Restaurant and Wine News

Your Wine Is Gross, Here’s the Fix

I love wine, but I usually don’t order it at bars. In fact, I frequently don’t even order it at restaurants. It’s not because I can’t find wine, actually it’s the opposite: wine is everywhere these days. The sad truth is, when I used to order wines at bars, most of the wines I ordered were disgusting–and if your wine sales are low, your wine might be disgusting, too.

If you open wines for single-glass pours on a haphazard basis, store the opened bottles behind the bar for an indeterminate amount of time, or stick all of your wine in the fridge, your wine is likely to be terrible. If you want to sell more wine (or at least sell the wine you’ve already purchased), you need to do better. This article offers four wine storage fixes to increase your wine sales.

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What the Heck Is a Beer-Wine Hybrid?

A new drink hit the scene last year, beer-wine hybrids. I’m sure that this new beverage is going to be one of the hottest drink trends for 2014, but you may not have heard much about it because it premiered just before the fall and holiday rush. It’s not quite wine, and it’s not quite beer, but it’s not quite what you’d expect if you just poured some wine into a fresh, cold pint. The popularity and visibility of this new drink is increasing, and soon your guests will be asking you questions about it, questions that you, your sommeliers, and your cicerones should know the answers to.

Now that we’re in  a brief lull between drinking holidays, you have the time to learn everything you need to know about beer-wine hybrids. Read more

3 Springtime Drinks That Bring Crowds

Springtime is here, and that means that your guests’ drinking tastes have changed to reflect the warmer weather. In the springtime, your customers are clamoring for lighter, fruitier drinks that they can sip while lounging on your newly opened patio. These warm-weather drinks are the kind that inspire your customers to sit for hours in small, informal gatherings and laugh at the college students who walk by in flip-flops, shorts, mini-skirts… and goose bumps. To help you select your new featured drinks for your digital wine menu, I’ve compiled a list of what springtime drinks your customers are wanting right now. Read more

wine stories uncorkd

What’s the Story of Your Wine?

When your customers decide to buy a bottle of your wine, they are, in essence, gambling. They put their money on the table with the belief that the wine they’re ordering will be great. Sometimes, your customers are amazed by the wine they place their bet on, sometimes they think it’s okay, and sometimes they make the wrong choice and they flat-out hate it. When that happens, they’ll never come back to your restaurant again, no matter how good your food is.

Because wine has become such an intimidating drink, and because so many of your customers are too nervous to make such an expensive bet, you aren’t selling as much wine as you’d like. How can you fix this? You can make your wine relatable to your customers by sharing each bottle’s story. Read more

Wine-Chocolate Pairings: Hitting the Sweet Spot

The concept of pairing wine and chocolate together is a popular one. Considering that the fermentation process of wine involves essentially the same substance that’s involved in processing cocoa beans to produce chocolate, it’s no surprise that the idea of pairing the two items together appeals to people at such an instinctive level. However, anyone who’s been to a handful of weddings – where chocolate cake is often served around the same time as champagne – also knows that not just any type of alcoholic beverage is a good match with chocolate, and the wrong combination can leave a lot to be desired. Read more

Wine Flights: Welcome Aboard!

If it seems like moving your wine inventory is a tricky business, you are not alone – but there’s good news: offering wine flights is not only a great way of addressing much of what’s challenging in balancing the contents of your wine cellar, but many patrons love the idea in and of itself. Offering flights of wine is an obvious draw for customers who are interested in wine-tasting – or for those who simply want to learn more. One might even assume, therefore, that the popularity of wine-tasting is how flights first got their start. Actually, however, the concept was invented in the first place with the aim of using faster-moving menu items (in this case, servings of alcohol) with slower-moving items: several strange dessert items that no one seemed interested in ordering – until an inventive restaurant worker suddenly got the idea to get patrons interested in those misfit desserts by selling them with a glass of wine. Read more

Diverse Wine-By-The-Glass Programs can Differentiate Your Restaurant

It’s hard to differentiate your restaurant’s wine program among many competitors in your area and really make it stand out.  Nearly every restaurant considers it table stakes to have a well trained staff and diverse wine list so there is something for everyone on the list.  But did you know that expanding your by-the-glass offerings can be one of the best ways to appeal to customers and increase your sales?

Having a big, diverse list is great, but not if there are very few by-the-glass options.  Many diners want to try new and different things, but aren’t comfortable spending a lot of money on a bottle they’ve never had before.  Enter your glass program, where diners could taste multiple different wines without committing to a bottle.

Fleming’s, the national steakhouse chain, has done just that.  By providing 100 by-the-glass options to diners, the steakhouse has seen sales increase 4.2% this past year while all their competitors were declining.  Providing a diverse glass list can allow you to provide multiple pour sizes as well, by going smaller with a 3oz taste portion or providing a larger 9oz pour like Fleming’s does.

One of the challenges of expanding the glass list is having wine go bad if it isn’t ordered frequently.  There are several things you can do to address this and make glass pours more profitable with less waste: Read more