Don’t Order the House Wine!


Seriously. Don’t do it.


Well, unless, of course, it’s one you like. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Still, you may think you are saving by ordering the cheapest wine on the menu; but did you know that the cheapest wine is usually the most marked up?

Knowing that many people order the least expensive wine available, restaurants often make sure that their house wine is the cheapest they can get and sell it for the highest price possible. So it’s the worst value on the menu.

You are paying extra for the lowest quality.

If I’m going to spend calories on wine, I want it to be good stuff. I’m not talking about $100 bottles here. I’m talking about a decent value. As you may know, I’m all about quality over quantity!

House wines are generally ordered in bulk and come from those large 1.5 liter bottles or even a box. {To be honest, the stuff coming from the box is often better because you know it’ll be fresh!}

Of course, there are some exceptions.

For example, the house wine in a former Twin Cities restaurant was a blend that came directly from the Francis Ford Coppola winery. They got the wine by the barrel and tapped it. It was pretty decent for a house wine.

I know it’s tough to shell out money for wine in restaurants these days with such high prices. However, if you want a better bang for your buck, I’d like to offer you the following advice:

Choose the 2nd or 3rd least expensive wine on the menu.

It’s almost always a better value. Sometimes, the wine at this price point is such a good value that the owner or sommelier drinks it at home as their every day wine or offers it as their own “house wine” when company drops by.

Of course, if you really enjoy the house wine on a particular restaurant’s menu, by all means, order it. I won’t judge.

Just know that you’ll be getting the least quality wine on the menu for the most amount of money. The fact that it’s the restaurant’s least expensive wine is deceiving. For an extra dollar or two per glass, trying something else is worth the splurge.

How do you choose a wine on a menu when you are dining at a restaurant?

Do you have a “House Wine” you serve to guests at your own home?

If so, what is it?



6 responses »

  1. After working as a server for more than 10 years I can say this is totally true! I’ve also discovered that if they have wine specials, it’s usually that there’s too much of better wine at a good price (this could be where just where I used to work).

  2. Pingback: House Wine Revisited | Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: Yeah, We Got the House Wine | Season It Already!

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