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While dining out Saturday night, at least 95% of the wines on the restaurant's wine list we had never heard of before. And, these were predominantly California wines. I can understand having a few selections to encourage patrons to try something new, but every one was from a winery we had never heard of. I seem to be seeing this more often.
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I think there should be a good mix of wines that are recognizable and those that allow for originality. Patrons should have a "safe haven" to select something, especially in a case, as this was, where we are not failiar with the staff and don't have any reason to allow them to pick something on our behalf. Also, the wines started at $90 and went to $700.

We have, by the way, been collecting, studying, and tasting for more than 10 years, so I would think that we would at least have heard of some of them.
quote:
Originally posted by Djdyal:
While dining out Saturday night, at least 95% of the wines on the restaurant's wine list we had never heard of before. And, these were predominantly California wines. I can understand having a few selections to encourage patrons to try something new, but every one was from a winery we had never heard of. I seem to be seeing this more often.


95% of the wines on my wine bar/restaurant's wine list are ones I hadn't tasted/heard about before.

But I consider that the fun of my job.

My recommendation - align yourself with the tasting notes of the buyer/sommelier of the restaurant wines. Chances are you'll find some great values.
quote:
Originally posted by Djdyal:
While dining out Saturday night, at least 95% of the wines on the restaurant's wine list we had never heard of before. And, these were predominantly California wines. I can understand having a few selections to encourage patrons to try something new, but every one was from a winery we had never heard of. I seem to be seeing this more often.
Sounds like fun to me. Ask the staff what they like and have fun with it.
Probably the very best wine list I know of is at The Slanted Door in San Francisco. It is the best not because it is the longest, or the most elaborate, or the best priced, or most comprehensive... but because it is the most well thought out. It perfectly matches their food and you can tell, for sure, every single wine is tasted prior to putting on that list. This is it: list

Clearly, not all patrons will have heard of most of those wines. But they genuinely care about good pairings, and it shows in their wine service and helpful advice.

I relate this to the menu. Sometimes I am unfamiliar with a specific preparation. But why should a chef not make the best food he can, even if much of it is in preperations not all patrons are familiar with?
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Probably the very best wine list I know of is at The Slanted Door in San Francisco.


You're playing with us winetarelli. As many Grüner Veltliner as all the selections from California, three times as many Rieslings? This in a San Francisco restaurant?

Disclosure is called for. The Slanted Door is a Vietnamese restaurant.
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Originally posted by pape du neuf:
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Probably the very best wine list I know of is at The Slanted Door in San Francisco.


You're playing with us winetarelli. As many Grüner Veltliner as all the selections from California, three times as many Rieslings? This in a San Francisco restaurant?

Disclosure is called for. The Slanted Door is a Vietnamese restaurant.


YES. I said, FOR THE FOOD. If it were a French restaurant, that would be a horrible list. But it is an upscale, modern Vietnamese restaurant. And in that context, the list is unbeatable, imo.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Berns, Tampa


From their website:
Whether you are an oenophile or a novice, Bern’s Wine Cellar will truly impress you -- with more than 6,800 unique wine labels, 5,500 red wines, 1,000 white wines and more than 200 sparkling wines. In addition, we feature about 300 Medeiras, Ports and Sherries by the glass, as well as 200 table wines served by the glass with vintages to 1973.


Wow! How are their prices?
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Originally posted by sarbuze:


Wow! How are their prices?


In a word, excellent. A few from our wine group went again this year.

We enjoyed Bordeaux from the 20's - 50's and never paid over $495. We had Burgundy and White Rhone from the 60's and never paid over $125, not to mention '82 Champagne for less that $250.

Skoshy might recall the exact pricing.

We just talked this weekend, and are planning on a January trip! Cool
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Originally posted by Rothko:
From what I understand, Berns doesn't charge the current prices for their old wines; they charge the purchase price, plus a percentage more.

So you can get great older wines for decent prices.

I've often wondered how they are able to keep older stuff in stock.



That is correct. We enjoyed the '82 Chave Blanc for $80+- as just one example.

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