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chaosuk

Wines by the Glass

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How many are too many and how many are not enough?


Edited by chaosuk (log)

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If you're going to bother at all, a minimum of four each, red and white is a good starting point for a small restaurant. After about 10 or so of each you'd better have a cruvinet or some sort of preservation system that is obvious to the guests and used faithfully or you'll just end up dumping a lot of wine down the sink and losing any money you might have made in volume sales. With proper preservation I don't think there's any such thing as too much, as long as storage and preservation has been well thought out. Also, a 200 seat restaurant has different options than a 28 seat restaurant. That should be taken into consideration when planning.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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When designing your list (with by the bottle, and bottles), you need to also look at how guests are going to be ordering.

IE: (a four top)

Guest 1 and 2 would like a (by the glass) wine with their app

Guest 3 and 4 elect to have another cocktail with their app

Then wine(s) ie/are selected to match the entrees.

I'm in a State that does not permit you to take unfinished wine in a bottle home, so how you order becomes part of your decision on your wine and food.

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Too many is when not all of them sell, not enough is when your customers ask for more.


''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

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I agree with Katie, and would like to add the following... we are a 75 seat restaurant/bar and we have 50 wines by the glass at our establishment split between whites, reds, sparkling and dessert wines/ports. With the increase in poplularity of wine in the US, it has become a much more important part of the dining experience. I would like to add that it also depends on what you want your focus to be. Granted, we are a wine focused restaurant, but as Katie says...a lot depends on your size and volume. We don't have a fancy cruvinet system, because quite frankly, when we did the math, it didn't make sense to invest that much money. We simply pump the bottles down each evening and only keep them for 48 hours. We might be able to keep some longer, but we adopted that as our standard.


Meg Hudson

Domaine Hudson wine bar & eatery

www.domainehudson.com

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I agree with Katie, and would like to add the following... we are a 75 seat restaurant/bar and we have 50 wines by the glass at our establishment split between whites, reds, sparkling and dessert wines/ports. With the increase in poplularity of wine in the US, it has become a much more important part of the dining experience.  I would like to add that it also depends on what you want your focus to be. Granted, we are a wine focused restaurant, but as Katie says...a lot depends on your size and volume. We don't have a fancy cruvinet system, because quite frankly, when we did the math, it didn't make sense to invest that much money. We simply pump the bottles down each evening and only keep them for 48 hours. We might be able to keep some longer, but we adopted that as our standard.

I believe Tom asked this very question over on VC when you guys were first planning to open Domaine Hudson. (I still plan to try to stop for dinner the next time I'm driving thru to Phila.) While not every restaurant can be as wine centric as you folks are, I don't see why they can't have a good list of wines by the glass. It isn't like you have to have multiple bottles of the same wine open all at once.

I once worked in a restaurant that would open any bottle on its list and serve by the glass if the table requested as long as they agreed to buy at least two glasses from the bottle. I can't remember how they decided the cost by the glass (divided the wine list cost of the bottle by 5 and added $X I think) but it was not uncommon for us to have the table next to them ask if they could get a glass or two of the aforementioned wine when they saw it being poured. As one person told me, they would pay what it cost to get a glass or two of a great wine when they were not able to go for the whole bottle for fear they wouldn't like it. The restaurant had a special table where they put the open bottles on display for anyone who was interested in what had been opened that evening. Of course, this was also a wine centric place (unfortunately no longer with us) and there were always folks who came in just to see if there was anything "special" available.

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I once worked in a restaurant that would open any bottle on its list and serve by the glass if the table requested as long as they agreed to buy at least two glasses from the bottle. I can't remember how they decided the cost by the glass (divided the wine list cost of the bottle by 5 and added $X I think) but it was not uncommon for us to have the table next to them ask if they could get a glass or two of the aforementioned wine when they saw it being poured. As one person told me, they would pay what it cost to get a glass or two of a great wine when they were not able to go for the whole bottle for fear they wouldn't like it. The restaurant had a special table where they put the open bottles on display for anyone who was interested in what had been opened that evening. Of course, this was also a wine centric place (unfortunately no longer with us) and there were always folks who came in just to see if there was anything "special" available.

This is actually a pretty damned good idea. I like the idea of giving guests the option of just buying a portion of the bottle, since it's been well thought out how to get rid of the rest of it. The cachet of enjoying just a glass or two of something fabulous that might not usually be available by the glass is enough incentive for some folks, I suppose. And I guess the idea of having the next table over suddenly have the Pavlovian reaction is a good idea too. It's like serving bringhtly colored or flaming cocktails. Once they see it, everyone wants one. :biggrin:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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