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How to make a restaurant wine list

This week, we address professionals who are looking to establish and enhance their wine list. But this article is also for the curious who would like to discover the rules of this art. Les Grappes gives you the conditions for creating a wine list as well assome tips to make your task easier.

The essentials of a wine list

First of all, you must include the following information on your wine list: the price, the sales denomination and the quantities served. Indeed, the law intervenes here through the EEC Regulation n° 2392-89 of 24 July 1989, art. 40:
"the description 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, colour, origin or provenance, quality, vine variety, or nominal volume of the containers."

In short, the law implies 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 centilitres; indicate each type of bottle by its capacity;

-the net prices, including services.

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

Here are a few more general tips that are essential from the very beginning of the creation of your wine list: the vintage indicated on the list must be that of the available wine. Finally, 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 the material considerations, it's time for the wines! The art of the wine list lies in its balance and complementarity. Indeed, whether it has 40 or 500 references, your wine list must above all be coherent and allow the consumer to find his way. This implies that you must pay attention to the complementarities within your wine list.

Indeed, your wine list must announce a certain complementarity in the regions by proposing expected wines but also less known wines that should be discovered by your customers. If 20% of the references cover 80% of sales, it is your duty to promote lesser known wines, and to play on diversity to arouse the curiosity of the consumer.

Then, you must 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, it is important that these 3 wines are not of the same style, from the same grape variety.

Always aiming at the harmony of your menu, choose a variety of wine styles. As we said before, they must be complementary: so propose bothlight andfruity wines,powerful and ample.

Finally, you need to match the price of the wine with the price of the dishes and menus so that your menu is consistent. You can also createselections withlow-priced offers by the glass to accompany dishes; in addition, offer a higher-priced selection of wines.You can also create selections with low-priced offers by the glass to accompany dishes, but also offer ahigher-priced selection with wines of remarkable quality, but which must remain in harmony with the rest of your menu.


A lively menu

Once your wine list has been drawn up, it should not remain static, on the contrary: a good wine list evolves, it is alive.
In order to perfect your wine list, don't hesitate to change it. For example, you can adapt it to the seasons and the dishes, by proposing a specific list for spring and summer, which would proposelight and rosé wines. It can also follow the course of your discoveries: propose wines of the moment, discovery wines or the chef'sfavourites. Introduce these wines to the public so that they are open to lesser known or original wines. You can then add an appendix to the menu, present these wines on a slate or verbally.
Of course, your menu must also adapt to the flow of the cellar: if a wine is no longer available, you must indicate this on the menu.

Need to be accompanied?

Les Grappes is an online platform for the sale of wines from winegrowers, for professionals. We assist cafés, hotels, restaurants, wine cellars in their choice of wines, but also in the creation of custom-made wine lists! From prices to design, we help you to choose the best wines, among more than 800 winegrowers, in short circuit.Register for free and our team will contact you! For more information, visit our websitehttps://www.lesgrappes.com/vin-professionnel.

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky

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