A new wine bar opened in my neighborhood (not Manhattan). It was lovely -- architecture, food, service, everything but the wine. We ordered several of the $6 and $7 glasses and to our surprise, they were uniformly awful. They just tasted like thin, harsh, bad cheap wine. The owner basically said he knew they weren't very good but that he couldn't afford to offer good wine for that price (and he wanted to have something inexpensive on the menu). We tried a $9 glass and it was better but just ok.
Fast forward to last night, when I went to Morrell's in rockefeller center. we ordered the cheapest glasses on the menu ($8) and they were utterly delicious. And that's got to be one of the most expensive locations in the city. I don't get it.
I want to like the little local joint in my neighborhood, and I'm also genuinely curious about how this stuff works. maybe an established place like morrell is able to order lots of great wine at a good price, or can count on volume or something. it's hard to believe that anyone would open a wine bar and get everything right but the wine, so i'm thinking maybe it's a lot tougher than it seems to pull off great wine by the glass at a decent price in this town. any thoughts from people in the business?