Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

5 of 9
Wine at restaurants - 500% markup
Wine at restaurants - 500% markup
Ordering wine in a restaurant can cost six times as much as drinking the same bottle at home. At the Olive Garden in Manhattan's Times Square, a bottle of Sutter Home's White Zinfandel goes for $24 -- but it retails online for as little as $4 per bottle.

Restaurants mark up cheaper bottles by an average of three times the retail price, while the prices of higher end wines are typically doubled, says Ronn Wiegand, a master sommelier who runs the industry newsletter RestaurantWine.

For instance, a 1985 "La Grande Dame" Veuve Cliquot that goes for about $495 online is marked up 222% to $1,600 at the swank New York City restaurant Per Se. Olive Garden didn't return calls for comment, but for its part Per Se says: "The total cost of the wine and service is calculated up front...the beverage team sets the highest standards to be sure that the quality of the wine and experience exceeds our guests' expectations."

Think that's rough? Prices for wine sold by the glass are tripled or even quadrupled, Wiegand says, since restaurants have to account for the chance that they won't sell the whole bottle before it spoils.

At prices like that, guess we'll be skipping dessert.

NEXT: College textbooks - $900 a year!

Last updated February 02 2010: 11:12 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Playboy & Hugh Hefner in pictures Playboy and its founder Hugh Hefner have had a vibrant history, which we've captured in several iconic images. More
U.S. stocks: The punches keep coming On the eve of a slew of earnings this week, U.S. stocks and the economy can't seem to catch a break. More
Where Millennials are buying homes Here are the top 10 markets where Millennials represented large shares of mortgages, according to Realtor.com More

Special Offer