When I mention House Wines here, I am not referring to those non-descript bulk wines that some eateries furnish in carafes, so that they can claim to carry wines (some of these wines are so bad that unfortunately that may turn off a potential wine drinker from ever trying a wine again). I am talking about wines that chain restaurants go into a pseudo partnership with a winery or distributor and have their name attached to the wine label.
These may not be great wines, but so far, I have found them to be drinkable without making a face or cringing about. There have been times that a wine touted by an establishment is a safer bet, when you are with a group that does not have the same fondness for wines or the predilection to spend a lot of money for a wine, but would like to have a glass or two of wine with dinner. Other times, the wine can be very good, and that is what one hopes, because the reputation of the restaurant may hinge on the wine. There are times when I figure that the wine may either be a loss leader or a great profit margin maker for the restaurant and that can not be determined ahead of time.
In a similar vein then there are establishments that name themselves after great wines, and I have found the restaurants have delivered quality food befitting their namesake. Here in the metropolitan area of Detroit, we had two restaurants that were named after great wines. Both restaurants were also from the same family of restraunteurs and both delivered great cuisine; The Chambertin and Opus One. Then there was another restaurant in San Francisco named PlumpJack and I am not sure which came first, the winery or the eatery, but both have an excellent reputation.