Why listing less ‘traditional’ wine with a more familiar style will improve your wine list profitability.

I first came across the term familiarity with originality when studying A-Level Media. You see it so often in films. How many times have we watched something and thought, “great film, it reminded me of…”?

There is no reason why we can’t do this on a wine list. I haven’t had the chance yet, but for a long time I have been keen to write somebody a wine list that is 100% made up of classical alternatives. 

List alternative wine to improve your wine list profitability and enhance customer experience
Same same but different: list alternative wine to the classics, compare them and enhance your guests experience.

If you like that then you’ll love this…

This is an easy walk of discovery for so many of us. Trying something new isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, and trying a new wine is a financial risk. On one hand we want our guests to spread their wings and try new things. But on the other we don’t want to send them running with too many wines from the left field. 

The answer here is to not take the stabilisers off the bike. Play around with your menu tasting notes. When I say tasting notes, I really mean wine description. Tasting notes are too subjective. You’re more likely to get a positive reaction and purchase decision from a guest who has just read, ‘Portuguese Avesso: if you like Chablis, then this is the wine for you’ instead of, ‘Portuguese Avesso: clean, crisp & fresh’.

Likewise, look for more popular varieties that are from lesser-known regions. A Riesling from Kazakhstan perhaps. Or a Merlot from Bulgaria? Take them on a walk of discovery whilst holding their hand along the way. 

Showing familiarity with originality within your wine category is a powerful way to keep your guests interested and engaged in your wine list. As always, don’t forget that the gatekeepers of this success are the staff.  Make sure they have tasted the wines. You can’t push the guests’ boundaries and perceptions if you don’t push your teams’.


Harry Crowther

Founder & Legend