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Winecast 68: Clara Klein and restaurant wine after the pandemic

Clara Klein
Clara Klein, Sunday Vinyl: We have challenges, but we’re dealing with them.

Clara Klein: “The restaurant wine business is good.”

Know all that bad news we’ve heard about restaurant wine prices? Clara Klein, the lead sommelier at Sunday Vinyl in Denver, says it’s not necessarily so.

Klein, the blog’s official restaurant wine expert, returned to discuss what she is seeing as the restaurant wine business works its way out of the pandemic. She is seeing some significant changes in restaurant wine, including better pricing and more choices. “It’s important not to dumb it down — we’re having too much fun,” says Klein.

Among the subjects we discussed:

• Rose season should proceed on schedule, with prices more or less the same and decent selection. Which, of course, is good news for the blog’s 15h annual rose extravaganza next week.

• She is working diligently to keep pricing fair and selection high. How about a quality bottle of restaurant wine for $35? Sunday Vinyl also has expanded its wine by the glass offerings and has added tasting flights for some of the most expensive bottles on its list. That way, says Klein, customers can get a chance to taste rare wines they would not otherwise be able to afford.

• Working conditions have improved as well — health insurance and 401K plans included. In this, she says, the restaurant has been able to attract more and better qualified employees.

Finally, you’ll notice what is perhaps the first discussion of Greek wine on the blog. Which, as I note, is almost surely the last discussion, given how difficult it is to find Greek wine in most of the country.

Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 19 minutes long and takes up 13 megabytes. The sound quality is very good to excellent.

Photo courtesy of 5280, using a Creative Commons license