Providing elegant and sophisticated wine service for guests is crucial to the success of any bar or restaurant. It is important to educate the servers on how to serve wine, as this conveys attention to detail and caters to the needs of the guests. Whether your customers restaurant Whether wine connoisseurs or casual enthusiasts, a sleek and polished wine service is sure to impress them while elevating their overall experience and increasing the likelihood that they will return. Our advice on choosing, presenting and serving wine in your restaurant Not only will it benefit your business and improve revenue, but it will also help your servers get better tips.
Help guests choose a wine
Regardless of whether your guests are aspiring sommeliers For boxed wine drinkers, providing courteous advice and guidance when choosing a wine is essential to a successful service. Your employees must know and understand the wine list and be able to easily identify and describe various wines that customers can enjoy.
Create a great wine list
Good wine service begins with a balanced and diverse wine list. It is important that your staff know a lot about the wines, and particularly the ones on your wine list. restaurant. This allows them to help their guests select the right wine for any occasion, whether it's finding the perfect white to pair with fresh seafood or choosing a particularly special red to celebrate an anniversary.
Keep these important details in mind as you build your wine list. restaurant :
- Organize your wine list logically using geography, grape variety, body, pairings, or some other classification. Regardless of which categorization method you choose, keep it clean, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to read.
- Be sure to offer bottles to a wide range of Prices. Highlight your most expensive and rare wines, but also mix many high options quality and affordable. However, be sure to never Organizing your list based on price, as doing so may discourage your guests from going through it carefully.
- Clearly explain food combinations as they are one of the most important factors determining which wines your guests select. Even if you can't think of combinations for each wine, most of your selections should have a suggested food side.
- Have different styles of whites, reds and sparkling wines on hand to satisfy the tastes of each client and provide variety.
Assess the tastes and knowledge of your guests
Servers should start by determining what drew guests to your restaurant. For example, they might discover that the table celebrates a special occasion. In that case, the waiters can start their recommendations at a higher price. When it comes to new guests, it may be a good idea to have your employees discuss a broader range of options to help familiarize new customers with what your business has to offer.
Likewise, your employees should try to assess your guests' wine knowledge before starting to make recommendations. If they find the patron to be a wine expert, they can talk more about the wines, as there will be fewer explanations to do. Rather, servers should be ready to go over the basics with someone who knows little or nothing about wine.
Finally, waiters must find out what type of wine their guests prefer or have enjoyed in the past. Knowing what types of wine sponsors can give servers a more informed starting point. Knowing that guests enjoy a sweeter red wine, for example, can narrow the focus considerably and help you optimize your service.
Open a bottle of wine
Opening the bottle of wine is one of the most important aspects of good wine service. If your employees don't know how to quickly and quietly open a bottle of wine, this will negatively reflect on your restaurant.
Tools needed to open a bottle of wine
Before bringing the bottle to the table, servers should make sure they have the following items on hand:
- Corkscrew or wine tap (electric, lever, turn or waiter style)
- Aluminum Foil Cutter (if you are not using a waiter style wine key)
- Glass napkin or polisher
- coasters (Optional)
Once these supplies are assembled, the waiters are ready to open and serve the guests' bottle of wine.
How to decant wine
Decanting is the process of pouring a bottle of wine into a decorative jug before serving to separate any sediment that has formed. It also helps aerate the wine, which can give it a flavor and aroma boost. This process is generally saved for red wines that have been stored for more than five to ten years, but some guests may specially request that their wine be decanted.
As your waiters decant the wine, they should use a flashlight or candle to help them see the sediment in the bottle so they don't accidentally throw it in with the wine. By slowly and carefully pouring and keeping the light below the neck of the bottle, employees should be able to tell that it is time to stop when the sediment reaches the top of the neck. Remind your servers to pour slowly and continuously until all that's left in the bottle is unwanted sediment, and then discard the remaining residue.
How to open wine on the table
Let's say a party of four wishes to share a bottle of wine. Unlike decanting, where the bottle is opened and poured away from the table, waiters will need to be able to professionally open and serve the wine at the table in front of the guests.
To open a bottle of wine, employees must follow these steps:
1. Cut the aluminum foil half an inch from the rim of the bottle with an aluminum foil cutter or the small knife on a bartender style wine key. This ensures that the wine does not touch the foil and can help prevent dripping.
2. Place the corkscrew directly in the center of the cork and unscrew directly in the air. Once the cork is three-quarters out of the bottle, finish it quietly by hand to avoid a loud popping. One way to do this is to gently move the cork back and forth until it comes completely out of the bottle.
3. After removing the cork, clean it and remove the top of the bottle. This helps remove cork waste and dust from storage.
When opening and serving white wine, employees must place part of a napkin between the bottle and their hand to prevent their body heat from affecting their temperature.
How to serve wine
Following the proper protocol in serving wines to your restaurant guests is critical to enhancing your overall dining experience and can also help your establishment sell more wine. Your staff will also appear more professional, which can help you win repeat customers and enhance your reputation as a company that knows your wines.
Things to do before pouring wine
Your employees should start by showing the wine to the person who ordered it, no matter who pays the bill. They should frame the label with their hands and announce the vineyard, grape, location, and harvest to their guests. Make sure your servers know not to open the bottle until they receive confirmation that the wine is exactly what the guest wants. It is also essential that all participants have the correct style of wine glass. It is bad etiquette for waiters to retire to the kitchen to have another glass after they have already served wine for the rest of the table.
How to Serve a Sip of Wine for Your Guests to Taste
At this point, it is customary to present the cork to the guest who ordered the bottle for sniffing or examination, allowing them to check the condition of the wine. Some guests feel the cork to make sure it is not dry, while others smell the cork to take on its distinctive scent or examine the color of the cork to make sure the bottle has settled. properly stored on your side. If they decline, employees simply have to roll the cork on a roller coaster to the guest's right.
When pouring wine, waiters should wrap the bottle in a clean linen napkin to protect it from the heat of their hands. This is not essential for serving red wines that are not refrigerated, but your guests will likely appreciate the extra effort you are putting into ensuring the perfect conditions for serving their wine. Waitress gloves can serve the same purpose while projecting professionalism.
With the bottle wrapped for control temperature, it's time to make the first pour for the person who will be tasting the wine for approval. Make sure your employees know how to pour so the glass is only half an inch full, enough for the guest to know if it's acceptable.
Your servers should always serve in a clockwise pattern and serve women first (even if this means going around the table twice). They should finish serving with the guest who ordered the wine, regardless of gender. They must also always express the client's right. Waiters should judge the proper amount of wine to serve each guest based on the number of people at the table, but never pour more than half a glass. An average 750ml bottle of wine will provide approximately five pours.
How to finish pouring a glass of wine
Employees should finish each pour with a twisting motion and clean the rim of the bottle to prevent drips. When they have finished serving their guests, they will place the bottle to the host's right with the label facing out and ask for permission to remove the cork from the table.
If guests enjoy white wine, the server should ask them if they would like to leave the wine on the table. If they do, make sure the servers provide them with a bucket of wine or a cooler. Since white wine is usually served chilled, your guests can also choose to have their waiters return it to the refrigerator under the bar until they are ready for a second glass.
Different styles of wine pouring
Some wines need to be poured slightly differently. Also, you may wonder: what is a serving of wine? Here are some basic guidelines for servers to keep in mind:
- Sparkling: pour in a splash to avoid overstimulating bubbles. Pour a small amount into the flute, allow the bubbles to settle, and then finish pouring the glass until it is three-quarters full.
- Red: Slowly pour standard wine (4 oz.) into the center of the glass until it is half full.
- White: Slowly pour standard wine (3 oz.) into the center of the glass until about one-third full.
Regardless of the type of wine, waiters should always hold the bottle with both hands and leave the glass on the table while pouring. Also, they should make sure there is 6 "to 10" between the bottom of the wine glass and the rim of the bottle as they are being poured, as this allows the wine to aerate as it falls into the glass.
How to serve a single glass of wine
What if a guest just wants a glass of wine with dinner? This customer is not interested in purchasing the entire bottle, so it is perfectly acceptable to put the bottle back after serving. Waiters should remember that it is always good etiquette to show the bottle to your guests, even if they only ask for a glass. This allows your guests to verify that they are drinking what they ordered.
Making sure your servers know how to serve wine in your bar or restaurant is crucial to creating a warm and welcoming environment for all of your customers, regardless of whether they are enjoying good wine. Many guests rely on their waiter or waitress to suggest, present, and serve the perfect wine for their tastes, so it is crucial for waiters to know the pertinent facts about each wine and how to serve it accordingly. Wine presentation etiquette is crucial to serving wine, and an outstanding experience can generate return business and improve tips.