (we have completely different tastes) were spot on. Don't be afraid to ask for a recommendation!

          2 Replies
          1. re: P_K

            I'd be surprised if you can get anywhere close to the $60/bottle range doing the wine pairing (I assume you mean a different glass per course). I think the suggestions above are the best way to go. Just ask for a red and a white in the $60 range and let the sommelier choose. You're not going to get anything bad at Per Se.

            1. re: shane

              Yep, I didn't mean to imply that the pairing was $60. I was saying that the sommelier was spot on with every recommendation he made, and that the OP wouldn't have an issue asking for something in their price range.

          2. Hello, I agree with the other posts, I haven't been to Per Se, but I've been to some 3 michelin starred restaurants in San Sebastian. There is NO shame in stating a price range, the sommelier should be happy to help not matter what your budget. I personally think the most interesting wines are in the middle price bracket anyways, how exciting is it when you find a good value yet stunning wine! Best of luck and enjoy! Caitlin

            1. I eat here quite a bit. I can recommend a beautifully done Moscato D'Asti at $50 a bottle. It is sweet, white and sparkling, it's like drinking a really delicious grape juice. Not everyone will want a whole bottle of this, but I love it and wouldn't hesitate to order it to start when on a budget. It's towards the back of the menu, in the "Off-dry and Sweet" wines section.

              I can also wholeheartedly recommend the grape juices! No joke, they have a white (Gew├╝rztraminer) and a red (Pinot Noir) that have little to no alcohol, and are done by a serious wine-maker (Navarro Vineyards). Once again, these are quite sweet. But... they are included at no additional cost. So is sparkling apple cider for that matter. We regularly get all three.

              White wines you should do ok. I can recommend the "Highfield, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough" ($65) from NZ which is very nice. They also have a few French whites that will fit under your budget.

              Red Wines are a harder proposition. There is a full bottle cote-de-rhones that lands around $65 on the list, a Spanish Red at $65, and an Australian Red at $65 as well, but that's basically it. Perhaps you can ask which of the three they would recommend for your later courses that evening?

              Cocktails are also a cheaper proposition if you enjoy them, most are in the $15-$20 range.

              1. Since you are spending so much for dinner why scrimp on the wine... don't go overboard but up the budget a bit

                2 Replies
                1. re: msny98

                  Not everyone is an oenophile and spending lots of money on wine would be wasteful. Also, many people save and "scrimp" just to afford the meal and they don't want to spend and extra couple of hundred on wine. There are wines on the list that are at the OP's budget so why should s/he "up the budget a bit"?

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    "I just hate to spend too much on wine because I would rather just go out for the meal twice. "
                    This list is not made for any one who feels this way at this price, $60 per bottle. It rewards those who are willing to pay $125 - $150 for an excellent red or white, those who will pay $300- $600 for a very hard to get wine, and those with unlimited budgets. You can make due on your budget, examples are Hirsch Gruner Veltliner, Adam Riesling, or Muga white, but if you can enjoy a meal without wine this would be a good occasion for it.

                2. Just tell them exactly what you just wrote. At a restaurant like Per Se, most of the wines in that range wouldn't be on the list unless the restaurant thought they were worth getting excited about.

                  Man. I'm just looking through this list and some of these prices are insane, even by fine dining standards. $600 for a half-bottle of Krug MV? That's crazy on its own but especially so with a magnum of the same for $1340.

                  Champagnes by the glass on their list look fairly steep (which is normal; they don't keep too long so the restaurants end up writing off a decent amount of it). Unless you're dying for it I'd suggest putting that part of the budget into more flexibility on your red. It looked like there were a lot more cool whites around that range than reds though.