Improve Your Wine Program with Three Awesome Steps
When it comes to any kind of alcoholic assortment tasting, the first thing that comes to mind is a beer flight. But, the fun shouldn’t stop there. There are countless ways to showcase a variety of your best wines to your guests. Options ranging in grandeur from offering a wine flight, a “prix fixe” (pairing small pours with small dishes), or even making an event out of hosting a wine tasting at your venue will thrill your guests and boost your revenue.
Wine flights give your guests variety
Adding flights to your menu is a great way to increase bar income because it gives drinkers the opportunity to try a variety of pours. They’re bound to reorder the drinks that they loved and otherwise wouldn’t have tried. If you have already mastered the essential bar feature of flights, or you want to put a spin on this tap staple, meet the beer flight’s classier cousin: a wine flight.
The concept is very similar to a beer flight, provide a range of pours (generally 2-3 ounces) that showcase an overarching theme. Consider foolproof groupings like categorizing wines by vintage, a single varietal, or even region. If you’re feeling confident, pairing a variety of wines in a spectrum from white to red is also a great option. Now is your sommelier’s time to shine.
Prix Fixe menus highlight what you do best
Want to showcase more than just your restaurant’s wines? Adding a seasonal prix fixe menu is an excellent way to give patrons a taste of the very best of your restaurant. By already doing the legwork of pairing small portions of your most popular courses (or new, seasonal items) with light pours of an accompanying wine, you’ll leave guests begging for more. Luckily, you’ll have taught them exactly which dishes pair with their new favorite wines. Now, they couldn’t possibly enjoy one without the other!
Wine events create an experience
Wine flights are easy to assemble and even easier to add to your digital menu, a prix fix would take a little more time and energy to compile, and one step up from a prix fix is hosting a wine tasting event. This can be as grand or as relaxed as whatever fits your restaurant’s style. This is a chance for your guests to try wines under the guidance of your experienced staff.
You should offer cheese and fruit plates to pair with the wines or more extravagant hors d’oeuvres. If it’s a sit-down event, a prix fixe style menu may be more suitable. Have your sommelier (or wine-intelligent staff member) lead the event; teaching patrons how to hold, swirl, smell, and taste the wine. Maybe provide a pen and paper for notes, or even blindfold drinkers for an even more memorable night of wine and fun.
Educating patrons about wine, and particularly wines offered with pairings at your restaurant, is a surefire way to better your wine program and increase revenue. The more they know, the more they want to order.
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