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Which Wine With Coleslaw?

January 06, 1994|DAN BERGER | TIMES WINE WRITER

Usually, diners are not for winers.

For instance, at Roscoe's Diner on Highway 17 in Upstate New York, you get a place mat that has a phrase (from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin), "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine."

Alas, the only wine in the place is $3 a glass; it is dispensed from a bar hose, and when asked, the waitress said no one in the place knew what it was.

Then there's Philippe, which is anything but your typical greasy spoon. As an aperitif (!) you may have a glass of 1992 Kunde Chardonnay at $3.75. With your beef sandwich you may have a glass of 1987 Carmenet Cabernet Sauvignon for $4.25 or a bottle of Jordan Cabernet at $24.

The amazing thing about the wine board, on the wall above the serving line, is the creativity of the dozen selections, which include 1991 Mondavi Fume Blanc at $12.50 and 1989 Silver Oak Cabernet at $32. Each is a whole bottle! All 12 wines are available by the glass or bottle.

Bottle pricing here is just a few dollars above retail. Sure, you have to abide the indignity of Ord Street, the cheap stemware, the hard stools, and the din of the high-ceilinged gymnasium-like interior.

But with sandwiches this good, wine is a perfect accompaniment. Roscoe's could learn a thing or two.

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