When we go out for a restaurant meal, wine is always part of the experience. Naturally, fun ensues…until the bill arrives. Yikes! How can we spend more money on the wine than on the food? After years of dining out and drinking wine, we’ve come up with some ways to find value when ordering wine at a restaurant.
Order a bottle.
We know this sounds counterintuitive. Why order a bottle when you want only a glass? It makes a lot of sense if your dining companions will be drinking wine too. One bottle is the equivalent of about five glasses. Just check out the prices of wines by the glass. Restaurateurs like to make enough money on a single glass to cover the cost of the whole bottle. (We’ll leave a discussion of that for another day.) Even if you’re the sole wine drinker, in some states you can take the unfinished bottle of wine home with you.
Order something you’ve never heard of.
You have your favorites. We understand. Lots of people like those same wines. And that’s the problem. The more recognized and fashionable a wine becomes, the more the restaurant can charge. When you order a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio or Kendall Jackson Chardonnay (not that there’s anything wrong with those wines), you’ll be punished dollar-wise for their popularity.
Look for half-price deals.
They exist. And we’re not talking about a glass of house wine at happy hour. We mean bottles of yummy reds, whites and bubblies. Some restaurants offer half-price bottles of wine on certain days of the week. Some make that offer on selected wines from their list. Some restaurants may pick a region.
We hope snag a “value” wine on your next restaurant outing.
Barbara and Beverly