Kelly the Culinarian: Food news: Gadgets to splurge on and proof Americans are cheap

Friday, August 17, 2007

Food news: Gadgets to splurge on and proof Americans are cheap

Two more fun food news articles came out in the past 24 hours. The first is that U.S. restaurants are most likely to feature California wines that are less then $39 per bottle. This study conducted by Winemetrics LLC and the article doesn't comment on the voracity of the claims. This is an interesting finding because we know that Americans are drinking more and more wine, with Slate claiming that this is because wine has a better reputation. In 2005, U.S. consumers spent $24.3 billion on wine, $11.8 billion of that in restaurants and bars.

Apparently, the largest amount of wine consumed in eateries cost between $25 to $39 per bottle, which means they would retail for $13 to $19 per bottle. This isn't all that surprising because when I was researching a segment for Chicago Unzipped, retailers and sommeliers alike agreed in interviews that I conducted that it's not necessary to sink $300 into every bottle you own. One trained sommelier that I interviewed at Dolce Restaurant in Lincolnshire, Ill., for a food feature for The Lake County News-Sun told me that his favorite bottle of wine was a cabernet that cost $18. If it's good enough for his highly trained palate, it's certainly a stable start for the rest of us.

Another interesting story that I saw was this one about what items in your kitchen are worth splurging on. For me, there weren't a ton of surprises. After reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential (you can read my review here), I knew that knives and cookware is worth the cash. After meeting with Jennifer English at her Flavorbank spice shop, I knew the importance of a quality pepper mill, as well as a salt grinder, which this article didn't mention. But what did surprise me is that this article wants you to spend $30,000 on cabinets. I rent, I don't think so. They also say you should scrimp on your fridge. It's too bad, I really like those double-panel models with the freezer drawer. Oh well.


ZoeyBella said...

I'm a huge fan of red and blush wines. Naturally, Italian reds top my list, and of course, Californian blushes are up there too.

And even though I tried to prevent it from happening, I have begun collecting pepper mills. A good pepper mill is a smart investment. :)

Barbara said...

I think a good salt mill is important. Mine is from Dehillerin in Paris and it's broken. I need a trip to Paris to replace it;)

A Mature Student said...

If you ask me I think £39 per bottle of Californian wine is expensive.

Sometimes expensive doesn't mean best.

I have about 3 salt grinders.....hehehe.....mad, I know.

Cynthia said...

Wines cost a fortune in these parts.

Cate said...

Scrimp on the fridge? I'm surprised. I agree that a good pepper mill is a worthwhile investment, but on the other hand, all things within reason too.

tigerfish said...

I just saw so many wines for less than $10 in Trader Joes today. I wonder if they are good wines.

Nora B. said...

Interesting stuff. I can't remember the stats for wine consumption in Australia, but iI remeber that it was increasing. These days, we can get very good quality Australian wine (some even for cellaring) under AU$20 because of the recent wine glut.

I wasn't drinking much wine (*gasp!!*) when I was in the US. Just wondering if the restaurants there allow BYO ("Bring You Own", usually wine)? It's a very Aussie concept. Even the nicer restaurants allow it if you ask nicely.