Knowing it can be tough for diners to find a fish-friendly red wine, Jax Fish House recently launched its own private label Pinot Noir. I stopped in to sample a glass and ordered the nightly special—fish tacos—to accompany it. At the very least, I thought, the wine would be designed to pair with whatever is on the specials board.

And it did. Jax Pinor Noir, a special blend of 2007 single-vineyard Pinots made by Sineann Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is light and delicate and summery. It enhances the mahi-mahi tacos without overpowering them, and the fruit in the wine nicely offsets the spicy red beans served on the side.

But here’s the rub: I would have enjoyed both the wine and tacos more if they hadn’t been so grossly overpriced. I expect to pay $13 for a glass of aged Burgundy, but $13 for a young Pinot is excessive. And $22 for mediocre fried fish tacos borders on insulting. I’ve had fish tacos for a fraction of the price (Wahoo’s go for $5.99) that are twice as good.

I left feeling that Jax’ steady crowd of regulars had given the restaurant an exaggerated sense of itself. Yes, the wine is good—but in the end, not worth it.

1539 17th St., 303-292-5767