Wine take-out from restaurant

Let say when you are on a trip and see something hard to find or already off-market, but you want to buy a few bottles and take it home instead of popping it on site. Anyone has experience with this ? Is there a right-way to approach the restaurant ?
Original Post
While in Palm Springs a couple of years ago, we dined at a place that had all their wines at half price (on Tuesdays during low season). I ordered a bottle of Opus One (which I hadn't seen here in Vancouver). It was really good, so I asked the waiter if I could buy a few more bottles to go. He said we are happy to take your money. I scored the wine at a price that was pretty much the community average.

If you are thinking about buying a few bottles, talk to the manager and see if he or she will give you a deal. Times are tough and they might well be glad to turn over some inventory. The only caution I would consider is how has the wine been kept. Few restaurants in Vancouver have really good climate controlled cellars.
A couPle of years back I was having dinner in San Francisco and spotted some bottles of SNQ at a fair price (slightly above release price) I asked the waiter if the price was correct which he confirmed. The next day I went back and asked the manager if I could buy a few bottles which was not a problem.
Around 7 years ago in San Diego I came across 2003 Lafite on a list for $280 and inquired about buying a bottle or two and taking with me. I was told that legally they had to pop the cork before I left(!). Elsewhere in California, I would write a personal check to the restaurant owner for bottles that were cheaper than I can get retail but we were acquaintences.
In Las Vegas a few years ago one place had a SQN on the list that was above release price(slightly) but 1/2 of retail. I asked the manager if I could buy it and take home and he said he didn't know if he could do it(legally), but I had the VP of hotel operations (who I knew)call to give the OK. Still haven't opened it.
happens at a few restaurants i've been to where the price was good

but typically, the restaurant will tell me "we have those wines there to attract clients like you and unfortunately if you were to buy them all, we'd be stuck with the other overpriced stuff that wine lovers won't necessarily enjoy, so unfortunately we would request you order and enjoy it here with our food, but feel free to come back anytime and order it"

i feel that's fair to the restaurant, so i go back
quote:
Originally posted by StanS:
In Las Vegas a few years ago one place had a SQN on the list that was above release price(slightly) but 1/2 of retail. I asked the manager if I could buy it and take home and he said he didn't know if he could do it(legally), but I had the VP of hotel operations (who I knew)call to give the OK. Still haven't opened it.




Vegas and good wine prices are a rarity in my experience! Good for you!

Gman beat me to it...a few places Ive been to have pretty much said the same thing. They have however, put on aside for me for when I do return which I thought was a nice touch.
I remember a few years ago seeing Dominus for $80 at a restaurant. We didn't have time to order a bottle but I inquired about taking one to go. The waitress didn't know and finally brought the manager/wine director only for her to tell me they were sold out. She seemed to suggest that it wouldn't be against the rules.
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
There is a wine-centric restaurant in Woodinville that holds an annual "yard sale" for overstock, or wines that just aren't turning over fast enough. Nothing major, but I've bought some decent bottles there.


Which place is that?
Recently, at a steakhouse in Keystone Colorado, all Bordeaux over $100 were half price. Buy what you want and take it with you. A few first growths in the low $200s, LLC ~$100, I believe it was 2000-2004 vintages. A bunch of other nice deals. Grabbed a couple of bottles to take back home. Significantly cheaper than LCBO's futures program....back in 2005. But that shouldn't be a shocker.
I found a resturant that had marked 12 bottles of Reisling real low. Less tahn retail. I asked if I could buy them and take home, was told no. I did however buy the entire stock, and drank them over a period of time at the restuarnt. They marked them as mine. Was told that since it was on the wine list at that price they were abligated to sell them at that price.

Next issue of wine list showed them to be $ 15 more.
It will depend on where you are. In some states or counties it is illegal for a restaurant to sell a bottle of wine without opening it in the restaurant. In others, no problem. If it is legal, I don't see why a restaurant would have a problem with selling a bottle or two to a customer.
quote:
Originally posted by dinwiddie:
It will depend on where you are. In some states or counties it is illegal for a restaurant to sell a bottle of wine without opening it in the restaurant. In others, no problem. If it is legal, I don't see why a restaurant would have a problem with selling a bottle or two to a customer.


the restaurant should probably understand their inventory better.

A below price bottle of wine should be like a doorbuster sale, you keep them around to attract other customers. "did you hear about this place with this 1st growth for 200$" or that particular customer to keep coming back and ordering more food just because they can order that bottle and enjoy it below cost.

much like what ed did. He knew it was underpriced, bought all of the bottles and frequently returns to the restaurant to enjoy the rest of his bottles.

If the customer walks out with the bottles, the customer has that one less incentive to return.
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Originally posted by davec:
quote:
Originally posted by Jcamp:
Recently, at a steakhouse in Keystone Colorado, ....

Which restaurant?


Bighorn, right at keystone lodge. This was about three weeks ago and their wine list is not online. The stuff I got was the last of that bottle, but I didn't ask about the rest of the inventory. Just saying you should give them a call first to ensure the sale is still on and see what they have before investing any significant time. Let me know how it works out.
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
There is a wine-centric restaurant in Woodinville that holds an annual "yard sale" for overstock, or wines that just aren't turning over fast enough. Nothing major, but I've bought some decent bottles there.


Which place is that?


Purple. There is one in Kirkland and downtown Seattle, but as far as I know, only the Woodinville location has these sales. Next one should be coming up soon.
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
There is a wine-centric restaurant in Woodinville that holds an annual "yard sale" for overstock, or wines that just aren't turning over fast enough. Nothing major, but I've bought some decent bottles there.


Which place is that?


Purple. There is one in Kirkland and downtown Seattle, but as far as I know, only the Woodinville location has these sales. Next one should be coming up soon.


Ah yes. Went to the woodinville one a couple of months ago. I prefer the Seattle location.
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
There is a wine-centric restaurant in Woodinville that holds an annual "yard sale" for overstock, or wines that just aren't turning over fast enough. Nothing major, but I've bought some decent bottles there.


Which place is that?


Purple. There is one in Kirkland and downtown Seattle, but as far as I know, only the Woodinville location has these sales. Next one should be coming up soon.


Ah yes. Went to the woodinville one a couple of months ago. I prefer the Seattle location.

That one is dangerously close to me. It's just a few blocks down the street from where I work. Devilish

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