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BEST RESTAURANT TREND Minneapolis 2004 - Falling Wine prices

Wine prices have been falling. Constantly. Everywhere. And not just on the half-price bottle nights, which, of course, are lovely. No, prices are falling at almost every restaurant, in every price level and service level of dining. At W.A. Frost there's now an elaborate under-$30 list. At Chet's Taverna they relaunched their wine program, just about halving pricing on everything. This year's hot spot Solera splashed out with so many low $20-something bottles that they just about single-handedly remade the downtown dining price-point. Jumping Jehoshaphat! This month at Three Muses they're even trying a $1 bottle program: You can choose between their white or red offering for a single dollar when you order two entrées. Can you believe it? Five or six years ago the number of restaurants with fair wine pricing in Minnesota could be counted on one hand, but now saner thinking illuminates nearly every corner. You mean we'll make more money on three tables each drinking a $20 bottle of wine than we will on one table drinking a $60 bottle? Eureka! So take a bow, all you increasingly savvy wine drinkers, it's your advocacy that has remade the Twin Cities restaurant-wine scene, and you should all have fatter bank accounts to thank for your efforts.

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