Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Study finds pretty restaurants with bad service pour more local wines

Restaurants rated highly for decor are more likely to carry local wines, according to a surprising working paper for the American Association of Wine Economists. Conversely, wines rated highly for service carry fewer local wines.

The study authors*, from the school of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, looked at the wine lists of 1401 restaurants in New York State, comparing them to Zagat ratings.

(* Congrats to Joseph M. Perla, Bradley J. Rickard and Todd M. Schmit for coming up with the word "locapours.")

Here are the main observations:

* Restaurants rated more highly for decor on Zagat carried more local wines

* Having higher Zagat service ratings meant restaurants were less likely to carry local wines

* Those with cuisine categorized as "New American," natural or organic, carried more local wines

 * Those with cuisine categorized as Asian carried the fewest local wines, a shame when the local wines include some of America's best Rieslings. "European" restaurants also carried few local wines

The study is influenced by the New Yorkness of it. There are some finding about red wines vs. white wines that must be specific to that state.

But how about those general findings? Do they seem intuitive? I'd say the cuisine-related findings make sense: Italian restaurants in New York are going to serve Italian wines.

I can't get my mind around pretty restaurants with bad service, though. Anybody got any examples?

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Unknown said...

Blake, I don't follow you. Where, in the findings you summarized, does it say pretty restaurants are associated with bad service?

W. Blake Gray said...

It does not. But both pretty restaurants and restaurants with bad service are associated with having more local wines.

Francly Speaking said...

I suppose this means Napa Valley restaurants should avoid serving Napa Valley wines to gain better Zagat reviews?