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Artadi, Muga and Roda are three producers I like and have in my cellar.  Consider tasting from Crienza, Riserva to Grand Riserva which denotes increased barrel and bottle aging though the standards are minimums.  Great importer is Grapes of Spain founded and run by Aurelio who was Somm at Tabernina a long time back.  

Riojas age well.  And because they are bottle aged at the producer, they typically drink well at all time. 

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Off-Topic: Olé Imports/Obrigado Vinhos has a phenomenal selection of wines from Spain and Portugal - a virtual guarantee that the wine will be of high quality.

On-Topic: However you want to define a "micro" list, having a list with sufficient breadth of styles and price points is virtually impossible with less than, say 80 selections. Now, I did say virtually impossible. Those that succeed usually focus on a single country (Italy/Spain) or better yet, region and mine the nuance and depths of the area and winemaking styles. This takes tremendous skill and discipline on behalf of the sommelier, but it can certainly be done, with as few as 40-50 bottles.

The perfect size, as far as I am concerned, is 150 give or take, as I don't want to spend all night pouring through the list. Also, please do not whore me on the pricing. There is nothing that ruins my evening more when I cannot bear to even order a bottle of wine because the pricing is so egregious. 3x wholesale? Sure. 3x+ Retail? Go fuck yourself. Additionally, although I don't mind spending more than what most people are comfortable with on a bottle of wine, there should be plenty of really good wine under $50 on your list. If there isn't, it reflects poorly on you as a restauranteur, and how you feel about your clientele.

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32 minutes ago, Count Bobulescu said:

On the 3x wholesale principle, three price points, $50, $75 & $100, times 15 to 20 grape varietals covers a lot of ground.

Sure does, but throw in sparkling and BTG and you are at 100+ selections very quickly

 

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For someone completely ignorant on wine,  who didn't even drink wine for 2+ decades due to an allergic reaction, who has no inclination to now learn about wines, and for someone who when he dines out with folks who enjoy wine at dinner but are not knowledgeable and therefore turn the decision over to a sommelier or waiter this has been an interesting and educational discussion.

I've now learned about a few wines/types that those who know more tend to favor.  I've become a little wary of what are evidently popular wines on wine lists, but not that great or overpriced over valued.  I don't know about wine pricing.  All food is marked up.  Liquor has enormous markups, but virtually nobody in their right mind starts off with a cocktail where the retail price is $150 and up and then absorbs a mark up that is 3,4,5 times the retail price.

One quick takeaway is that I'd return to Corduroy simply because I appreciate the advise, experience, perspective, and expertise from Mark Slater and I'd suggest  putting my group in his hands.  Alternatively I'm a bit more hesitant in turning over the decision to other staff in other restaurants.

All of which is to say I brush off the "now erased comment".  If in reading reviews I see 50 comments that are favorable and one comment that is unfavorable I don't mind.  Its a little more real than 100% favorable reviews.  I'll go with the 50.  I'll more strongly go with the 50 if they have added credibility. 

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One of my former bosses used to say to me "what I think looks great in a dining room is a bottle of wine on each table." And so he decided a long time ago that the best way to make that happen was through an aggressive pricing structure. He took his wine from the wine shop next door, which had the retail mark up, and added $10 to that price for the restaurant pricing. So, yes, it isn't in line with the typical 300% markup for 20% cost as Mark mentioned earlier, but it allowed his restaurant that look and appeal. It was almost stupid not to order a bottle. Question is simple- would you rather have a restaurant that is half full, but making those margins, or a restaurant in demand that is busy all the time but at higher cost of doing business?

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1 hour ago, B.A.R. said:

Sure does, but throw in sparkling and BTG and you are at 100+ selections very quickly

 
Perish the thought that I might be a math pedant or anything like that. 😀
20 varietals at 3 price points = 60 wines, leaving lots of room for sparkling and BTG.
Agree with you on Ole.

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Thank you all for this great discussion.  I really like wine, but really don't know enough about it, and love learning more, this thread is great, keep it up!  One of Matt and I's favorite discoveries was red blend (maybe a Pinotage?) that Mark recommended while at Ray's.  I can't recall what it was, I have it in an app on my phone, but it had a bird on the label.  It opened us up to a new type of wine we hadn't had before and was a nice wine at an accessible price point.  I really think being able to have access to someone with a love of wine who can make a list with some good standbys and a few interesting selections so it isn't overwhelming, but you also have some nice choices is nice at a decent value makes all the difference in having a nice evening or something that can be more special.  I am not sure how a micro list is defined, but I like the 60-100 wines range.  I don't love places that you see 20 or less wines on the list, I think those are the ones that tend to disappoint me when I see them.  

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12 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

Lopez Heradia Tondonia. Old style Rioja, light like Burgundy. 

I was going to say LdH, Vina Cubillo- same style to Tondonia, lower price point as an experiment.

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2 hours ago, Count Bobulescu said:
 
Perish the thought that I might be a math pedant or anything like that. 😀

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man he brings math into a discussion of wine lists!"

You can take that math shit to the math thread, which existed 9+ yers ago between @DonRocks and was solved by @jparrott and I cannot find because I am barely computer literate. :)

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Sorry for the somewhat off-topic tangent, but we visited Lopez de Heredia on our honeymoon several years ago and bought some bottles of the 2001 Rioja Reserva Vina Tondonia.  CellarTracker lists the drinking period as 2020-2050.  Am I really making a huge mistake by not waiting another 10-20 more years or longer before opening one?

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3 hours ago, silentbob said:

Sorry for the somewhat off-topic tangent, but we visited Lopez de Heredia on our honeymoon several years ago and bought some bottles of the 2001 Rioja Reserva Vina Tondonia.  CellarTracker lists the drinking period as 2020-2050.  Am I really making a huge mistake by not waiting another 10-20 more years or longer before opening one?

2001 was a great vintage. I would try one now.

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6 hours ago, DaveO said:

For someone completely ignorant on wine,  who didn't even drink wine for 2+ decades due to an allergic reaction, who has no inclination to now learn about wines, and for someone who when he dines out with folks who enjoy wine at dinner but are not knowledgeable and therefore turn the decision over to a sommelier or waiter this has been an interesting and educational discussion.

I've now learned about a few wines/types that those who know more tend to favor.  I've become a little wary of what are evidently popular wines on wine lists, but not that great or overpriced over valued.  I don't know about wine pricing.  All food is marked up.  Liquor has enormous markups, but virtually nobody in their right mind starts off with a cocktail where the retail price is $150 and up and then absorbs a mark up that is 3,4,5 times the retail price.

One quick takeaway is that I'd return to Corduroy simply because I appreciate the advise, experience, perspective, and expertise from Mark Slater and I'd suggest  putting my group in his hands.  Alternatively I'm a bit more hesitant in turning over the decision to other staff in other restaurants.

All of which is to say I brush off the "now erased comment".  If in reading reviews I see 50 comments that are favorable and one comment that is unfavorable I don't mind.  Its a little more real than 100% favorable reviews.  I'll go with the 50.  I'll more strongly go with the 50 if they have added credibility. 

Thanks for the shout out, DaveO. I'm not at Corduroy anymore, but I will tell about my new gig at the proper time. 

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5 hours ago, B.A.R. said:

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man he brings math into a discussion of wine lists!"

You can take that math shit to the math thread, which existed 9+ yers ago between @DonRocks and was solved by @jparrott and I cannot find because I am barely computer literate. :)

Having trouble with the bits & bytes, ones and zeroes? 😀

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On 3/13/2013 at 12:54 PM, Barbara said:

Dave M weighed in on this in todays' WaPo Food Section:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/voltaggios-range-makes-its-wine-interesting-and-affordable/2013/03/11/28b86314-8615-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394_story.html

My eyes nearly fell out at the Horton Viognier price. It's about $14 a bottle at the AdMo HT and $22 at Range. Some of you with more "refined" wine tastes might turn your nose up at a white that is a sweet as that one is, but it is right in my wheelhouse. I plan on ordering a bottle just for myself, when and if I ever get to go there.

Classic Viognier is not normally sweet.

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On 1/23/2019 at 11:52 AM, ktmoomau said:

.. I don't love places that you see 20 or less wines on the list, I think those are the ones that tend to disappoint me when I see them.  

Exactly.

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On 1/23/2019 at 1:03 AM, Mark Slater said:

Lopez Heradia Tondonia. Old style Rioja, light like Burgundy. 

 

On 1/22/2019 at 9:19 PM, Pool Boy said:

Can you recommend a rioja to try? I've always been....not interested in the ones I have tried in the past. I stopped trying.

The LH T is a little outside my personal price comfort level for trying something, but I feel really great about the Rioja I picked up today and am enjoying right now: C.V.N.E. Vina Real Crianza 2014 ($16). Brought in from car and uncorked right away. I like mine a little chilly, and to warm as I drink them. From @Pool Boy's wine-related posts I've read here and there, I gather he enjoys red wines at appropriate temps (slightly cooler than often served), so I think he'd have liked it how I poured it. Surprised me how smooth and easy to quaff. Started feeling it (admittedly on a somewhat empty stomach), and checked the abv (13.5%). Pleasantly surprised that it drank with much more finesse than I expected. Very much like a cool-climate PN, imho. $16 is an easy experiment price. Interested in what you think, if you try...and always interested in anything Mark Slater has to say.

Sorry for the hijack...🍷

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3 hours ago, cuisine soignee said:

The LH T is a little outside my personal price comfort level for trying something, but I feel really great about the Rioja I picked up today and am enjoying right now: C.V.N.E. Vina Real Crianza 2014 ($16). Brought in from car and uncorked right away. I like mine a little chilly, and to warm as I drink them. From @Pool Boy's wine-related posts I've read here and there, I gather he enjoys red wines at appropriate temps (slightly cooler than often served), so I think he'd have liked it how I poured it. Surprised me how smooth and easy to quaff. Started feeling it (admittedly on a somewhat empty stomach), and checked the abv (13.5%). Pleasantly surprised that it drank with much more finesse than I expected. Very much like a cool-climate PN, imho. $16 is an easy experiment price. Interested in what you think, if you try...and always interested in anything Mark Slater has to say.

Sorry for the hijack...🍷

How did I forget CUNE? Just for fun you should look for a New style of tempranillo.  Ribera del Duero. These wines are the polar opposite of classic Rioja. They have large body, spice and intense flavors. This Decanter article Is helpful . I'm partial to the Borhoquez https://www.decanter.com/wine-reviews-tastings/twelve-great-value-ribera-del-duero-288253/

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13 hours ago, cuisine soignee said:

The LH T is a little outside my personal price comfort level for trying something, but I feel really great about the Rioja I picked up today and am enjoying right now: C.V.N.E. Vina Real Crianza 2014 ($16). Brought in from car and uncorked right away. I like mine a little chilly, and to warm as I drink them. From @Pool Boy's wine-related posts I've read here and there, I gather he enjoys red wines at appropriate temps (slightly cooler than often served), so I think he'd have liked it how I poured it. Surprised me how smooth and easy to quaff. Started feeling it (admittedly on a somewhat empty stomach), and checked the abv (13.5%). Pleasantly surprised that it drank with much more finesse than I expected. Very much like a cool-climate PN, imho. $16 is an easy experiment price. Interested in what you think, if you try...and always interested in anything Mark Slater has to say.

Sorry for the hijack...🍷

No worries about the hijack - this is what's great about dr.com. And I never quite realize that people actually read these posts I make and notice stuff like my wine temperature preferences being a bit out of the norm. :) I'll keep an eye out for the CUNE.

13 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

How did I forget CUNE? Just for fun you should look for a New style of tempranillo.  Ribera del Duero. These wines are the polar opposite of classic Rioja. They have large body, spice and intense flavors. This Decanter article Is helpful . I'm partial to the Borhoquez https://www.decanter.com/wine-reviews-tastings/twelve-great-value-ribera-del-duero-288253/

Thanks as always for your reccommendations, @Mark Slater - :)

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On 1/23/2019 at 5:50 PM, Mark Slater said:

Thanks for the shout out, DaveO. I'm not at Corduroy anymore, but I will tell about my new gig at the proper time. 

GAH!   I can't believe I finally made a reservation at Corduroy only to learn you aren't there!  

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Now that Range is gone, is there anywhere that’s close in markup?  

Also, a friend is looking to drink a fancy bottle he’s been holding with me; wants to know somewhere nice we can do it with a low or no corkage fee.  Any ideas?

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10 hours ago, cjsadler said:

Now that Range is gone, is there anywhere that’s close in markup?  

Also, a friend is looking to drink a fancy bottle he’s been holding with me; wants to know somewhere nice we can do it with a low or no corkage fee.  Any ideas?

Corduroy

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11 hours ago, cjsadler said:

Now that Range is gone, is there anywhere that’s close in markup?  

Also, a friend is looking to drink a fancy bottle he’s been holding with me; wants to know somewhere nice we can do it with a low or no corkage fee.  Any ideas?

Ditto Corduroy in terms of wine mark-ups. Lots of excellent values.

Not sure how the food is currently, but if the fancy bottle is from the US, Charlie Palmer steak will not charge corkage.

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On 1/23/2019 at 7:33 AM, MarkS said:

Artadi, Muga and Roda are three producers I like and have in my cellar.  Consider tasting from Crienza, Riserva to Grand Riserva which denotes increased barrel and bottle aging though the standards are minimums.  Great importer is Grapes of Spain founded and run by Aurelio who was Somm at Tabernina a long time back.  

Riojas age well.  And because they are bottle aged at the producer, they typically drink well at all time. 

Aurelio was somm at Marcel's  in the beginnings. 

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