Originally Posted by Cary Grant
400% discourages all but the know-nothings and ballers to try interesting wines. Especially when the 400% is above the retail price.
Agreed- I've witnessed even worse, but many good purveyors are keeping their mark-ups considerably lower allowing more persons to drink better wine.
400% from retail would be insane. I don't think I've seen that many places. 400 from wholesale is still heavy, but I don't have a problem with it really. Although for me it's all theoretical, since I can't afford to buy wine at restaurants whether it's a 50% markup or a 400% markup. But keep in mind that most places which have that high of a markup are paying one or two (or more) people fulltime salaries to do nothing but maintain the wine program. That takes a lot of money in and of itself, and is a good thing. I'd rather spend more on a wine at a place where I know that there was a professional sommelier choosing the wines and crafting a wine list that went with the food. That is a better option than your typical mid-range joint where the chef or the FOH manager are doing the wine list, and you have no idea what you're really in for. If the Chef/FOHM are both knowledgeable in wine, then that's a plus, but from what I've seen in my constant menu/wine list research is that it is more often than not worth the extra price that comes along with having a full wine program and professionals on staff.
But by all means, if you know somewhere that has good food, a great wine list, and consistently offers prices only 100-200% above wholesale, go there as often as you can. And send me a pm so I can too.