How to Beat the Tax Day Blues

     Exactly one week has passed since Tax Day 2010.

     And if you’re like many Americans, you wrote a check to Uncle Sam that you really would have preferred not to write.

     But life goes on, and let’s face it, wine is an important part of life. So, the next time you eat out, don’t settle for iced tea; have a glass or share a bottle of wine.

     Here are two ways you can do just that without over-extending your newly implemented budget:

     1. Most restaurant wine lists feature a range of prices. There’s usually one very expensive selection, placed on the list mainly for those patrons who are trying to impress a date or a business client. There’s also usually one “value” selection, a low-priced bottling for those on a budget.

     Those “budget” wines can sometimes be a bit “iffy.” If storage space at the restaurant is limited, for instance, the most expensive bottles are going to get the prime locations – i.e., the darkest, coolest corners of the storage area. The inexpensive wines, on the other hand, sometimes can be found stacked in cardboard boxes next to the kitchen.

     What to do if you’re on a budget?

     Find the second-least expensive wine on the list, and order that bottle.

     It’s a little trick we’ve employed dozens of times in many different types of restaurants, and it always has worked out great.

     2. BYOB. More and more restaurants, local and state laws permitting, are allowing customers to bring in their own wine – sometimes for a fee, sometimes for free.

     Particularly in tough economic times, restaurants with liberal BYOB policies deserve our support. After all, many of them are struggling to survive, too.

     A fair “corkage fee” ranges from $5 to $10, depending on the restaurant, its menu, its price range and its location.

     Tomorrow: What’s that? You say you’re getting a refund? Cool! We’ll share two ways you can use your windfall for a memorable wine experience.

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes
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