10 US restaurants selling their wines to go

Manresa, Los Gatos, California

Jim Rollston, wine director at Manresa in Los Gatos, California, has opened up his entire wine list for to-go sales, marking the prices down to reflect their retail value. He started selling off some of the most prized wines in the restaurant’s cellar a few weeks ago in order to be able to pay staff salaries.

Over the last few weeks he has been selling “unicorn” wines like Keller G-Max Riesling Troken from the Rheinhessen, Comte Liger-Belair, Coche-Dury and DRC to Manresa regulars with a fine wine habit.

“Our pricing was way below the market price, intentionally, because I wanted people to see that and swoop in, which they did,” Rollston told Eater. Word quickly spread of the wines being offered and within the first week, the restaurant had raised over $40,000 from rare wine sales to wealthy collectors, with one collector splashing out $20,000 on wine.

“We’ll never be able to purchase a lot of those wines again because they’re so rare or so expensive in the open market. We had to balance the current need to generate revenue with the hope that we will reopen, and guard some nice wines for the future,” Rollston said.

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