Wondering if you should create a wine list for your bar or restaurant when most of your guests enjoy beer and cocktails? Yes, you should. Why? Because otherwise, you will miss out on revenue. There are wine drinkers (like myself) in every crowd that will enjoy a beer or cocktail while out in an establishment that does not serve wine, BUT they will not order a second drink. Why miss out on that second sale?
How do you go about creating a wine list for your establishment? Analyze your beer and cocktail offerings and look into what sells the best. Do you offer big names such as Coors and Bacardi? Do you find your guests order well over top-shelf? Is your establishment a hub for craft beer and boutique distiller lovers? Is that profitable for you?
If you find that your guests order well over top-shelf and don’t much care about who hand-crafted their beer, then create a wine list that reflects what works for you. Go with bigger producers and recognizable names. The likelihood of your customer base inviting like-minded people to join them for a drink is high.
Does your bartender forage fresh herbs and make his or her own syrups? Do your guests share stories of brewery adventures and pick apart hop varietals? Then pay the same attention to detail when selecting wine. Go for local producers that hand-craft in small quantities. Again, your customers know like-minded people.
If you are starting from scratch, call on your distributor sales representatives. The distributor can recommend wines to fit your needs. Most distributors have a fine wine division and a wine education department. Count on them to educate your staff on how to sell and serve. Another great way to find out what may sell well is by asking your guests and fellow restaurateurs about some of their favorites.
by SONYA KELSEN
Co-founder/Owner, Colony Wine Merchant & Promenade Pub
NICKNAME “Boss Lady.”
HOW LONG PAIRING FOOD & BEVERAGE 20 years.
BEER Depends on the day.
WINE Depends on my mood.
COCKTAIL Old Fashioned, at the moment.
COCKTAIL CREATION Silver tequila straight out of the freezer.