Why Is Wine By The Glass So Expensive? - THEGRAPE

Grape Tip Tuesday: Why Is Wine By The Glass So Expensive?

This Week In Wine 101: We Discuss Why Wine By The Glass Is So Expensive?

Why is ordering wine by the glass so expensive? Is it better to order by the bottle or bring my own bottle? Have you ever been at a restaurant examining the wine selection or list and wondered why the price for a glass of wine was so expensive? There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, the wine could be a more reputable brand or the restaurant is aiming to make a profit off the chances of you ordering multiple glasses, which in turn racks up your bill. So, what you want to ask yourself is this, “Do you intend on having a glass of wine or multiple?” Depending on whether you are dining alone or with company, the size of your meal and your budget, these can all influence the number of glasses you see yourself consuming during your dining experience.

Most foodies and wine enthusiasts highly recommend purchasing a bottle of wine as opposed to a glass with your meal – they recommend this for a couple of reasons.

The Cost of a Bottle of Wine

The restaurant owner likely paid less than retail for the bottle of wine. This does not mean it’s cheap but is rather the advantage of volume pricing. But restaurants generally “mark up” the price of their wine and alcohol, by three or four times their cost for the bottle, in order to increase profits. This is a common practice because (food) profit margins are incredibly slim and alcohol sales help offset this.


Couple tasting a bottle of wine - THEGRAPE


How Do I Choose a Fresh Wine?

If you order wine by the glass, you never know how long the bottle has been sitting on the shelf or how long it has been opened for. What’s more, some restaurants assume (or hope) you won’t taste or know the difference between an old bottle of wine and a new one. To be clear, bad wine that is old or gone past its expiration date tastes, stale, vinegar like, with moldy or damp cardboard stenches. If this happens, make sure to call your waiter and communicate that the wine is bad and ask for another glass from a new bottle.


Couple choosing a bottle of wine at a restaurant - thegrape.com


Should I Buy The Bottle?

If you plan on having more than one glass of wine, depending on how much the restaurant pours per glass, you may spend as much if not more money had you just purchased the bottle. So, buy the bottle and start with a wine that hasn’t been opened yet. Besides, if you’re dining with friends or family, and everyone is up for having wine, purchasing a bottle or two will definitely save money and decrease the chances of you having to send your wine back for a new bottle.

Can I Bring A Bottle of Wine?

If you recently bought a nice bottle of wine and would like to bring it to a restaurant to enjoy with dinner, consider calling the restaurant in advance to find out what the restaurant’s corkage fee is. A corkage fee is the amount you pay for brining your own bottle of wine to a restaurant and yes they open it and serve it to your table. A corkage fee can run anywhere from $5 – $35 depending on the restaurant.

For example, if you purchased a bottle of wine for $50 and want to bring it to a restaurant that charges a $35 corkage fee, you may want to save your $50 bottle for another occasion. Instead, purchase a bottle from the restaurant’s wine list, since you’ll more than likely spend either a similar if not the same amount of money on a bottle. Also, restaurants will not allow patrons to bring a bottle of wine they have on their wine list. To avoid an embarrassing moment double check the restaurant’s wine list beforehand to make sure you aren’t bringing a bottle of wine they have on their wine list.

To conclude this article, ordering wine by the glass can be expensive if you order multiple glasses as opposed to a single glass or bottle. So, before you decide on which wine you’d like to order, ask yourself, “Will I be having more than one glass of wine?” If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a bottle. If you recently purchased a nice bottle of wine or would like to bring one of the beauties from your wine cellar to enjoy at your favorite restaurant, make sure you are not brining a wine they have on their wine list, and find out what their corkage fee is. We hope you found this article informative! Join us next week when we share why you should pair food with wine. Thanks for visiting TheGrape.com.

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