Recently I've noticed across-the-board obscene mark-ups on bottles of wine.
For example, last week I enjoyed a simple California zinfandel at a local restaurant that was $45. When I went to get a bottle at my local retail wine shop, it was $13.99.
Then I had an Argentinian malbec with my dinner later in the week, and the bottle was $55. At the store? $14.99.
I don't mind restaurants marking up wine even twice as much as a retail location - I understand the cost of storing, presenting, serving the wine, etc., and I also understand that many restaurants cannot buy in the bulk that some larger retailers can.
However, I feel that this is highway robbery. Frankly, I'm a little pissed that I paid $55 for a bottle of wine (add in the tip, and it's more like $65 or so) that I could buy at a store for $15. Remember, the store is making some profit selling the wine for $15.
What do you think is a fair mark-up on wine at a restaurant, and how can a patron combat "highway robbery" on the wine?