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How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant? – 2024 Guide

With a high markup, the wine offers a lucrative opportunity for restaurants to attract more customers and increase their profits. Drinks are just as important as food to the dining experience and wine has excellent margins that can go a long way for your business. So we can’t stress enough how important it is that you deliver their favorite wine the right way. If you wish to know how to sell wine in a restaurant, there are a few things you should put on your checklist.

Adding wine should make sense for the type of your restaurant, which means you can’t add it just because it is working well for others. Casual and fine dining make for a fitting setting to serve wine. 

For casual dining, you can expect a high volume of sales for wine that is on the lower of the price spectrum. In fine dining, the wines are typically on the more expensive lane and you are expected to have a diverse selection.

It is important that you are at least familiar with the world of wine. Your customers will be very knowledgeable about the subject and they expect that you are too. You should be able to find the right wine that will complement the foods you serve. If you are don’t have enough know-how to integrate wine into your restaurant’s drink program the right way, you might want to hire a sommelier. 

How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant: Use the right glassware

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The appropriate glassware is essential in an impeccably prepared drink. There are two things to this: the size and shape. The right shape will deliver the characteristics of the aroma of the wine for that full sensory satisfaction. The size helps with determining the right amount to pour and accommodating the garnishes and mixes unique to a drink. Together, they assist with avoiding spills, maintaining the right serving temperature, and keeping the flavor intact.

Rules can be pretty loose when it comes to wine. You don’t have to use a specific glass for white, red, or rose. However, there are well-informed customers who consider this important to the experience so you might want to invest in a full lineup of glassware to show that your bar cares and pays attention. 

There’s a glass for every kind of wine. Tulip-shaped glassware is smaller in size to keep the cold temperature. Red wine tastes their best in larger glasses with a bowl shape to release that aroma. Champagne is complemented best by a flute for excellent carbonation.

How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant:  Find the right serving temperature

You can’t have wine that’s too cold, because then the flavor becomes sullied. Red wine tastes best when decanted and preserved between 53-69 °F while your guests will appreciate white wine maintained at 44-57 °F. You will need the right commercial restaurant equipment which you can but at to help you maintain the quality of your wines including wine coolers for both back and front-of-the-house use. They come in different sizes and configurations to meet your budget and specific demands.

How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant: Display expertise

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Since your staff will be the ones to essentially sell the wines to customers, they should display a level of knowledge and enthusiasm for your wine list. Additional training will surely go a long way although you can also hire additional staff with wine expertise or knowledge.

Your serving staff should be able to profile the merits of an expensive bottle in order for the guest to take into account the price difference and guide them in choosing the right wine for them. 

Servers should also recognize when a bottle is best suited for the table as opposed to one glass. It is going to cost customers less if they intend to drink more than one glass. A bottle on your customer’s table also gives you the chance to show high-quality customer service in that they can simply swoop in once in a while to top the guests off without interrupting their conversations. Being able to anticipate their needs and providing it without taking them out of the social interactions happening on the table will surely go unnoticed and will, in fact, reflect positively on your restaurant.

How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant: Sanitation

Your servers are part of the whole experience, so they should be trained for a speedy and sanitary service. When handling glassware, never touch the lip of the glass to avoid bacteria from being passed around. Don’t refill soda or cocktails from the table. Instead, take the glass and deliver a new drink. Never try to pour a drink when a glass is too far away because it could spill.

When serving wine, handle the bottle and uncork it with care. Clean the bottle throat before removing the cork entirely while avoiding foaming. Offer a taste to the guest who ordered the wine before proceeding to serve the rest of the table. If making recommendations, your sommelier should make an effort to gauge the knowledge and preferences of their guests to offer the right match. And for the sake of your liquor license, don’t let minors serve liquor at your restaurant

How to Sell Wine In A Restaurant: Wine license

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To be able to sell wine, you will need to get a beer and wine license. As the name suggests, a beer and wine license doesn’t include the selling of hard liquor or spirits. Therefore, this type of license is generally less expensive and easier to obtain than a full liquor license. Keep in mind that if you are operating near a school or a church, your application might be denied.

Serve drinks the right way

Proper drink service is a strong testament to your professionalism and commitment to client satisfaction. Follow these tips and watch a loyal patron base rise and in turn, keep your bottom line as healthy as can be. Everybody wins.

Complete your equipment for optimal freshness and performance by adding a Manitowoc ice machine (check and a walk-in cooler to your kitchen.

About Suzan Vega