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Wine Lists


Vancitygirl
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Two Sundays ago :

Joan orders a martini.

I order a bottle of St. Henri.

"Sir, that does not come by the glass, only the bottle ! "

"That's OK - I'll be fine ! :biggrin:  :biggrin:

LOL...a kindred spirit!

The bottle I really miss from Earls' wine list is the Lake Aileen Cabernet the Fullers bottled in conjuction with Gallo...it was delicious

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Also agree that the take home policy is good thing, although I often forget about it when I'm making my decisions. And come to think of it, I've never had a server suggest that I could just buy a bottle, drink a couple of glasses and take the rest home when I've been pondering the by-the-glass list.

The reason you aren't being prompted by servers to buy a bottle of wine with the intention of taking the unfinished bottle home could derive from the confusion caused by LCB policy. It is still technically against the terms of a restaurant liquor license to have a customer just push the cork back in the bottle, slip it into their jacket and leave.

If a restaurant wants to allow customers to leave with an unfinished bottle they are required to have a specific machine that "re-corks" the bottle with a new (unused) cork and...

"tell customers who are driving that they must store the wine behind the rear seat, in the trunk, or in an exterior compartment - it must be out of reach of people in the car".

This is a new policy and media reports of our new "liberalized" regs have left consumers with the expectation that they can just take the bottle home without the hassle or the lecture. Personally, I'm not sure what the repercussions/liabilities will be for a restaurateur who hasn't followed the regs the first time there is a problem (drinking/driving, etc).

Thanks. I usually walk or cab to restaurants so drinking and driving isn't really an issue for me, but I can understand why a restaurateur wouldn't be all that enthusiastic about buying a special machine to recork a bottle for the occasional customer.

Cheers,

Anne

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It is my understanding that the cork can be rammed back in the bottle as long as it a different cork than it originally came with.

Ie: a Mondavi cork in a J. Lohr bottle.

I do not believe it involves a corking machine etc.

If so, this would just be another case of me breaking the law. First corkage and now this. I foresee some time on the chain gang for me if this is true.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Since way back in the last century, Earl's has been going to wine producers and custom blending or custom bottling large lots of wine with extended contracts. They arrange for the producer to sell it to the BCLDB at the agreed upon price and simultaneously order it from the LDB.

So a wine that would normally appear on the gov's store shelves at $15 might be $8 or $9 to Earl's and then they can manipulate the "mark-up" factor.

They're still making money.

Bradley Cooper

You should be reading my blog!

WINE & VINE BC

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It is my understanding that the cork can be rammed back in the bottle as long as it a different cork than it originally came with.

Ie: a Mondavi cork in a J. Lohr bottle.

I do not believe it involves a corking machine etc.

If so, this would just be another case of me breaking the law. First corkage and now this. I foresee some time on the chain gang for me if this is true.

I received my liquor licence near the time when the new regs came in, and therefore had the pleasure of hearing every fascinating policy quirk explained in great detail.

-The purpose of the "required" re-corking device is to insert the cork completely back into the bottle (as if new) in order to make it impossible for the patron to access the alcohol (unless they brought a corkscrew!).

-You must keep a supply of brand new corks for this purpose. You cannot use a cork that has been removed from that bottle or any other (LCB sites "health reasons").

- The lecture on where to place the wine in the vehicle obviously concerns drinking/driving liabilities.

My original point, though, was that we don't actively encourage patrons to take unfinished wine home because (from the customer service point-of-view) we aren't enthusiastic about all the crap that is supposed to go with it!

While I'm on an LCB policy rant...this is my favourite "new" policy anachronism-

After wasting time applying for and receiving a "lounge" designation we were told that the liquor to food ratio for our establishment could not increase beyond what we would have been allowed as a regular restaurant without a lounge!

translation- you can have a lounge designation...just don't try selling more alcohol!

Edited by bigdaddy (log)

Damian du Plessis

Bravo Restaurant & Lounge

Chilliwack, BC

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I'm glad someone explained the "you can take home the un-drunk portion of the wine so you don't get too drunk" situation. I had heard that this was now possible so we merrily ordered several glasses of wine to match the appetizers and then a bottle of wine at the upper end of our budget to go with dinner. And being the responsible people that we are, we drank responsibly but enjoyably under the impression that we would be taking home the wine that remained. Flash forward to the end of the evening - we ask to take the remaining wine home. Flatly denied. I am sure it is a "new rule" and ask to speak with the manager. Manager, not too kindly tells me that I am wrong and that under no circumstances can he allow us to take the wine with us. Akward scene as we both eye the 2/3 full bottle on the table - he is sure I am going to grab for it (he was right) and I was sure he was going to grab it. The only thing that stopped me from carrying on the silly game was the painfully embarrassed look on my dear husband's face. He was mortified so I shut up and huffed my self out the door.

So I guess it turns out we were both correct. But it could have been handled better - at the restaurant but most importantly by the regulators. What a supremely stupid way to implement a reasonable regulation.

Restaurant will go unnamed - because they weren't wrong. But I won't ever go back there - despite it being a very nice place.

But for cripes sake - isn't there an easier way to enjoy nice wine with nice food?

Cheers,

Karole

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Ok,

After reading through the thread. I mark up wine aggressively for bottles under $50. Everything over $55 on the wine list is 100%, some of my wines over $200 are only 50%. For example, Dom Perignon cost $195, it is $295 on the list.

We are also currently selling wines by the glass in the $15-20 range and these are are only marked up a flat 100%. We are trying to encourage people to drink better wine or reserve level wines that are perceived as offering a good value as well as an opportunity. WIth multi course menus it is better for us to go over the top on wines by the glass.

We have to make money but we also have to use some ethics in our business. If we have very rare wines (i.e. 1 bottle allocation of Grange) then they are marked up relative to the demand.

For the most part it is buyer beware in this market but it make no sense to triple mark up high end wines as they might not sell too fast. If your selling wine on Bay street to expense account brokers and pay $100 a square foot in rental for your restaurant then I can understand, perhaps, why you would find these markups.

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Industry standard, across the board, 100%. Anything otherwise and it's buyer beware.

Granted, some lists are spectacular, and offer the consumer something they wouldn't have an opportunity to get, that's just basic market economics to charge what one feels is justified.

But when I can get it off the shelf at the ldb, it's a gouge. Any occassional reader of the Wine Dictator can put together a list from the ldb. If you want to charge a premium, one expects something unique and special.

That being said, every business owner has different challenges, I just can't look someone in the eye if I'm over 100%.

Karole, on the topic of buy it and bag it, you had entirely the right idea. We keep wine bags around and corks just in case, and it happens more and more.

Owner

Winebar @ Fiction

Lucy Mae Brown

Century - modern latin -

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Flash forward to the end of the evening - we ask to take the remaining wine home. Flatly denied. I am sure it is a "new rule" and ask to speak with the manager. Manager, not too kindly tells me that I am wrong and that under no circumstances can he allow us to take the wine with us. Akward scene as we both eye the 2/3 full bottle on the table - he is sure I am going to grab for it (he was right) and I was sure he was going to grab it. The only thing that stopped me from carrying on the silly game was the painfully embarrassed look on my dear husband's face. He was mortified so I shut up and huffed my self out the door.

So I guess it turns out we were both correct. But it could have been handled better - at the restaurant but most importantly by the regulators. What a supremely stupid way to implement a reasonable regulation.

Restaurant will go unnamed - because they weren't wrong. But I won't ever go back there - despite it being a very nice place.

But for cripes sake - isn't there an easier way to enjoy nice wine with nice food?

Wow, that is pretty awful. I agree that the regulation sucks, but the restauant could have handled things better, to say the least.

But when I can get it off the shelf at the ldb, it's a gouge.  Any occassional reader of the Wine Dictator can put together a list from the ldb.  If you want to charge a premium, one expects something unique and special. 

Well said.

Cheers,

Anne

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100% is the standard here in BC, a hold over from the days when the government regulated the mark-up, as well. (yes, really)

In some cases on my list, I'll offer a wine at less of a mark-up if I want to keep it under a sweet price point or I really want people to try it. Also, the "reserve" type wines are not marked up by much. There's no point in having a $125 bottle of wine sitting on my shelf gathering dust.

Some hard to get wines or one-time-buys are a little more, but like any business, I have to offer good value to my customers. If I find a super deal I generally pass it on. You'll come back, and that's the whole point.

For wines by the glass, I divide the bottle price by four, but I get five glasses. I make an extra few bucks because I keep 35 wines open and sometimes we have spoilage. (we date the bottle, then check the wines daily) Plus, I personally think it's still a good thing if I can have a glass of $48 wine for $12.

Most pricing in Vancouver is good. Some places offer super deals, and make the money on volume and food. Some serious gouging happens. I was out for dinner with a visiting winemaker a few weeks ago at a newer hot spot. He had been given an Unlimited Budget for wine purchases. After a few minutes of looking at the winelist, we both drank beer.

If my guests want to, I encourage them to take unfinished bottles of wine home with them. We bag and cork the bottles for them. I thought it was allowed. If not, screw the regulators.

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If my guests want to, I encourage them to take unfinished bottles of wine home with them.  We bag and cork the bottles for them.  I thought it was allowed.  If not, screw the regulators.

To further clarify - restaurants can definitely allow patrons to take home unfinished wine...provided that they follow specific guidelines (related to re-corking, etc).

Participating in this thread has caused me to think seriously about the potential legal ramifications of this new situation. Considering the fact that I live in a city where even the local MLA publicly admits to drinking and driving...I think I'll cover my ass legally and buy a re-corking machine!

Damian du Plessis

Bravo Restaurant & Lounge

Chilliwack, BC

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