Philly Wine Week: Collin’s Picks – 10/20

Today kicks off Philly Mag’s Wine Week, and I’ll do my best to steer you towards the right choices and which wine mines will blow up in your face. I’ll offer a BYOB suggestion alongside the restaurants on the list, so you can make your own affordable ‘wine week’ without the suburbanites. Check back daily for updates. On to today’s selections:

Make It: Le Bec-Fin

Update: Le Bec has decided to NOT include WINE during WINE WEEK with their price, even though they published as such in the Philly Mag piece. They win the Bait and Switch of the week, which also gets them thumbs up for scummy behavior.  Your doorbell sucks, by the way.

New Make It: Parc

$40 (yes, with wine during wine week, novel concept!) for 3 courses and 3 wines and some of my favorite dishes in the city. If you haven’t eaten there yet, the bread alone is worth the trip. Trout Almondine, Beet Salad, and Profiteroles, yes awesome Profiteroles are my picks here. An insane value as Resto Week prices usually hover at $35, you’re getting 3 glasses of wine for $5 extra. I dig.

The featured juices are from Southern France, the new hotbed for collectors. Good thing here is that there’s still value pricing abound, and we get to enjoy it. My fave selection on the list is the Domaine Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Rose which might be a little light for this time of year, but always a great pair with food. The Languedoc offering from Saint-Eugenie is spicy with a decent backbone. Your starter wine will be a Muscadet, the dry sweetheart from the Loire.

Forget It: Barclay Prime, and now Le Bec-Fin

$90?! Go across the street to to The Bistro That Needs No Name and it’s only $40. I look at the wine list to justify the high price tag and find a bunch of Aussie swill that retails between $12 and $16 per bottle. How can Emperor Starr misprice this terribly, when he makes the effort at Parc? For the other loser, we’ve already established the sound business practices at Le Bec-Fin.

BYOB Pick: Mercato

The oft-forgotten, but once critical darling on 12th and Spruce still turns out awesome dish after awesome dish. Get the Short Rib Ragu Pasta and buy some good Aussie Shiraz. Chapel Hill single Vineyard, The Prophet, will do very nicely here. The PLCB code is 27512 and the bottle is a value at $19. That’s less than $3 a glass for a bottle that should be $40 retail.

  • michael franco

    Le Bec Fin is honoring the $65 wine week menu. They ARE going to
    Include wines.

  • e

    Keep in mind that the Barclay Prime menu includes their 20 oz ribeye, normally priced at $46, not to mention appetizer, salad, sides and wine flight. A dinner at Parc averages $50, whereas a dinner at Barclay averages $100 , so I don’t see how its overpriced.

  • CEF

    These picks are about good value and stretching your dollar to the max. And as for the average Parc dinner being $50? I’ve not left for that amount except during lunch.

    But here are some price comparisons. First I will give the PLCB price of the bottle and then the price the restaurant is charging per glass.

    Barclay Prime
    Wakefield Estate Shiraz – $19 per bottle in stores, $15 per glass at Barclay. (Plus they’re pairing this with a beet salad with candied pecans, preserved lemon and truffled vinaigrette? All you’ll taste for the rest of your meal is preserved fruits)
    Wakefield Estate Cab – $17 per bottle in stores, $15 per glass at Barclay.
    Wakefield ‘Promised Land’ Unoaked Chard – $12 per bottle in stores, $12 per glass at Barclay?!?!
    Flight of all three is $19

    Total price for meal plus drinks is $95

    Obviously they’re trying to get rid of this crap and unloading it on Wine Weekers thinking they’re getting a deal. But let’s continue, just to make sure I am being even here:

    Parc
    Domaine de la Quilla – $15 per bottle in stores, $8 per glass at Parc.
    Domaine Sainte-Eugenie, Corbieres – $17 per bottle in stores, $8 per glass at Parc.
    Rose Domaine De Fondreche O Sud – $11 per bottle in stores, $8 per glass at Parc.
    Flight of all three is $13

    Total price of meal plus drinks is $40

    and heck let’s even throw in today’s pick to make sure we’re being really even:

    Le Castagne
    Pio Cesare Barolo – $54 per bottle in stores, $15 per glass at Le Castagne…where did I see that $15 before? Oh yeah, the glass of Wakefield Cab at Barclay that retails for $17 per bottle in stores.

    Flight of all three wines is $20

    Total price of meal plus drinks is $65

    The Barclay may be charging an average price of $100 per diner on a regular night, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go there. Oh yeah, I am also guessing that the average price of dinner is WAY over $100 per person at Le Bec-Fin, and they’re only charging $65 per person with wines that are much higher quality than BP. The Sauternes alone (which comes from a neighbor of Chateau D’Yquem) from LBF is worth it.

    Wine Week should be about giving people a chance to enjoy themselves for a good price during this time of absurd economic strife. I just don’t think BP is doing right, but they are not alone. Davio’s is a much worse offender in this situation.


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