I've had the pleasure of being back in my home town of London for a few days this week and last night went to dinner with some friends to Goodmans Restaurant in the City. Goodmans is well regarded as a place for great steaks, great wine and a great atmosphere. I'd been to their Covent Garden venue before and knew what to expect. The food was very good and the wine list is extensive, but I was shocked to see the mark ups.
I pride myself on being able to pick a great value wine from any restaurant wine list, helped by my trusty Pocket Vintages guide, which I can casually refer to. It helped me choose a 2010 Ribera del Duero Reserva for only 50GBP. But I was more interested in the selection of wines from Washington State. You don't often see Washington wines on London restaurant wine lists so I was pleasantly surprised. What wasn't so pleasing were the prices. Take a look at the chart above.
The Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon is a $12 wine at retail - on the menu here for 45GBP. And the Canoe Ridge Merlot from Chateau Ste. Michelle costs under $15 at retail. That works out at a seven time mark up!
Do they think that Londoners won't know when they are paying over the odds because Washington Wines availability is a relatively recent phenomenon? Or maybe London is bouncing back from the great recession and city boys on expense accounts just don't care anymore!