Cheeky drop, with bouquet of rip-off. – TheAge Article.
In a time of increasing competition for the consumer dollar, rising labor and rental costs, it is only appropriate that we have an honest discussion of the cost of wine at restaurants.It is unreasonable for diners to expect wine to be sold on at retail prices, and I doubt many hold this stupid notion. If you do, then yes, you are a stupid boofhead. As a rule of thumb, I’d expect restaurants to mark up the cost of wine by 100%. But this only works for current and recent vintages. Older bottles have further costs associated with them, especially cellaring. Not only are you paying for provenance (and you should expect nothing less than a great conditioned wine), but you are paying for the cost of time.
However, in recent outings, I have noted that several restaurants are charging 3-5x the retail price. Perhaps diners who are unaware of retail prices could and would be fooled into selecting a bottle. However, I regard this as sheer exploitation of consumer ignorance, and this constitutes misinformation to the customer, which in other retail situations, I’d argue that a case could be brought against the retailer. On the other hand, is this simple a case of “let the customer beware?”