Here are some top tips on how to choose the best wine list for your premises! Often one of the most daunting prospects when it comes to your offering but luckily our in-house sommelier Louise has some great advice on how to pick your wines and how to make sure they do well afterwards:
• Know your locals Not every destination is a wine bar! You should always have some form of offering of wine but it doesn’t have to be pages long. A good wine list should offer diversity but not so much that your staff struggle to remember what’s what! A couple of reds and whites by the glass and maybe one rosé is perfectly fine in most establishments.
• Consider making your list seasonal If you change your food offering with the seasons then you should probably change your wine offering. During the winter a few hearty reds and a glass of white will probably suffice but during the summer make sure a rosé features, add more fruity whites and have maybe just one light red.
• Price your wines to fit with your venue I often go into pubs and they have their wine at crazy prices and their beer for £3 a pint. This just doesn’t make any sense. If a couple comes in for one beer and one wine you will want the pricing to be fairly even. You don’t want to put off the wine drinker and cause a lover’s tiff over the drinks!
• It’s not always about the GP When you go up the list you don’t always have to make the same GP margin as further down the list. If you have a £50 bottle of wine you might want to think about the cash margin you want to make, rather than having something on your list so highly priced that no one buys it and it sits on the shelf for years!
• Taste test your wine Something that’s bound to leave a bad taste in your customers’ mouth is being served bad wine! Once you open a bottle put a date on it. Most wine has a lifetime of 3 days once opened so on this day you should smell and taste the wine to see if it’s still good. This is an excellent part of staff training as well just in case you aren’t around.
• Store your unopened wine correctly If the wine has a screw top this isn’t so much of a problem however if the bottle has a cork then you must store it on its side to prevent the cork from drying out and the wine becoming oxidised.
• Serve your wine at the right temperature Make sure your reds are kept at room temperature and that your white wine isn’t so cold you give your customers a brain freeze! A lot of pubs and bars serve their white wine too cold and this means the wine loses the lovely flavours that it should showcase. Hopefully this helps you out – if you think of any other great tips let us know!