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Fine wine served by the ounce in Manhattan

Alain Ducasse’s Benoit in Midtown Manhattan is now offering one-ounce pours of fine wine.

“I got the idea when I started the wine bar for David Bouley a few years back,“ says wine director Andre Compeyre, who spent the past summer updating Benoit’s wine program to include the “Secrets de Cave”, a section dedicated to fine wine from Ducasse’s cellar.

Compeyre opened Alain Ducasse in Manhattan in 2000, and knows the cellar well. Among the treasures on the wine list, available by both bottle and poured by ounce, are a 1998 Corton Renardes from Leroy at US$520 and a 1995 Volnay Santenots Comte de Lafon priced at $310.

Guests with more shallow pockets can enjoy an ounce of 1997 Pétrus at $48.

Though one may question the wisdom of selling wine priced similar to that of gold in a down economy, Compeyre says the program is successful.

“Many guests just want a glass of wine, yet want higher end choices than are on the by-the-glass list, and may choose a three or five ounce pour,” he explains.

“Others may want to try a high-end wine, yet do not want to invest in purchasing an entire bottle so just order an ounce.”

A fluid ounce is about 28 ml in the imperial system or about 30 ml in the US system.

Marisa D’Vari, reporting from New York City

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