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Wednesday, February 24,2010

Affordable wining while out dining

by Michael Brenton

Those of us who enjoy dining out know all too well that restaurant wine prices can stretch the budget. For the non-expense account crowd, that may mean ordering entry-level wine instead of that better bottle you want to sample. So how can we enjoy good juice without tapping into a home equity line of credit? Be a savvy consumer and seek out some of the excellent evening wine specials in local restaurants. One night per week, those better bottles are far more affordable.


Probably for the alliterative effect, Wednesday Wine Night is a popular theme for local restaurants offering some, if not all, their wines at more appealing prices. Beggar’s Banquet in East Lansing may have started the weekly tradition lcoally, but now Carrabba’s, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Red Cedar Grill and the River House Inn have joined in the hump day fun. On Thursdays you can stop by Ai Fusion or Mark’s Watershed for a great wine deal. Earlier in the week, hit up Harper’s, the Embassy Grill or The State Room for Tuesday wine specials. The Stillwater Grill offers half-off some wines Sunday through Thursday, and Harrison Roadhouse has a weekday, half-off happy hour from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Or, any night of the week, check out the State Room’s “Onesies and Twosies” list — orphaned bottles at clearance prices.

So choose your night, and enjoy a great wine. Sample that bodacious Bordeaux you’ve been eyeing, but never had the excuse (or money) to try. Here’s a rundown of places serving good wines for less throughout the week. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

Beggar’s Banquet: Half off all wine on Wednesdays. 218 Abbot Road, East Lansing. (517) 351-4540.


Carrabba’s: $10 off all bottles on Wednesdays. 6540 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing. (517) 323-8055.


Mitchell’s Fish Market: Half off select wines on Wednesdays. 2975 Preyde Road, East Lansing. (517) 482-3474.


Red Cedar Grill: $10 off all bottles on Wednesdays. 150 E. Grand River Ave., Williamston. (517) 655-3766.


River House Inn: Half off all wine on Wednesdays. 310 W. Grand River Ave., Williamston. (517) 655-4300.


Ai Fusion: Half off all wine on Thursdays. 2827 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing. (517) 853-3700.


Mark’s Watershed: Half off all wine on Thursdays. 5965 Marsh Road, Haslett. (517) 339-4877.


Harper’s: Half off all wine on Tuesdays. 131 Albert Ave., East Lansing. (517) 333-4040.


Embassy Grill: Half off second bottle on Tuesdays, 6131 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing. (517) 323-9960.


The State Room: Twenty-five percent off select wine with a $25 food purchase on Tuesdays, 55 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, 517-432-5049


Stillwater Grill: Half off select wines Sunday through Tuesday. 3544 Meridian Crossings, Okemos. (517) 349-1500.


Harrison Roadhouse: Half off all wine from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 720 Michigan Ave., East Lansing. (517) 337-0200. In vino veritas


Michael Brenton (Michael Brenton is president of the Greater Lansing Vintners Association. His column appears monthly.)

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