Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wine Prices in the Stratosphere

The duck schnitzel at Emeril's last night in New Orleans was fantastic -- pounded thin and just the right amount of breading. Just about everything at the restaurant in the city's warehouse district was superb Monday night.

Having said that, this restaurant (and many others) deserves to be taken to task for at least one thing.

Soon after sitting down, I scanned the wine list, and I noticed that of roughly 125 bottles of red wine listed, roughly 100 of them were priced at or above $150. Don't get me wrong. There were some extraordinary bottles on there. A 2001 of Penfold's highly celebrated Grange, for example, as well as some great bottles of Brunello di Montalcino.

I could understand why a number of them were priced well over $100, but there's something wrong when 80% of the reds on a wine list (even one at a top-flight restaurant) are priced at or above $150.

C'mon, Emeril's. Quit adding a luxury tax to your wine prices. It's ridiculous, and it's part of the reason why diners get so intimidated around wine. Not all of us have country club memberships and a Porsche in the garage.

Oh, in case you're wondering, I ordered the $55 bottle of Gigondas, and it was excellent.

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