Wine List Best Practices: Not Your Average Joe’s Is Far Above Average

September 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Unless you are from Massachusetts, you may not have heard of this 17 unit-chain based in the Boston suburbs. I did not get a chance to visit Not Your Average Joe’s during my last visit to New England in June, but it will be on the top of my list next time. From a wine standpoint, this casual chain does nearly everything right. It offers a progressive wine list with a nice mix of the familiar brands and varieties seasoned with a few more esoteric products to keep the wine geeks happy. The wine list, as well as all of the other menus, is posted on the website with prices! (Do you hear that, steakhouse chains?) While just slightly larger than the average Casual American list, NYAJ packs 23 different varieties from 10 countries into a 40 item selection. Yet it still has a wide array of the crowd-pleasing varieties, although with 6 Chardonnays and 4 Pinot Grigio/Gris, there is probably room for another exotic white or two.   And the prices are astounding, so low that we first thought some of the bottle prices were misprints and actually half-bottles. Here are some examples Caymus Conundrum – $32, Duckhorn Merlot – $44, Moet & Chandon NV (White Star) – $38, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon – $50 ( As a point of reference, the average price for the Jordan is $93 in our Chain Restaurant Report, which only includes Casual and Upscale Casual chains). Not Your Average Joe’s also offers a build your own flight program: three 2 oz. servings of any BTG wine for $7.50.

One of the unique features this chain’s website is that you can send your comments directly to the CEO of the chain, Stephen Silverstein, not to some anonymous email address as is the case with most other chain sites. The stated goal of NYAJ is to provide a great restaurant with reasonable prices – they have succeeded, especially with their wine list.

Please note: the analysis of any restaurant appearing in the feature above is based on observations of one or more lists and may not be completely representative of a chain or restaurant group as whole. Also, no accounts appearing in this section are, or have been in  the past, clients of Winemetrics. Furthermore, no person involved with Winemetrics owns stock in, or is any way affiliated with, the parent companies of accounts appearing in this section.

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