After flicking through the wine list at Cafe Gray on Friday night, I’ve come up with what I’m calling the Restaurant Pretentiousness Ratio, or RPR. The formula is simple:
W is what you might call the quarter-median wine price: take the red wines only (to make things a bit more manageable) and find the price of the wine such that 25% of the wines on the list are cheaper, and 75% of the wines on the list are more expensive.
E is simply the average price of a main course.
At the Mermaid Inn, in the East Village, the average entree is $21; its red wines range from $28 to $74, with the quarter-median wine costing $34. (Three wines are cheaper; nine wines are more expensive.) So the RPR is 1.6.
At Cafe Gray, the average entree is $37. The wine list on the website doesn’t have prices, but I can tell you that the red wines range from $60 to $5,100, and my gut feeling is that the quarter-median price is somewhere around $175. In which case the RPR would be 4.7.
If you point me to restaurant wine lists online,. It should be interesting to see where the typical restaurant lies.
Update: Thanks, Eater! Here’s some more datapoints:
Landmarc: Quarter-Median Wine Price: $42/ Average Entree Price $25 = 1.68 ratio
Balthazar: Quarter-Median Wine Price: $55/ Average Entree Price: $24 = 2.29 ratio
Frankies Spuntino: Quarter-Median Wine Price: $30/ Average Entree Price: $15 = 2.0 ratio
Fiamma: Quarter-Median Wine Price: $110/ Average Entree Price: $35 (estimate) = 3.14 ratio
Le Cirque: Quarter-Median Wine Price: $204 / Average Entree Price $49 = 4.16 ratio