When international investor Brian Hogan took a VIP client to a favorite Midtown restaurant last month, he hoped to impress him. His guest Chapple asked for a glass instead of a bottle, and the sommelier poured it with due respect.
But, when the usually mild customer looked at his glass, he was shocked by the small size of the serving. He called the manager and asked him to bring a measuring cup.
“He thought the flush was ridiculous and insulting,” Hogan said. “When he measured, it turned out that it was only 4 ounces.” The manager quickly handed more wine to the glass, along with a prolific apology.
Inflation hit the bottle. Across town, from pubs to fine dining restaurants, diners do a double take as they receive reduced quantities of wine at ever-increasing prices. A standard bottle of wine holds 25.4 ounces—which means a generous 6-ounce pour will yield four glasses, and a standard 5-ounce bottle will provide five ounces and a paltry six. Diners say they are receiving increasingly frivolous services, and industry insiders confirm their skepticism.
“I worked for Danny Meyer and we always served 6 ounces,” said one of the bartenders at a popular downtown new restaurant. “When I got here, I was quickly corrected and instructed to pour only 5 times.”
A somme in another Manhattan hot spot said that “during COVID, we were asked to make sure five cups were taken out of the bottle, instead of the four we used to get.”
A spokesperson for Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group confirmed that its restaurants are still pouring 6 ounces. At Isabelle’s Osteria and Barbounia in Flatiron, it also sticks to 6 ounces.
“All our wine costs have gone up…but we felt the customers would forgive you if you overcooked their meat a little, but they wouldn’t forgive you if you skimped,” said Vladimir Kolotyan, partner at both restaurants. “So we added $1 to some of the glass prices and left some as is, but we never really touched the volume.”
Miserly meals create awkward situations.
An Upper West Side entertainment attorney had some explanation for his ex-wife after she saw a bill from his dinner with their young children.
“She was annoyed by the number of glasses of wine consumed, but I explained to her that we were in fact drinking the same amount of alcohol that we usually drink; said the man, who requested anonymity for personal reasons.
Even those in the wine industry, while sympathetic to the rising costs of restaurants, are troubled by the trend.
“I am willing to pay for quality and feel low when I receive a small amount of drinks,” said Mark Fang, a 41-year-old wine blogger and certified sommelier who lives in Hell’s Kitchen. Recently dined at Marea’s and ordered an $18 glass of Grüner Veltliner that he estimated was just 4 ounces.
“Normally I only get one glass of wine,” he said, “but this time the pour was so small that it didn’t last after the appetizers.” “I like to enjoy wine with my entree, so I ordered a second glass… [in general] I know the cost of the bottles, and it hurts.”
(A spokesperson for Maria’s Altamaria Restaurant Group said: “The standard operating procedure for pouring a glass of wine into a Mare’s is 5 ounces. We acknowledge that there is sometimes a margin of error that needs to be taken into account.”)
Karen Harris, 59, who lives on the Upper East Side and is an account executive for a wine importer and distributor, said her entire portfolio has increased in price for the first time in four years. However, I was shocked to cut back on meals.
“I go to some places and think, ‘Are they serious?'” she said. “I was struck by how small the spill was. ”
Many restaurateurs insist that part of the problem is the trend toward larger and better stemware that dwarfs the appearance of wine.
Maximilian Riedel, CEO and president of glassware company Riedel, believes COVID isolation is also to blame.
“This is a perception issue,” he told The Post. “Over the past two years, we have everything [been] We help ourselves with what is there [our] cellars. Now that we’re back to eating with a personal presence, the measured flow for the server will probably look more conservative. ”
To ensure servers are up to their mark, Riedel glasses have a precise indication of the curve of the glass at what the company sees as the perfect pour: 5 ounces.
But some restaurateurs insist that 5 ounces is not enough for their demanding customers.
“I hear they’re in town bringing down meals and raising prices. Here, if you give people 5 ounces, they’ll yell at you!” said Zach Erdem, owner of hotspots at Southampton 75 Main and Blue Mar. “