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We are having our annual group meeting dinner at Morton's Steakhouse in San Diego. Since I have an interest (obsession) in wine, I was tasked with choosing the wine. I was given a $60 per bottle maximum, severely limiting my choices. Check out some of these prices:

02 Chateau St. Michelle Cab Cold Creek $75
03 Clos du Bois Cab Briarcrest $91
03 Franciscan Cab $60
03 Kendall Jackson Cab Vinters reserve $50
02 Silverado Cab $91
04 Duckhorn Merlot $115
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir $57
(and too many others to list here)

As usual, the higher end bottlings aren't marked up as much. These prices seem insane. I saw the St. Michelle Cold Creek cab at Costco for $17. Unfortunately, I had no part in the negotiations with the restaurant. I would have tried to work out something with their corkage ($30 per bottle). Last year we had it at a restaurant that let us bring our own wines. Is it just me, or do Morton's prices seem way over the top?
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A couple of years ago Morton's had a deal with Beringer, and they bought up a ton of Beringer Private Reserve cab savs and were selling them for $60 a bottle. An incredible price, considering that the same bottle was selling at local stores for about $75.

Alas, those days are over.

Your best bet is to pay the corkage and bring your own wines.
As I said earlier, I would rather buy a nice cut of meat (prime Delmonico) from the local butcher and grill it up myself.

Exactly my thought, Red Guy...
Much cheaper to get a nice Prime cut of beef to savor with a great bottle of wine that we pay 3x more at a steakhouse otherwise. Razz And... eat while watching our favorite TV show
Morton's prices on everything are high but the wine is outrageous. We dined there in Hartford with friends (4 couples) this summer when they had a special deal....$89 per couple for everything except drinks. Well after before dinner cocktails and 3 bottles of Mt. Veeder Cabernet at $90 per, the bill per couple rose to well more than $200. I had the same bottle of Mt. Veeder a few weeks earlier at nice steak house in Indianapolis for $50. Now, Mt. Veeder is a nice wine but not at that price. The problem was that their wine list is priced so high that the $50 - $60 bottles are all crap. We all walked out of Morton's understanding that the deal was made to get us in there and spend our money where they make money....on wine.

The food was great and it was a great evening with great freinds but never again at Morton's.
What's interesting is to see people raving about these places that have built an industry on the expense account. Too pricey for the quality, IMHO.

I will admit going to the Ruth's Chris in Jacksonville, FL on several occassions w/clients, but the service there and the view across the river is nice enough to distract from the obscene prices.

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