Sunday, August 12, 2007

House wine still sucks, but is now pretty

So remember how restaurants used to mix up the last dregs of wine bottles opened months ago, creating a nasty slush known as "house wine" which they would sell at a very slight discount to college students and other suckers?

Or maybe they would just pick some cheap-ass wine and designate it the "house wine" for the rest of the month?

Well forget all that! Contemporary house wine is totally different and new and chichi and awesome!

See now, instead of making house wine from actual wine that was actually corked, the restaurants are going straight to the wineries and asking for leftover grape juice that didn't even make it into bottles so they can mix it all together in giant containers and serve it in DEAD SEXY glass containers with etching on the side and everything!

As San Francisco magazine reports, the whole thing is very noble and responsible and restaurants would practically be burning down the planet and destroying the wine industry if they didn't sell cheap-ass wine:
In an attempt to reduce waste and lower wine prices, Salt House, under the guidance of co-owner Doug Washington, started partnering with local wineries to create custom blends of house wines served on tap. Imagine: no corks! More money for dessert!
Also doing this are Laiola and Two, aka Hawthorne Lane.

Most of the house wines are a blend of three types of grapes, like Salt House's "Athena Seniors Red '05," which is Cab, Zin and Syrah. Two offers some house wines of a single grape type, like Sangiovese, and there are some two-grape blends at the other places.

At Salt House, the house wines are priced around $10 per bottle lower than the cheapest wines, and are available by the half bottle and glass.

If I'm being a little harsh and catty here (hard to imagine!!), it's probably because I'm totally jealous of Marcia from Tablehopper for sniffing out the story and getting it into SF Mag.

In all seriousness, this is an interesting trend.

(No link, SF Mag story not online.)



schmoo said...

What's "shi shi"?

I typically stay away from house wines anyway (except once in a great while if I'm somewhere in Europe that has good wine in general), so when I read "shi shi" my immediate reaction was horror. In Hawaii, "shi shi" means pee... ;)

August 12, 2007 8:56 PM  
Ryan said...

Schmoo, ROFL, I did not know that! It looks like the word I was looking for is "chichi", as in posh. At least, that's how Webster spells it. I'll update the post.

You definitely don't want shi shi house wine ;->

August 12, 2007 9:04 PM  

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