champagne btg in a restaurant

do others find champagne btg pricing terribly offensive? i know the markups are likely similar to those of still wines, and that i’m likely paying roughly the price per glass that the restaurant pays per bottle, but the bubbles just pain me…and i really want to have a glass of champagne to start many meals. i have seen utterly ridiculous pricing on things like billecart and other roses and i’m just not dropping 35-40 on a glass of wine (well ok, maybe something coravined etc).
this can’t be just me, right?

super broad strokes, you need to recoup your COGS on one glass. that’s why a proper glass of wine can be $25+ for a grower bottle.

I often have them split a glass because of this. Works for my fiancee and I for “starting our meal” purposes. We also do the same with sauternes/desert wines.

not sure how the volume works out, but seems a pour in a flute is less than a good size wine glass

Do I wish it were cheaper? Yes. Do I let it get to me? Not really…

The typical cost for one bottle of a middle of the road, large champagne house’s NV Brut is $25 to $35 a bottle. If they are going to pour it by the glass, rest assured that they will have some waste as well (few people order real “Champagne” by the glass in restaurants), so $25 a glass is quite reasonable.

A good list should be able to offer a nice Cava or Domestic bubbly for $12 a glass -

You mean as distinguished from my outrage at restaurant wine prices more generally? I can’t say that I’ve noticed anything uniquely egregious about champagne BTG; they seem to be consistently egregious with restaurant prices generally. But then I rarely spend much time contemplating such things lest the prices induce nausea and detract from the meal.

Seriously, (all but a very, very few) restaurants have decidede they would very much rather I not buy their wine, and I don’t want to disappoint them so I don’t.

Unless the restaurant is screwing you, it shouldn’t be. Six ounce+ pour is a six ounce pour (give or take the extra ounce+). You can always request your bubbles in a white wine glass if you’re worried.

This is actually a very good way to think about it… I’m aligned with this completely… Restaurants clearly don’t want me to buy the wine since they obnoxiously markup the wine to laughable levels, so I don’t want to be out of line and do something clearly inappropriate such as ordering wine off their list.

I don’t have any data to back this up, but I think Champagne markups are on average a little higher than overall wine markups on a given wine list. Additionally, I think there is far less often that relatively good buy on a restaurant list in Champagne as compared to elsewhere - i.e. if you’re combing through a list looking for that good bottle that isn’t marked up as much relative to what it’s worth, it seems like the discoveries are rarely ever in the Champagne section.

But again, that’s just my sense and my experience, I can’t really back it up with anything.

Mostly what Neal said above. I’m not sure that Champagne is that much worse than other wines. I do think Dom Perignon, Veuve, Krug, the big or better known wines get marked up more than the rest of the list but it is all egregious. When I am out of state (since corkage is illegal in IN) I make every effort to patronize those restaurants that will let me bring in my own wine. Or, have a very reasonable wine list.

Or, as said above, domestic bubbles or Cava can be a good alternative. Grower Champagne can be a good alternative, too. I believe that, very generally speaking, that if a restaurant (or even wine store) has a strong grower Champagne program it is a very good sign that they have a good wine program. Again, generalizations but recently I have found that you can find better deals (notice I did not say great or even very good) on smaller houses.


Of course I wish it was cheaper. For me bubbles is really the only wine we buy by the glass. Even the most basic server knows not to bring it if it does not have bubbles. I just got tired of sending glasses back due to oxidation. Though we usually go out mid week but 3,4,5 day old bottles are not worth it to me.

I like this attitude. I also like those restaurants who actively want me to buy wine off their list (I’m looking at you Racines and Rebelle).

not apples to apples i suppose, but…

krug mv
jean georges $75 per glass
union sq cafe $69 per half bottle
gramercy tavern $165 per half bottle

I’ve also notice how more often than not the choices for Champagne are fewer and more stratified with the markups pushing higher and higher as you go up the quality/price categories. Even in Europe, I seldom see anything on the Champagne lists that excites me nearly as much as from the still white and red sections of the list. Always wondered why…sure there are lists that are exceptions but very few and I cannot think of any in the U.S. and usually on those types of exceptional lists, the great Champagne choices signal great choices among wines I’d rather order than Champagne and so I never end up ordering the Champagne.

$69 for a 1/2 of Krug MV is pretty damn good - probably a pretty good buy. I haven’t been to USC for a long time but recall the list being fairly reasonable back in the last 90s.

Merrill and I (and I’m sure many others) put quite a dent in Solbar’s 04 Dom Perignon inventory at $40 per glass. Still $450 per bottle though.

My wife and I often order Prosecco instead. There are some very, very good ones that have appeared on some of our favorite local restaurant BTG lists.

Or even a nice prosecco! :wink:

But, agree horribly expensive for a real nice true champagne. Lately we’ve been starting out with a 1/2 bottle of white before moving to red, especially during the summer.

Neal, they have to have outrageous price to keep customers from drinking their wine, which is generally far too young to be enjoyed properly or of such mediocre quality that it would detract from the food.