Affordable Wine at a Restaurant

When I go to a restaurant and want wine, I pretty much expect to get ripped off. Really. I often go in and see crappy bottles of wines on lists that I KNOW sell for $6-10 going for $30-$50. So I’m always pleased when I see something on a wine list for a price that isn’t out of this world high. We went to dinner at Bilbo Baggins Green Dragon Pub in Alexandria, VA the other night and I saw a table card announcing a partnership with the Wine House in Fairfax to bring 2 wines from Lil Rippa at a reasonable price to the restaurant–the Sauvignon Blanc for $15 a bottle and the Pinot Noir for $18. We chose the 2008 Lil Rippa Sauvignon Blanc which had a screw cap closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

The bottle tells me it comes from Marlborough, New Zealand and is produced by Shoestring Wines.  Apparently Lil Rippa is a joint effort of two families to produce affordable wines. I see from a little research that one of the families is the Pearces, who own the Wine House. I don’t know what the wine retails for outside of restaurants, but it was certainly excellent for a $15 wine off  restaurant list!

On the nose I got lime, grapefruit, citrus, grass, and lemon. It smelled tart. In the mouth I got grapefruit, citrus, hay, grass, lemon, and green apple. While I found it tart, it wasn’t nearly as sharp and acidic as some Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, which I know some folks complain about!




3 Responses

  1. I’m with you on wine lists! I find myself either not ordering wine or paying a corkage most of the time. Luckily, we have quite a few restaurants in the area that have wine specials – usually 1/2 off – but they usually happen during the week. That makes sense, it’s just not convenient.

  2. In Australia, The Ripper is slang for something that kicks ass! 🙂 Is that why they named this one Lil Rippa?


  3. Wine at a restaurant, next to a delicious meal, can make it even more tasteful. Made of carefully chosen grapes, wine is one of the most used and liked drinks in the world.

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