Wine is a must-have item in many restaurants, but having a bottle of house white and red stowed at the bar is no longer enough to impress patrons. Businesses that want to enhance their wine menu and keep guests coming back for more should heed the following tricks of the trade to help their wine list win customers before they even eat.
With thousands of wines available, it might seem daunting to narrow your options into a focused wine menu. The best idea is to include wines that pair well with your existing food menu. A nice variety of white, red and sparkling options ensures guests will find something they love no matter their taste preference. Additionally, a little research can help. Enlist the help of a sommelier, do some tastings, and find wines that fit your menu; not the other way around.
Storing wine correctly is essential for maintaining the flavor characteristics of each bottle. Because most restaurants do not have a wine cellar, a commercial wine cooler is the next best option. Fifty-five degrees is cited as the ideal temperature for wine storage, and humidity levels and light are additional concerns if you plan to stock wines for lengthier periods of time. Talk with the food service experts at ACityDiscount about the best ways to keep wines cool and proper refrigeration options.
Presentation is an important aspect of drinking wine, and servers should be appropriately trained to pair and present wine. For higher-end dining establishments, the bottle should be shown for approval at the table before it's uncorked and poured for guests. Servers should fill glasses to 2/3 of their capacity, and a felt ring should be used to catch excess wine from dripping down the bottle. For cold wine varieties, place the bottle in a table chiller to maintain an ideal temperature. Wines served at room temperature can simply be placed on the table so guests can then refill their glasses when they choose.
Stocking your restaurant with appropriate glassware for the wines on your menu is important, not only for presentation, but for the wine to breathe appropriately, too. There are a number of varieties of wine glasses, however that are many that cover a wider range of potential wines. White wine glasses are different from red wine glasses, for instance. Whites need a smaller funnel to encourage the aromas to rise to the nose of the glass, and red wine glasses have larger bowls that enhance the bouquets of flavors found in the wine. Champagne flutes, of course, are tall and thin, and add an elegant touch to any dining experience. There are, however, a number of variations of champagne flutes, in addition to several other glasses that are also suitable for champagne.