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Starts Tomorrow: Boston Wine Week 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Loosely modeled after the Restaurant Week concept, Boston Wine Week kicks off tomorrow.  It  promises to allow guests to enjoy higher end wines with their meals at a reasonable fixed price across area restaurants:

September 20th - 26th, 2010: 

The first annual Boston Wine Week kicks off a week-long celebration of handcrafted wines by winemakers and growers from around the world, served by the glass or bottle at some of Boston’s top restaurants. Proving that great wine doesn’t have to be a great expense, all wines (some of which retail up to $90/bottle) will be offered at $9/glass and $32/bottle.  Participating restaurants will offer a minimum of six wines, available at a substantial discount.

Here's a list of the participating restaurants.

Complaining about high restaurant wine prices is a bit like griping about high taxes -- it doesn't really improve the situation.  But efforts like this show a thoughtful attempt to soften the blow at least for a week so I appreciate the efforts of the organizers and participating restaurants.

How compelling is the offer?  It depends on the wines being offered and whether you want to eat at the participating restaurants in the first place.  Looking through the list of restaurants, I think you'll see some interesting options.  But at around 20 restaurants participating this year it's far from the levels seen for Restaurant Week.  And that's fine.  I understand it's the first year and you have to start somewhere.  It just doesn't automatically make it a good time to try your favorite restaurant because your favorite restaurant might not be participating.

Some of the restaurants don't have lists of wines they're offering on the site yet and that's a bit of a disappointment.  When I was trying to get my arms around whether this was truly going to be a deal I wanted to see the wines being offered across all the restaurants at a glance.

Of the wines listed, let's take the 2006 Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon being offered at Bin 26 Enoteca as an example.  $45 retail price and they normally sell it for $85.  Offer it for $32 as part of this offer -- yeah, that's a good deal if you like that wine.  Others, like wines normally selling for $40 in the restaurant and being offered for $32, aren't as compelling.

Guidance and Outlook:  Seek out the pioneering restaurants that are embracing the event enthusiastically and offer some special events as part of this promotion. I'll look forward to the list of participating restaurants increasing next year and seeing some healthy competition to see who will offer the best deals as part of this event. 

What do you think?  Are you going to take advantage of Boston Wine Week this year?

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