The Wall Street Journal had a very thorough article on the intricate nature of restaurant wine pricing this past Friday, 8/15/08.  ("Cracking the Code Of Restaurant Wine Pricing")

I appreciate a good wine, but I have never felt terribly inclined to order the
most expensive wine on the list so the advice of ordering the more expensive
wines in order to get the best value (i.e., smallest markup) doesn't really
work for me.  That's not to say that the advice isn't sound, only that it
doesn't fit my tastes — or budget.

usual strategy is to either find a wine that I know and like, or experiment
with a wine from a region that has won me over with good but moderately priced

being said, it is very interesting to read about the pricing strategies and
some of the reasoning behind the seemingly arbitrary pricing structures of wine

any of the information from the article rings particularly true, or you have additional advice
to share – please do!

article was found through a series of posts on other blogs: “Restaurant Wine Pricing” by pjpink at River City Food and Wine pointed to “Figuring Out
Restaurant Wine Pricing
” by vcuspoon at Anything Wine, who pointed to the
original article.  Visit these posts to find their perspectives on the article, as well as other comments from their readers.  Thanks to both for highlighting the WSJ article!)