3 choses indispensables à savoir pour sa carte des vins de restaurant

How to build a wine list?

Updated on November 30, 2022

Are you a professional looking to create and enhance your wine list? Or are you simply curious to discover the rules of this art? Les Grappes tells you how to build a wine list and some tips to make your task easier!

Need help to build your wine list? Les Grappes accompanies you

The essentials of a wine list

First of all, your wine list must include a certain number of information compulsory information the price, the sales denomination, the quantities served.

These obligations are defined in the EEC regulation n° 2392-89 of July 24, 1989, art. 40: "the designation and presentation as well as any advertising must not be erroneous and of such a nature as to create confusion or mislead the persons to whom they are addressed, in particular with regard to : the nature, composition, alcoholic strength by volume, color, origin or provenance, quality, vine variety, or nominal volume of containers."

In short, the law states that you must indicate:

  • the exact name under which the wine is sold, clearly separating table wines (without geographical indication), vins de pays and AOP ;
  • the capacity of the bottles, preferably in centiliters; indicate each type of bottle by its capacity;
  • the net prices, including service.

These are the steps you must take when creating your wine list.

Other more general advice, but which remains essential from the beginning of the creation of your wine list: the vintage indicated in the list must be that of the available wine, and the bottles must be opened in the presence of the consumer, in front of his eyes (except of course for the sale by the glass).

Balance of the wine list

After these material considerations, it's time for the wines! The art of the wine list lies in its balance and complementarity. Whether it has 40 or 500 references, your wine list must be coherent and allow the consumer to find his way around. This implies paying attention to the complementarities within your wine list.

First of all, make sure that your wine list offers a complementarity in the regions by proposing expected wines but also less known wines that you will make your customers discover. If 20% of the references cover 80% of the sales, it is your duty to promote lesser known wines and to play on diversity to arouse the curiosity of the consumer.

Remember also to vary the grape varieties, always aiming for harmony within your wine list: the challenge lies in the representation of all the grape varieties through your wine list. Thus, for each type of wine -red, white, rosé, champagne - offer wines from different grape varieties. Even if you only offer 3 red wines, these 3 wines must not be of the same style, made from the same grape variety.

Choose variety in wine styles. As we said before, they must be complementary: offer bothlight winesandfruity,powerfuland full-bodied.

Finally, you must match the price of the wine with the price of the dishes and menus so that your menu is coherent. Think about offering more accessible references to accompany lunch formulas for example. You can createselectionswith offers atlow priceby the glass. In addition, offer a selection athigher pricewith wines of remarkable quality, while maintaining harmony with the rest of your menu.

A living wine list

Once your wine list has been elaborated, it should not remain fixed, on the contrary: a good wine list evolves, it is alive.

In order to perfect your menu, do not hesitate to make it evolve. For example, you can adapt it according to the seasons and the dishes, by proposing a specific menu for spring and summer, which would rather proposelight and rosé wines. It can also follow the course of your discoveries: propose wines of the moment, discovery wines orfavoritesfrom the chef. Introduce these wines to the public so that they are open to original or lesser known wines. You can add an appendix to the menu, present these wines on a slate or orally.

Of course, your wine list must also adapt to the flow of the cellar: if a wine is no longer available, you must indicate it on the list!

Need to be accompanied?

Les GrappesLes Grappes, the French leader in the distribution of wines directly from the winemaker to professionals, facilitates the purchase of wine directly from the winemakers. Les Grappes centralizes the orders of more than 1,200 winegrowers with a single contact, from order to billing. We accompany cafés, hotels, restaurants, wine cellars in their choice of wines, but also in the realization of customized wine lists! According to your project, your tastes and your budget, we help you to choose the best wines in short circuit. To be put in contact with our team,click here!

Restaurants, Bars, Hotels: we accompany you for your wine list!

Les GrappesLes Grappes, the French leader in the distribution of wine directly from the winemaker to professionals, facilitates the purchase of wine directly from the winemakers.

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