In Vino Veritas

We had dinner at Angelo’s 677 Prime on Friday. We are not high rollers, but thanks to couple of gift certificates to defray the expense, it ended up only costing us what we’d pay to go to a normal nice restaurant.

No, I would not describe 677 as normal. It’s grand in a way that comes very close to being over the top; in my Yelp review, I described it as the “Donald Trump of Albany restaurants.”

Certainly, it’s good, but it wouldn’t be my top Albany dining¬†recommendation, even to someone who wouldn’t think twice about ordering a $62 steak.

But let’s talk about the wine list.

Let’s be clear: I know little about wine, and if you present me with a wine list that has more than seven-hundred items on it, that’s going to be confusing. The 700+ figure is not an exaggeration.

My approach to wine is to never buy the cheapest bottle, buy the second cheapest one. It’s probably reasonable that a place as special as 677 isn’t going to sell crappy wine, right?

Now that I look back on our grand meal, I wish I’d done one thing differently: have them send over the sommelier and ask them, “What’s the best bottle of cheap wine on your list?”

Bring it to me please. With two jelly glasses.

3 thoughts on “In Vino Veritas

  1. Give Black & Blue another week or two to get settled-in, then try their steaks. Rochester location (Pittsford) is very good. Can’t speak for the wine, but the selections of bourbon work well.

    You can bring your jelly glasses. Everything tastes better in a Welch’s Grape Jelly / Flintstones glass.

  2. When in an expensive restaurant, and you want to get a bottle, DO use the sommelier. You can ask for the best “cheap” wine, if you have no ego. Or you can ask for something in a specific dollar range such as “What red do you recommend for around $40?” And let them narrow it down for you from there.

    They really do know their wines (or should anyway), and should be able to find something you’ll like in your price range. Don’t just pick something arbitrarily, let them help you.

    I learned this lesson dinning at Babbo in NYC. After struggling to pick something because most of the wines were way too expensive for us, the waiter sent over the sommelier. She was very helpful, and picked a delicious red for us in our price range.

    Better still, bring your own bottle. Even with the corkage fee, you’ll still spend less on a bottle than if you bought it from the restaurant.

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