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Wine Smarts Pay Off

July 8, 2013 By: Donna Hood Crecca

How well do your guests really know wine? One-third of consumers who order wine in restaurants and bars report that they understand the flavors of different wine varietals and styles, according to the 2013 WineTAB Report being released this week. The level of understanding is highest among Generation X and lowest among Matures.

While it’s great that a third of on-premise patrons feel comfortable with wine, that figure also represents a huge opportunity. Engaging more guests with wine through programs designed to increase their knowledge also ramps up their comfort level with ordering wine.

The first step to increasing guests’ wine knowledge is to insure your service staff is well-versed not only in your wine selection, but able to describe the flavors of the various wines. Next, consider new menu options such as tablets or QR codes that encourage exploration of your wine list with the added feature of information about flavor profiles, origins and food pairings presented in easy to navigate and digest tidbits. Another tactic is to serve wine in different ways, such as in half carafes or dispensed from taps, which can elicit questions from patrons and provide a great opportunity for servers to talk about the wines themselves. Piquing the curiosity of that 68% of consumers who are less than confident in their understanding of wine can lead to increased guest satisfaction and incremental sales.

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