Creating Dodie’s Wine List: Quality Without Breaking the Bank

Last year I took a deep look at the the wine lists of the 6 restaurants which served wine in Coppell. It wasn’t too surprising that, for the most part, when graphed on price vs. quality, the restaurant lists fell into a straight line: the higher the average bottle price, the higher the average quality score. (View the chart in the post here).  A year later, two of the six restaurants no longer exist, and a new entrant, Dodie’s Grill, has joined the four that remain.

I recently went back to the four remaining restaurants and re-ran the numbers to reflect their updated lists since the original post.  With this data as a backdrop, I have been working with Dodie’s to put together a local wine list that creates an outlier on the graph: a list that offers the highest average quality score in Coppell at one of the lowest average bottle prices. Based on the updated chart below, I think we’ve succeeded.

With the average wine rating on the left (sourced from a combination of publicly available professional critic ratings and from consumer ratings from and the average bottle price on the bottom, the new wine list we created at Dodie’s indeed provides the highest average bottle rating (88.22) at the second lowest average bottle price ($36.44) of the five restaurants in Coppell.


But price and quality shouldn’t be the only factors that go into picking a wine.  In creating the new Dodie’s list we actually had three primary goals in mind:

  1. Provide more wines that complement and accentuate the menu.  In order to complement the Cajun dishes, seafood and flatbreads Dodie’s is famous for, we added a highly rated Napa Chenin Blanc / Viognier blend, a Riesling that was a Wine Spectator “Top 100 Wine of the Year” each of the past two years, and an up-and-coming Oregon Dry Rosé.
  2. Mix old favorites with more adventurous options. Some days you want to pick something familiar, like a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, while others you may be in the mood to try something new, like the highly rated Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon blend from Australia. With a mix of familiar names and new labels, this list gives you the option to do either, with descriptions of each wine to help guide your selection.
  3. Select wines that maintain a quality level above what would be expected at each price. Starting with available data and then confirming and narrowing the list with tastes on our own (the best part of the job), all the wines on the list provide a quality level above what would be expected at each price. That doesn’t mean the $8 glass will taste like a consensus 100-point blockbuster, but that if you compared the wine at the release price against others at the same release price, the Dodie’s wine would be above the average for that price, across the board.

In constructing Dodie’s new wine menu, we didn’t set out to create the perfect list for everyone. Or even the perfect list for any one person. That’s impossible. Every wine list will have options a diner likes and options a diner doesn’t like.  Likewise, every restaurant in Coppell has good wines within their lists to choose from (each of them improved their quality score since the last iteration of this chart). Our goal was to provide a list with the variety to afford options to satisfy almost all tastes and to make every selection high quality, without having to break the bank to buy a bottle or a glass. If you are in the area, I encourage you to stop by Dodie’s and judge for yourself.


Featured image by Beverly Crandon on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Awesome. We’ll have to check it out someday!

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