Wine Sales and Service

Learn how to taste a wine so that you can adequately assess its characteristics and describe them to customers.

Create a wine list by selecting and pricing the wines you want to sell.

Train your service staff to recommend and serve wines.

Increase your wine sales.

Open and store wine
properly.

 

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© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedCHAPTER 7WINE SALES AND SERVICE© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights Reserved© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedLearn how to taste a wine so that you can adequately assess its characteristics and describe them to customers.Create a wine list by selecting and pricing the wines you want to sell.Train your service staff to recommend and serve wines.Increase your wine sales.Open and store wine properly.THIS CHAPTER WILL HELP YOUTASTING WINESTasting a wine begins with appraising its appearance. The wine should be clear and bright. Next, focus on the wine’s color. Oxidation, which occurs when oxygen comes into contact with the wine, can cause this discoloration, a sign of spoilage.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedTASTING WINESThe next step is to smell the wine; you must learn to swirl it around inside the wineglass. Swirling allows some of the alcohol in the wine to vaporize. Aroma is the term used if the scent is fruity or flowery; important clues about the grapes and winemaking methods used. The scent of a more complex and mature wine is called its bouquet.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedTASTING WINESThese tastes represent four components of the wine’s structure:SugarAcidTanninAlcoholThe way in which these four components relate to each other determines the balance of a given wine. © 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedTASTING WINESBody comes from the amount of alcohol, sugar, glycerin (a soluble substance formed during fermentation), and extracts from the grapes, such as tannin.Glycerin content causes small streams of wine to run down the sides of the glass after you swirl; these streams are the legs of the wine.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedCREATING A WINE LISTThe bar’s clientele, concept, cuisine, price compatibility and storage will determine a wine list.“List Mapping” price structure:Develop the average bottle price.Split the list between red and white wine.Select each wine type and price, creating a map of the program.Select the actual wines from your suppliers.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedMATCHING WINE WITH FOODFood and wine consumed together should “marry” well. This means that the two should be in balance; neither should dominate the other. Each should bring out flavors in the other, and the combination should taste better. The wrong combination can diminish the food or the wine or both.Figure 7.2 lists traditional guidelines for serving wine with food.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRESENTING WINE SELECTIONSThe chalkboard, table tent, or a printed list.A bin number for each wine can precede its name on the list and serves three important purposes. It is easier to organize and inventory the wines in your storage area. Staff can locate wines more quickly. Spares customers embarrassment if the wine is unfamiliar or name is hard to pronounce.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedBY-THE-GLASS PROGRAMSBy the glass (BTG) should be diverse.Consider glassware in which the wines will be served, today’s standard pour of 5 ounces.Wine flights are two-ounce “tastes” of three or four different wines.Plan the program so that all BTG pours are used within two days.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRICING WINESHistorically, the standard wine markup in the industry has been 2.5 to 3 times the wholesale cost.Some restaurants will add a flat fee mark up per bottle.The simplest way to price BTG is to divide the price that you are charging for the bottle on your wine list by five.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedTHE ROLE OF THE SERVERIncrease wine salesServing wineWineglassesThe basic all-purpose wineglass has an 8- or 9-ounce bowl, and is made of clear glass with a long, thin stem and a base.Tall, thin glasses called flutes are appropriate for sparkling wine. Their very narrow openings keep them colder longer and help to keep the bubbles from dissipating.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedSERVING TEMPERATURES FOR WINES45°F to 55°F for white wines and rosés. 60°F to 65°F for reds. White wines by the bottle should be kept in a cool place and chilled as ordered. This takes 10 to 20 minutes in a wine chiller.Overly quick chilling might cause wine to throw sediment, which means to precipitate solids that are in solution.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedSERVING TEMPERATURES FOR WINESBreathing means aeration, the act of exposing the wine to air. Red wines do change slightly when exposed to air, and some feel giving the wine a minute or two after opening enables delicate chemical changes. In reality, red wine gets plenty of air as it is poured and sits in a wide-mouthed wineglass. © 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRESENTING THE WINEYour server should have a clean, white service napkin or serviette.The most practical opener is the flat jackknife type, known as a waiter’s friend or waiter’s corkscrew.Using the blade of the small knife, the server cuts through the capsule, the piece of foil that covers the neck of the bottle (see Figure 7.8b-7.8i).© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRESENTING THE WINEWipe the cork and the lip of the bottle with the napkin.Close the blade, extend the lever at the other end of the corkscrew, and pull down the corkscrew to form a “T.” Insert the corkscrew with the point slightly off center so that the screw, also called an augur or worm, is directly over the middle of the cork. © 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRESENTING THE WINEKeeping the augur completely vertical, turn the worm clockwise until it has disappeared into the cork up to the shaft.Move the prongs of the lever into position on the rim of the bottle and hold the lever firmly in place with the thumb. Apply a firm, steady pressure and slowly raise the opposite end of the opener. This brings the cork out of the bottle.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedPRESENTING THE WINEProblems that may occur include:Cork won’t budgeCork breaksServer pushes the cork in the bottleA cork retriever’s long wires are designed to be inserted into the bottle to grab the cork and tighten around it.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedSERVING CHAMPAGNERemove the foil capsule that covers the top of the bottle, you will find a wire hood called a cage. Untwist the wire fastener.Keep one hand on the cork. Cover this hand loosely with a clean towel or napkin.Hold the bottle at about a 45-degree angle.Point it away from the guests and anything breakable. Hold the cork steady.Slowly twist the bottle in one direction, about a quarter turn at a time.When the cork comes out, hold it close to the bottle.Keep the bottle at an angle for at least five seconds before pouring (Figure 7.10a-e).© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedDECANTING WINESTo decant a wine means to pour it out of the bottle and into another container. This is done so that sediment stays in the bottle, and the wine is clear, not cloudy.You will need a decanter, a clear glass container in which to put the wine, and a lighted candle (see Figure 7.11a-b). Only a small proportion of wines served will require decanting; the sommelier, or wine steward, or experienced servers need this special training.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights Reserved“BAD” WINEOxidized wine looks like air has gotten to it. The color appears dull or brownish, and sometimes the wine smells like dried apples or prunes instead of fresh grapes.When a wine is corked, it contain trichloroanisole A harmless but smelly combination of mold, chlorine, and moisture.Wine that has been exposed to heat or otherwise improperly stored can become maderized.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedWINE STORAGEKeep the wine at a steady, somewhat cool temperature, away from sunlight or ultraviolet light.By-the-Glass StorageVacuvin: A hand vacuum sealer. WineSaver and Private Preserve: Inert gas that displaces any oxygen in the bottle.Cruvinet: A refrigerated cabinet for storing and dispensing BTG wines.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights ReservedSUMMING UPAny bar or restaurant business should decide whether to serve wine and how extensive to make its selection with four major factors in mind: Clientele, concept, cuisine, and price compatibility.There is a growing customer base of wine-knowledgeable people. Servers should be trained in correct wine-name spellings, proper glassware, and the rules of wine etiquette.© 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.All Rights Reserved

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