Typically in this case I'd go for something in the mid to higher price ranges because the higher up the list you go, the lower the mark-up. However, even Jane's mid-priced wines weren't that amazing (A to Z pinot noir, a solid $20 bottle, for $64?!?). So I figured why not go lower down the list.
My friend, Rachel, had a half finished glass of Les Chamins de Bassac 2008, the least expensive Pinot Noir on the menu. She offered a taste. It was light bodied, yet juicy with some nice cherry notes. It was far from complex and didn't have a whole lot going on, but, it went down easy and I knew we would all enjoy it.
Ultimately, though, this was not a meal about wine (though we did go through 2 bottles), but a celebration of our friend, Wendy N. And it was nice to find that there are well crafted lists with a variety of price points (even if they were a bit overpriced). So maybe next time I encounter an inflated list, I'll look to the "value" end again.
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,