2018 is quickly coming to an end and this means it’s time predict the biggest wine trends for 2019. In the last year, we’ve seen various trends in the wine industry. From the continuous love for Rosé to the rise in the popularity of premium wines. The majority of wine consumers are now millennials, and as result, they’re shaping the future of the wine industry. We can officially say that 2019 will be the year of millennial.
Springtime is like the impatient little kid, buckled in the back seat during a long drive, pulling fruitlessly at the seat belt strap while their feet kick air, repeatedly asking, “Are we there yet?” It’s an anxious season. People are anxious to feel the sun and refill their stock of Vitamin D. Buried seedlings are anxious to flower and bloom. And wine drinkers are anxious to shake off weighty winter reds in favor of light flavors and bright wines. Read more
Like all of us, 2017 was a complicated year for wine. Drought and the tragic wild fires that burned through northern California and its vineyards left a raw edge on an other wise successful year for the wine segment. Shaken, but not defeated, what is on the horizon for 2018 wine trends? Let’s take a look at which trends will open up, breath, and come to maturity in 2018. Read more
As a restaurant or bar owner, you want your drink menu to excite customers, perhaps even to inspire them to order something they’ve never tried before. All of their favorite summer foods deserve delicious wines to match, but not all wine-drinkers know what pairings work well together. Your customer may enjoy their favorite seafood plate ten times more if paired with a wine that’ll make their tastebuds tingle. This summer, these 10 wines are a must have for your menu. Varying in both flavor and price, you can assure your customers that no matter what, you’ve got the best wines for any warm weather occasion.
Do you change your wine menu seasonally? If you change your food menu each season to utilize fresh and timely ingredients, you can really elevate the guest experience at your restaurant by pairing new wines with your new food menu. The most innovative and exciting restaurants always consider how to create a cohesive experience for their guests. Rotating your wine menu is a great way to do this. Here are some of the big wine trends that we are excited for this spring. Read more
At The County Bench Kitchen+Bar, the details are important. The appreciation of each ingredient — the produce grown by local farmers, fresh catches by coastal fishermen, or each element stirred in a cocktail — is what the restaurant calls The County Bench Way. Located in the heart of California’s lush wine country in Sonoma County, The County Bench’s beverage program celebrates their local wine producers while also offering guests a varied selection that draws inspiration from around the world.
We spoke with Chris John, the Wine Director at The County Bench to learn how he balances the abundance of amazing wine produced in Sonoma County with the appreciation he has for Old World wines predate the California wine boom. Read more
Let’s dust off our crystal ball and take a glimpse into the (very) near-future of wine.
To start, I’d like to say that it is a really exciting time for wine right now. And though 2015 saw a -4.1 percent decline in sales volume for wine in bars and restaurant — 2016’s sales numbers are likely to echo 2015’s disappointments — wine is thriving in retail sales.
There is also a lot of excitement over the direction that influential restaurants and sommeliers are taking wine experiences in restaurants. The past couple years have given us some big stories: the revelation of rosé and its insane growth; the coming-out of Spanish wines like Tempranillo, or the continued blossoming of the South American wine industry; and the obsession with millennials impact on wine crystallizing into the overstated maxim that”Millennials are Changing Wine.”
There are factors aside from just millennials that really are changing wine. Let’s take a look at what those might be and see the Wine Trends for 2017.
Ah, the sacred wine by the glass list… In many restaurants the glass list is responsible for up to 75% of all wine sales and with gross margins of glass pours often exceeding 65%, can end up accounting for your entire restaurant’s profitability. This is true liquid gold for a full service restaurant and having a solid offering of wines by the glass to offer your customers can be the difference between closing your doors or raking in lots of money.
In a recent Eater article on New York restaurants increasing their prices, Ryan Sutton reported on Atera, a popular two star Michelin restaurant, that was struggling to break-even because they weren’t selling enough wine. According to maitre d’ Matthew Abbick:
As some time went on, we realized we had not quite anticipated just how many of our guests would opt for no beverages. And month after month, we saw that wine sales were the only thing bringing us within reach of a break-even point. It was a sad reality, that if every guest of Atera ordered the tasting menu and a temperance pairing, we would close.
So while the cure for Atera was to raise their menu prices, the real cure for restaurants is to increase the number of guests who order wine. This is known as the incidence rate (the number of covers who order wine divided by the total covers) and it’s a measure that restaurateurs and management don’t measure enough, but should! And what’s the best way to increase the number of guests who order wine? Have a wine list, and in particular glass pours, that satisfy what guests are looking for at the prices they want.
At Uncorkd, we wanted to examine wine by the glass data and see both what restaurants are offering currently and perhaps more importantly, what consumers are interested in. Our real-time on premise data on hundreds of restaurants includes millions of menu interactions by diners and we can slice this data down a number of different ways based on both wine and restaurant properties. As a result, we offer this data and some key insights on what wines restaurants should have on their glass list.
First, let’s look at the full spectrum of all wine by the glass offerings at various price points
First, you’ll clearly see the most common wine by the glass pours are between $7 and $12. But take a look at the red bars which represent consumer interest. You’ll see there’s more interest than there are menu placements at $9, $11, $13, $14 and $15. That’s all well and good across all wines, but doesn’t reveal much until we dig deeper. Read more
Wine sales in restaurants create the highest profit margins for alcoholic beverages. Strong wine sales can make or break a restaurant. Knowing this, many restaurant operators will price their wines by the bottle at 3x to 4x the wholesale price. These margins are attractive, but it might have a negative effect on your overall wine sales. It’s important to remember that the main goal of your wine program: to sell wine. When building your wine lists, consider the demographics of your restaurant and determine the price points that your customers will feel comfortable with. It’s great to sell one glass of wine, but it’s better to sell two glasses. There are ways to lower wine prices without hurting your margins. Read more
Every restaurant and bar is looking for a way to stand out from the next restaurant. One of the coolest and simplest ways to add a stellar feature to your beverage program is to sell your own private label selections. From wine to whiskey, private labels are an easy way to increase beverage sales. Learn how the process works and see how you can stamp your restaurant’s label on a hand-selected bottles that are sure to sell. Read more