I certainly enjoy wine, and wine usually accompanies my dinner whether at home or in a restaurant. With an Italian dinner, I find it almost physically impossible to eat it without wine. So, it especially irks me when wine prices at restaurants are very expensive.
Though inflation is well in check and more well-made wine is available at reasonable prices than ever before, the prices on some wine lists are rising at an alarming rate. The long-popular Italian-American trio of Vincent’s and siblings Nino’s and Grappino are prime offenders. Their wine prices are ridiculously high.
Dining at Vincent’s the other night the cheapest bottle of red wine I found was $39. I decided up the Monte Antico, a widely available Sangiovese-Merlot-Cabernet blend from Tuscany that I have enjoyed a number of times. It was $43. This wine sells for $9.99 at Spec’s; it is just $8.99 at Costco, I believe. A markup over 400% over retail is ridiculous; it is probably 500% or more over the restaurant’s cost at wholesale. Vincent’s also serves the first-rate Col d’Orcia Rosso di Montalcino for around $65 a bottle – maybe it is $75. At Spec’s it is $19.49. Extremely high markups seem to abound throughout their list. Also, the fact that there are no reds under $39 is also obnoxious. The cheapest white is around that price, maybe a few dollars less.
The wine list at Vincent’s is not terribly interesting. It is not bad. With the number of high-quality and easily affordable wines available here from Italy, it is almost impossible to put together a bad Italian-themed list. I can be happy with a number of wines on Vincent’s list. It is just the overly high prices that annoy me.
But, the expansive parking lot is usually full in the evening, a sign that the largely older clientele does not care about, or even notice, the absurd wine markups. But, for me, it is a big reason why my car will be finding a space much less frequently.
2701 W. Dallas (between Montrose and Waugh), 77019, (713) 528-4313