Previously in this column I’ve discussed wine to choose for a special business occasion – the closing dinner, celebrating with a top salesperson, cultivating a top prospect. In such a setting the cost of the bottle is a secondary concern.
What about when the cost is an important factor? While the metro DC area has fared much better than other parts of the country in the past few years, the regional economy is certainly not back to what it was prior the the economic crisis of 2008-2009. Plus, the federal government is pulling back on deficit spending, reducing some of the economic fuel many local companies rely upon.
Half price wine nights can be the perfect solution for the business class oenophile. They can get you in under that daily meal per diem, and/or avoid red flags when your expense account is approved. You can also give a new producer or different grape varietal a try with less risk at half price, and enjoy a nicer wine that you would normally. The Washington DC area offers a good variety of early in the week options.
Sundays, Mondays and occasionally Tuesdays are the most typical days for half price specials. Some have minimums, for example $50 bottles and over. Here’s a handy list of restaurants offering wine specials from Washingtonian magazine.
Of course not every half price wine special is created equal. These offers deliver more value and enjoyment at restaurants that prioritize wine and have interesting selections. For example, Cafe Deluxe offers half price wine on Monday nights, but most of the names on their list are familiar from the shelves at Giant and Safeway. So the half price is welcome, but the overall experience may still be lacking.
Things are more promising at Overwood restaurant in Alexandria, which is not on the Washingtonian list and offers half price bottles on Tuesdays. The selection is more varied and most of the bottles are affordable to begin with, making them steals at half price. A couple of my favorites are the Steltzner Claret and the Kunin Pape Star Rhone blend.
A quick review of online reviews indicates good word of mouth about the following half price wine nights:
- Veritas Wine Bar
- Cava Mezze DC
- Bobby Van’s Grill – surprisingly they offer discounts Friday and Saturday nights
Check out one of these half price wine specials the next time you’re out for dinner early in the week. They are the proverbial win-win proposition. Restaurants get more business on typically slower nights. You get a significant break on the cost of a bottle of wine, improving your overall dining experience. And you can do it without taking your eye off the bottom line.
Read Chris Parente’s previous column on WashingtonExec about California wine country here.
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Christopher Parente is managing director and partner of Strategic Communications Group, a social media and public relations consultancy based in Silver Spring, Maryland and Tysons Corner, Virginia. He also publishes Work, Wine and Wheels, a global top 500K web site as measured by Alexa, an online measurement company. You can follow Chris on LinkedIn or Twitter.