One of my co-workers, a guy named Michael, related the following incident to me last week. He and his wife were dining at a restaurant in Margate, NJ and their table not quite being ready decided to have a drink at the bar. Michael ordered a glass of red wine. The bartender brought him his drink and he stared at what he felt was a rather small serving that barely filled one third of the large wine glass. Michael asked the bartender for more. The bartender replied that what he had was the standard 5 ounce serving. Feeling that he was being ripped off Michael insisted that he wanted a full glass just as he would be given a full glass of beer had he ordered a glass of beer. The bartender tried explaining why a wine serving did not fill the entire glass and I, while listening to this horror story, was feeling embarrassed without even having been present to witness it. I tried my best to explain to Michael that he was not being ripped off, that he received the correct pour but he wasn’t buying any of it.
When you order wines by the glass in a restaurant or bar you should be prepared to pay roughly 50% of the retail price of what that bottle would cost. There are many reasons for the high mark-up but the primary one is that the establishment has to compensate for spoilage. A bottle of wine, once opened will last, at best, 48 hours. If it isn’t sold in that time span oxidation will result in the bottle being unfit to drink. Each 750ml bottle contains five (5) glasses of wine and unless the wine is popular enough that it will be consumed quickly there will be the possibility that spoilage will occur.
Wines by the glass are a nice way to get to try something new without buying a bottle. They offer a great alternative at lunch and hardly a week goes by that there isn’t more news of the health benefits associated with a glass of red wine. I will expound on these health benefits in a future post.
For now, swirl that wine, stick your nose into the glass and savor the bouquet then sip the nectar of the Gods and enjoy your glass of wine.