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Dec 20, 2010 08:39 AM

What's the max price you would pay for a bottle of wine when dining out in Manhattan.

I almost always order a bottle of wine when dining out. I try to stay under $50-$60 a bottle but at a fine restaurant, a nice bottle under $50 is hard to find these days.
Do you set a limit on wine budget when dining out?

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  1. It really depends - I have no set answer. Sometimes I spend $50, sometimes I spend $300 (or more or less) really depends. Depends on the occasion, on the food, on the restaurant, on the wine list, on my mood...sometimes I BYO...

    1. I'm usually in the same range, if possible. However, as you mentioned that's not always doable at more upscale restaurants, so I would raise the ante to $80.00. If there is nothing on the list in the range, I'll order a glass and sip it very slowly.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Stuartmc910

        given that restaurants double or triple the price of wine, if i want some expensive wine, i try to find a place that allows me to bring my own wine. If you buy very expensive wine, even the most expensive corkage fees are wroth it. if not, there are excellent restaurants that have reasonable fees.

        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

          Ditto. We've taken bottles to both Eleven Madison Park and Per Se. EMP's corkage fee is a very reasonable $35. Per Se's is $90, but they had a different vintage of the same wine we brought on their list for $450 so we still saved quite a bit.

          Per Se
          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      2. Of course. Everyone should set a limit if they don't have unlimited money to spend. For whatever it's worth, I can't remember ever paying more than $48 for a bottle on my own dime. If I go to a restaurant where I have to pay a lot for food, I will order by the glass or carafe/caraffina (or whatever measure they're using). This is assuming I'm part of a party of 2; if I'm part of a 4-top or larger group, buying 2 or more bottles is very possible, but even then, it's not too likely we'd get any bottles that cost much more than that.

        If I feel like splurging a bit, I'm more apt to get a cocktail or two or/and try two or three different wines (that is, a dessert wine could be one of them) than spend a lot of money for one bottle. I just find that more interesting and, thus, a better value for me. But everyone has to make their own decisions on what they can afford and what gives them most enjoyment for their bucks.

        1. Also, do you guys feel 'cheap' if you don't order any alcoholic beverages?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Monica

            Not at all. A restaurant is not a club or bar. There's no requirement to order a drink, alcoholic or otherwise.

            I'm pregnant, so no drinks for me, and husband is my designated driver, so nothing for him either. If a waiter continues asking for drink orders, husband usually firmly states "we will not be drinking this evening."

                1. re: Monica

                  I feel many things when I don't order alcohol: regret, anger, boredom, shakey hands. "Cheap" isn't on the list though.

                  As for the original question, it really depends on how much I've already had to drink, and how attractive the waitress is.

                2. This question also really depends on what a person's financial situation is.