$ostevinobile?

In strategizing the anticipated launch of Sostevinobile, Your West Coast Oenophile has striven to attend to even the most excruciatingly fine detail of our operations. Some may find this assiduousness fanatical, but it would be folly to have labored so assiduously for almost nine years, only to be undone by trivial oversight.

Amid the current economic boon, other ventures may chose to flout the ongoing need for diligent adherence to critical matters like sustainability; the cavalier generation of waste from the wanton packaging of home meal delivery services and other modern conveniences—demonstrating that being organic can nonetheless still be unsustainable—never ceases to astound me. Similarly, I find myself galled by the way some establishments will gouge their clientele. Sure, it costs an insane amount of money to live here in San Francisco. A recent study calculated that a person need earn $110,357 to live comfortably here, so it follows that prices for everything must ultimately be as exhorbitant. A restaurateur, who may be paying $6/sq.ft. in rent, needs to charge $25 for his basic entrées just to stay afloat.

And so, with the affluence of the Dotcom 2.0 era, we’ve become inured to the $4.50 slice of toast, the $10 shot, and the $12 cocktail. Still, one establishment recently charged me $2 extra for a splash of ginger ale in my bourbon. Another had the gall to add $4 to the price of their premium vodka for the whisper of vermouth that made it a martini.

$4 for roughly ¼ oz. of Dolin Dry? Let’s do the math. A 750-ml bottle, which equates to 25.36 oz, costs around $15 in a store. Which means the wholesale price is $10. Considering the bar is squeezing out more than 100 pours, that equates to 10¢ worth of vermouth. In other words, a 3900% markup!

I am well aware that the most wine bars command enormous markups as well—to the extent that it almost makes more sense to stay at home and enjoy an entire bottle for the price of a single. This certainly holds true in place where the wine selection could just as easily be plucked from the shelves of BevMo as curated by their would-be sommelier. But Sostevinobile is intent on offering our clientele not simply the broadest selection of wines but comparable value in what we serve. My program is predicated on the individual relationships I have cultivated among the 4,300+ labels I have so far vetted. These relationships are intended to enable me to showcase the best wines from the West Coast at a fair price for both the wineries and our clientele.

The pricing structure for Sostevinobile may well turn out to be less than what other would deem economically sustainable in this market. If so, I will likely be compelled to veer from my weill-honed business plan. Perish the thought! I might be forced to ramp up marketing efforts and drive in more business!

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