Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Actually, it doesn’t matter. Either way, there’s clearly more room for wine.

In the restaurant setting, offering wine service by the bottle or glass is an easy way to not only offer your guests something they love, but increase margins.

Have you ever noticed the exact same bottle of wine may taste differently when lounging on your living room couch than in a restaurant with an alluring ambiance, bonding with close confidantes? The setting and your mood play an important role in how you assess your wine, and the flavor can change depending on what you pair it with. When you’re relaxed or out having fun, you’re more likely to enjoy the taste than if sipping a glass at home, devouring bonbons and streaming reruns of the Golden Girls for the third weekend in a row (not that I would know from personal experience or anything). People go out for a reason. It’s Wine Psychology 101.   

Delivering Exemplary Wine Service

Many like to drink it, but few know much about it; unless of course you train for years as a sommelier, which, let’s face it, is the dream job, right? Here, we seek to change that with overviews on the main areas of the wine experience so the next time the sommelier asks if you note the hints of blackberry and chocolate, you can feel confident responding instead of faking a smile and nod. 

The Wine Boom

Wine is one of the most popular drinks in the world. As such, a massive wine-making industry has boomed! According to the National Association of American Wineries, in 2017 wineries generated close to $220 billion in the United States alone. 

Consumers pair wine with experiences because they know, even the same bottle of wine could taste differently given the environment. It’s a psychological concept that rings true for many – you’re likely to enjoy a glass of wine more if you’re relaxed, in a setting with an alluring ambiance, enjoying the moment with close friends.

As you can note from the chart, wine consumption in the United States began its rising streak in the mid-2000s. Many speculate as to why this experienced such a sudden rise, hypothesizing a combination of factors such as:
 

  1. The millennial generation’s willingness to spend more money on experiences, such as wine and craft cocktails
  2. Published studies on the benefits of dry red wine
  3. Piggybacking off the craft beer trend

Studies have confirmed there is a steady correlation between the trend in consumers wanting more farm-to-table experiences and the increase in local wineries, as is the case in Indiana (read: Customer Spotlight: Mallow Run Winery). And we’re certainly not complaining.

If you’re not offering wine service at your restaurant, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase margins. On average, restaurants offering wine by the bottle charge up to three times what they paid to acquire the wine. That’s a 200% profit!

Many restaurants will source their wines directly from the distributor, getting them at a cost slightly lower than what they’d pay at a liquor store. You can typically get up to four glasses out of a single bottle. For just a glass of wine, a general rule for restaurants is charging as much for it as they paid for a bottle. So, if you acquire the bottle for $10, and charge $10 a glass, you gain a profit of $30 per bottle!

Our Definitive Guide to the Wine Experience seeks to help you enhance your wine service by reviewing the most common considerations to wine, such as wine glasses and popular brands; how to properly pour, serve, and store wine; the main types of wine and their regions; exemplary food and wine pairings; etc. Cheers!