Wine List Tips: Bin Ends with a Twist

At Quality Meats in New York City's Midtown West, there's a wine bin with a catch
Sommelier's Bin at Quality Meats in New York City
Can any takers report back on their dip into Quality Meats' sommelier bin?

Bin ends (one of the last bottles from a bin of wine sold at a reduced price) are common practice. The mystery approach? Not so much. If you haven't visited Quality Meats in New York's Midtown West, you might not be familiar with the pratice. The wine list ends with the following two-paragraph note:

SOMMELIER'S BIN

— $75 —

As we update our wine list and clean up our cellar, we always find "orphaned bottles" of odds and ends GREAT wine. Rather than keeping them all to ourselves we would rather pass on the value to you, our guest, by creating a "grab bag" called the "Sommelier's Bin."

Each wine (all red) from the Bin is $75, which reflects an up to fifty percent reduction from the wine's former list price. The catch? The wine will remain a "mystery" until presented, and cherry-picking from the Bin is not allowed. As an indication of the level of caliber of the Bin wines here are a few examples of the goodies we found recently: Freemark Abbey Bousche, Silver Oak, and Hess Collection.

You have to wonder if the $75 bar for entry doesn't make it a rare customer gamble (one that might seem even more intimidating given that Bosché is misspelled), but it's definitely an interesting approach. Noticed other similar or interesting wine list features? Let us know!

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