Putting together a great wine list isn't that hard, and it doesn't have to be huge either! It just needs to be helpful, organised and user friendly making it easy for the customer to find a wine that suits them.You will want to provide something in keeping with your bar and that also reflects a bit of your own business personality. The bar is often the first contact with the customer so a good list that delivers all the information needed is really important.
Make it clear and legible, easy to follow and informative - think about the language and make it appropriate to the style of bar.
Make sure you have the name, grape variety, country, colour, description and price.
Get the flow - sparkling, white, red, and rose and any other drinks you may wish to add such as pre or post dinner.
Offer wines by the glass and bottle to encourage trading up, and show clear price steps within the wines to reflect quality and diversity.
Make sure there is a good mix of countries and styles to allow for all tastes - not your own!
When it comes to serving wine perfectly temperature matters. If you change the temperature you change the wine. Too cold and it won't taste of anything, too warm and it will taste alcoholic, thick and soupy.
Clearly temperature has a huge bearing on the customers enjoyment of the wine and ultimately his spend. The challenge is to get the temperature right.Try checking your wine temperatures against this guide.
You don't have to be a wine expert to be able to recommend a style to your customer.
We've all become familiar with many grape varieties and styles that we drink week in and week out, as have your customers.
Use this handy reminder to get the conversation going!
Pairing wine with food offers the best of both worlds - a good wine pairing will improve the customer experience whilst simultaneously giving your staff the opportunity to trade up.It can be viewed as a daunting task, but fear not, nothing is set in stone! Our handy tips will soon have your staff recommending wines with confidence!
Drink local, eat local
This rule of thumb is a great place to start. Food and wine styles from the same country are often developed with each other in mind, so keep it simple and select the foods next door neighbour as the wine. It's a safe bet if you're not sure.
The weight of the food and the weight of the wine should be a consideration. Hearty, robust flavours go with heavier dishes, whilst lighter food need more delicate flavours. Try to balance the two to stop one overpowering the other.
Take on the fat
Take a fatty piece of meat, and pair it with a tannin heavy wine and you are definitely on to a winner!
Acid loves acid
It's important to remember you don't always need a contrast - an acidic based food with an even more acidic based wine (think salmon, lemon and Champagne!) can be a pairing from heaven.
As a rule of thumb always try to have a wine that is sweeter then the food as sweetness in the dish will make the wine loose it's fruitiness and flavour. Salty foods and sweet wines also work well together, although some of these combinations may seem surprising.
To discuss your wine requirements we'd be delighted to hear from you!
Our wine collection is updated each spring, and each bottle is always thoroughly road tested before making an entry! It's that pesky purchasing team at it again.
You will find a range from great quality house wines to more prestigious lines; sparkling wines to Champagnes. If you are interested in organic, vegan or vegetarian products we also have a superb collection waiting for you!
We can arrange tastings to ensure you get the right wine list for your bar, and make the right margins. We have trained WSET wine experts who are happy to guide you on what will work and what's trending in the market.
Don't forget the support doesn't stop there - we will support your wine list production and make sure you are happy until that first cork is popped!