Ordering wine in a restaurant: part two
Price is a contentious issue in a restaurant. There’s two broad models: a multiplier of retail price (most common) or adding a fixed amount on top of bottles (say £20).
Before I go for dinner, I’ll usually find the wine list and compare the prices on a couple of bottles against the retail value.
I’ve seen everything from 2x to 5x on a retail price. I haven’t visited enough restaurants to make up a ‘rule’ but I’ve personally found the highest multipliers were at older, stuffier, more expensive restaurants.
There’s so many adages about the cheapest/second cheapest on the menu. Ignore these. Any decent restaurant will care about all their wine and as most volume is sold at the cheaper end, more attention will be paid to it: so there’s likely to be great value here.
Ultimately, you’re going to spend more on wine in a restaurant than you would at home. Check out wine lists in advance to see what the profit gap is, work out how much you’re willing to spend and then ask for a recommendation in that bracket.