Wine by the Glass - Food and Beverage Today
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Meet the Masters
Wine by the Glass
Help your bottom line with a more agressive wine by the glass program
charlile trotter food, food shot trotter, charlie trotter

It’s All In the Glass in the World of Wine

In times like this, restaurants are upping their services, translating into things like bigger, more aggressive wine by the glass programs, $5/glass “happy hours,” and weekly “half price” days. In other words, restaurants are taking serious cuts that eat into their bottom line just to get guests in and keep people employed. What are you doing to show solidarity?

You could offer supportive wine by the glass glass pricing. Besides, one wine-by-the-glass placement has always been worth more than ten bottle list placements, which I bet you always knew. But are you or your sales managers working with distributors (who, as you also know, are famous for doing nothing on their own volition) to sweeten the pot for beleaguered restaurateurs? You need to set the guidelines to make glass placements happen.

The current sweet-spot for fine restaurant glass sales are wines selling for $7-$14/glass. With the standard three-times restaurant markups and based upon 6 oz. glass pours, this means getting wholesale prices to about $9-$18/bottle, or $108-$216/cs. Translated into FOBs: roughly $75-$150/cs.; which may or may not be your ideal pricing. But if you want to see your wine by the glass move at a pace of 1 to 5 cases a week in a single restaurant, that’s what you need to seriously consider.

Talk to Us

When chatting with sommeliers around the country, the biggest gripe I hear is about winery owners, winemakers or sales managers who talk at them rather than to them. It’s hard enough for sommeliers to be excited about being presented with the 1001th barrel fermented Chardonnay that may or may not taste as impressive as you tell them it is.

What sommeliers really like are wineries that put two and two together for them when the wines are being presented. In other words, redirecting your sales approach to answer the burning question: what can your Chardonnay do for us? Sure, the quality should be there; but how will it enhance our program, match our food, fit our price points, increase our profits, thrill our customers, fix the economy, and bring peace to mankind? Some examples of talking points:

  • The crisper, sleeker, hence more food-versatile quality of your Chardonnay, tied to, say, just partial ML or cold climate grape sourcing.
  • The combination of crisp acidity and mildly toasted, barrel fermented qualities, perfectly matching a restaurant’s smoky, cedar plank salmon, wood grilled chicken, or osso buco in dill Chardonnay sauce.
  • Your generous reduction of ultra-premium, single vineyard bottlings from $24/bt. to $16/bt. to give guests an opportunity to experience first-class variations of terroir in wine by the glass choices, and the restaurant an opportunity to make a decent profit.
  • The fact that your vineyard source is certified or in transition to organic or Biodynamic® status, in keeping with guests’ increasing interests in green industries.
  • Recent LEED certification of your winery.

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