Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Whiney Rant

I have always enjoyed eating at Can Can. It's truly a touch of France nestled in the heart of Carytown. The food is exquisite. That zinc bar is amazing. Heck, I even like the ladies room and the hallway leading to it. Currently, there are oil paintings on display perfectly capturing the atmosphere.

Sadly, my husband and I have decided that if we dine at Can Can, it will only be for lunch and will imbibe at most a carafe of wine. The reason for this? The wine prices are just too damn high. The French cuisine begs for wine, and, as all of you know, we enjoy wine with our meal (and then some). I don't mind splurging for a nice bottle, but when I pay the high price, I generally believe I am getting decent value. Maybe the wine is hard to find or the restaurant overhead is low for the upper end selection. This is not the case at Can Can.

A carafe is $32 and more than likely the liquid is coming from a box. None of the roses in the current listing are under $40. In comparison, only one rose at Secco is over $38. To be fair, Can Can offers wines that may not be readily available locally. However, of the ones I recognize, the prices are exorbitant. Case in point: Can Can lists Charles Schleret Reisling from Alsace. This is a lovely dry Reisling, lots of body and flavor. I first discovered this beauty at River City Cellars. The average retail price is $24. Can Can charges $72. This is a $48 difference! If Can Can participated in the newly legislated Bring Your Own Wine program and charged a $40 corkage fee (which would be outrageously high), I would still be better off bringing my own bottle. If this is happening with wines that I know, what is happening with the unknown wines?

Obviously, high wine prices are not a concern for the majority of Richmond diners. Can Can remains as busy and as popular as ever. Good for them. Personally, it's difficult to justify the markup, thus, we have regulated ourselves to the occasional lunch.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's cheap....the Duboef beaufolais at 51 is cloes to 4x retail.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Agreed.

veron said...

I've stopped going to cancan because there're more interesting places around. We never liked their wine selections but maybe because we don't like French wine, but I agree their prices are steep. Can you bring your own bottle now? do you know what their corkage fee is?

Sarah D said...

Perhaps they don't do this anymore but at one time they had a half off a whole bottle night. Just call and ask. Even if its only one night a month that would be the perfect night to go!

Anonymous said...

You must be $hitting me. Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais at $51 a bottle? That's closer to 5 X retail. Now I'm just too mad to want to go there again.

pjpink said...

Sarah D - I might have to check it out, but even at 1/2 price, it still may be inflated.

Veron - I don't know what Can Can's policy is. The program is voluntary and there is no maximum established on the corkage fee.

boscodagama said...

I've always thought Can Can is too high-falutin'. Bistro du Coin near DuPont Circle in DC may be a trifle shabby, but it doesn't delusions of grandeur.

richmondwineculture said...

Can Can has a very good to excellent wine list. Their markup is extraordinary for sure. The Charles Schleret Riesling is significantly higher than River City's RETAIL price, think about what Can Can is paying for wholesale cost. I wish they would come down some in their pricing, but they are always packed. I guess most patrons do not know that they are getting hosed a bit. Note, the Dubouef for $51 is their "Fleurie". Dubouef still sucks though. Veron, France grows the best wine in the world. It's a fact.

richmondwineculture said...

Can Can has a very good to excellent wine list. Their markup is extraordinary for sure. The Charles Schleret Riesling is significantly higher than River City's RETAIL price, think about what Can Can is paying for wholesale cost. I wish they would come down some in their pricing, but they are always packed. I guess most patrons do not know that they are getting hosed a bit. Note, the Dubouef for $51 is their "Fleurie". Dubouef still sucks though. Veron, France grows the best wine in the world. It's a fact.

Kendra said...

I totally agree with you. We stopped going for the same reason. I remember when they first opened and a carafe of house wine was $19. They've upped that price considerably. I'd rather go to Stella's and drink a carafe of Greek table wine for $15.