Half-price: restaurants making friends with wine drinkers

Still thinking about how restaurants show their love for wine and, therefore, wine consumers . . . .

Wine lists are an obvious expression of how much an establishment cares about wine and those who will buy it from them. Some restaurants go the extra mile by hosting dinners with winemakers and other wine-themed events.

36 - half-price wines

But nothing says I want your business more than a great deal. I happened on one recently, at the Houlihan’s at Castleton in Indianapolis. It happened to be a Tuesday, which means all bottles on their wine list, all day, are half price—which makes most of them a few dollars over retail. And if you can’t finish the bottle then and there, they’ll recork and seal it up, so you can cart it home without violating open-bottle laws while driving.

Granted, you don’t go to Houlihan’s for its stellar wine selection; but the list in Indianapolis featured were solid stand-bys in all categories. My $16 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay was perfect for an Indian Summer evening, sitting on the patio as the sun descended in the west.

Note: Half-price Tuesdays is not a chain-wide policy; the Houlihan’s nearest me in New Jersey has no such bargains.

Yet there is a tantalizing possibility across the Hudson, at the newish Domain NYC restaurant on the upper Broadway. I happened to hear that the restaurant, which touts its organic and sustainably farmed meats, fish and produce, sells its wines for half price on Mondays and Tuesdays.

It’s a decent, international list, with the most diverse selections among the reds. The idea of paying $17 for a 2008 Domaine Devignes Chablis, $34 for a 2008 Tinto Pesquera Ribera del Duero, $87.50 for a 2006 Silver Oak Napa cab: well, I’ll be there soon.


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