Lest you think that I like all the wines which I taste, let me assure you that I have tasted some downright awful wine over the past few years and a few (for one reason or another) still find their way onto the winelist.
In an earlier postining I'd noted that there is alot of crap on the average winelist. A classic example would be that of a down year for a usually superior wine. For instance, the 2002 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards, Perrin & Fils. This year was awful: bitter, fruitless, herbal with no depth whatsoever (a blessing acutally). This Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 9 times out of 10 a superb wine reflecting all that is great about this winegrowing region. But like a lot of other restaurants we purchased several cases in advance of bottling and advance of reviewing and were stuck with a dog. Of course we put it on the wine list, but we did discount its price somewhat. So even restaurants such as "213" will carry a less than great wine for one reason or another.
A second reason you'll end up with a sub-par wine is profitability. Take for
instance a bottle of Estrella Chardonnay 2006. This less-than-stellar wine will cost a restaurant about $3.50 to buy and sell four pours at $6 to $8 per pour. The first pour pays for the bottle and the remaining pours all contribute to the nightly gross. At "213" Estrella was the low priced leader and we sold it only by the glass for those individuals who wanted wine but would not pay the $30 or more per bottle to buy a carefully selected wine which, in most cases, was a vastly superior wine.
My impressions: Pale yellow color. Some fruit but more earthiness than I have come to expect from my white wines. A little apple. Crisp, perhaps too crisp. Refreshing. A great value, but a chardonnay engineered more for sipping in the shade than pairing with food.
Oh. An another downside of Estrella: it is widely available and the customers know how much a bottle costs at their local grocery store.