Promoting Sustainability with Organic and Biodynamic Wine

Only a handful of wineries across the United States have been certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. Originally, the USDA prohibited finished items to be designated as organic. After some debate, wines could finally be labeled organic after inspection of raw materials, production methods and records of the processes that were completed. So how important is it for your wine to be organic? Are there any benefits in offering an organic alternative? This article will help clear up any confusion about naturally produced wines.

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A New Era for Australian Wines

Australia holds the title as one of the world’s largest wine producers and this year was the region of focus at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Australia has been trying to stray from its original image of mass produced bulk wine towards more premium, high-valued wine in order to compete with old world countries such as Italy and France. Their growing interest in wine value and regionally distinct wines make Aussie wines a good selection to add to your menu.

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Cheers to By-The-Glass Wine Selections

“By-the-glass is what drives a wine program. It’s a doorway to your program as a whole,” according to Christopher Birnie-Visscher, sommelier at db Bistro Moderne. There are times when buying a bottle at a restaurant may not be of interest to a customer. However, you can still get that beverage sale by offering a by-the-glass wine list. At times it can be a challenge to implement such an option, but these four tips can get your restaurant started on the right foot.

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Making Wine Tasting Memorable with Technology

There are some great technology innovations happening in the wine industry as you know, but now even wine producers themselves are adopting ways to improve the guest experience at their wineries.  Robert Mondavi Winery, for example, was searching for a way to enhance the wine tasting experience while keeping up with modern times. That’s when winemakers at the Napa Valley vineyards came up with the idea to create an app that helped consumers leave the winery with long-lasting memories.

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Wine Resolutions 2015

With New Year’s Eve only 2 weeks away, we figured it’s time we set some resolutions for 2015. Rather than stick with the traditional (go to the gym, learn a language, eat more cookies…. wait, what?), we’re proud to present our official Wine Resolutions for 2015.

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Deliver Great Wines with These 3 Questions in your Restaurant

Your customers know that wines can be scary, but do you know how to soothe their wine woes? At Uncorkd, we know how stressful it can be to order an unknown bottle of wine in a restaurant. In fact, that’s why Uncorkd was started—because purchasing a bottle of wine at a restaurant used to be a somewhat daunting scenario. Truthfully though, with the right pitch and the right questions, you can inspire your customers to order those higher priced items off your wine menu. Here are the three questions your servers must always ask every customer as they peruse your wine list. 

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What Restaurants Can Learn from Olive Garden to Improve Alcoholic Beverage Sales

The last few days has seen quite a bit of news about Olive Garden and their parent company, Darden.  Starboard Value, a hedge fund that is one of the largest shareholders of the public company, has recently put forward a slate of 12 new board prospects to replace the entire board of Darden.  Now, Starboard has released a 300 slide deck blasting the inefficiencies they see with Olive Garden and other concepts like Longhorn Steakhouse, while outlining turnaround steps they would take to get the brands on the right track.  According to Starboard, Olive Garden is missing out on $56 million in annual earnings by not taking basic steps with their beverage program.

If you are in the hospitality industry, I highly recommend taking a look at Starboard’s analysis and proposal for yourself.  But after spending hours reading through their materials, I’m going to highlight several things called out in the report that all restaurants should be focused on to improve the guest experience and bottom line.  While there are a lot of problems identified and solutions proposed in the report, I’m going to focus on alcoholic beverages based on our experience at Uncorkd and provide information on how to improve your beverage sales. Read more

How to upsell wine in a restaurant with staff incentives

Increase Restaurant Wine Sales through Staff Incentives

Upselling, cross-selling, and other high-level sales techniques, when balanced on a strong wine knowledge foundation, form the backbone of your restaurant wine sales. This is good news, as it means that the power to increase sales rests only on your willingness to educate your staff. In addition, when you do motivate and educate your wait staff, they are likely to go to great lengths to assure your wine list’s sales success. Uncorkd has published many articles in the past that help you to teach your staff about wine, sake, scotch, beer, absinthe, and other alcohols; today’s post focuses on two strategies—a simple one and a complex one—that you can use to motivate your servers. Read more

summertime wine drinks uncorkd

5 Summertime Wine Drinks for Your Menu

Ah, summer is here. At this point, we’ve all had a few very hot days, and customers are beginning to shun even room temperature drinks in favor of ice cold ones. Tired of serving gin gimlets and beers? Here are five summertime wine drinks that’ll push those beverage sales sky high. Read more

Marketing Wine to Millennials

How to Use Wine Marketing That Speaks to Millennials

In her recent article “How Millennials Are Changing the Wine Industry,” Kathryn Buschman Vasel stated that Millennials are drinking more wine than other generations did at the age of 21, and that this is rocking the wine industry as we know it.  Specifically, Millennials are rocking the wine marketing industry as we know it. This younger age group, born between 1980 and 2000 is pressing wineries to make a change in the way they present their wines, and restaurateurs and bar owners should ensure that they also understand what wine marketing is all about today. Here’s your cheat sheet for wine marketing that speaks to Millennials and more. Read more