Aspirational and sometimes a collector’s item – some even revere it – the wine list contributes to a restaurant’s image. For serious wine connoisseurs, it is even a restaurant’s trademark, such is its importance. The wines it features, its inventiveness and its quality scale are mostly down to the expertise of the sommelier. This is also true for the list of wines by the glass which now accounts for a large share of drinks. Here is some advice from French master sommelier and poster girl for natural wines, Pascaline Lepeltier, who has just opened a new restaurant in the New York district of Tribeca with Arnaud Tronche. Its name is Racines NY.
“In the life of a restaurant, the economic aspect is vital. Wines generate a large chunk of turnover and they are also a restaurant’s calling card for wine enthusiasts. In the same way that I spend a lot of time perfecting my wine list, I also take a lot of care over my choice of wines by the glass. It would be a mistake to simply focus on volume sales and profitability, especially since wines served by the glass allow patrons to get a better handle on the wine list.”
“Like the wine list, a lot of thought goes into my choice of wines by the glass. But there is also room for contingencies. There is an entry-level sparkling wine and another more upmarket offering, a white wine that is not very aromatic and another that is, an aged white wine, a light, fresh red, a fleshy, fruity red and one that shows a lot of density. I also try and provide wines from well-known varietals so that both patrons and staff feel they’re in familiar territory.”
“I would also advise that there should always be some favourite picks, some unexpected wines offering excellent value for money, like white wines from Georgia which Alice Feiring talks about in her book Skin Contact. Admittedly that means spending some time with the client to describe the wine, but it is also a good excuse to start up a conversation and wine enthusiasts will always jump at an opportunity to speak about wine.”
VIN AU VERRE 8.0 IS THE LATEST SOLUTION CREATED BY EUROCAVE FOR SERVING WINES BY THE GLASS. AT THE JEFFERSON’S CLUB (PHOTO), THE BAR BELONGING TO THE PARENT-GROS DOMAIN IN POMMARD, A RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU IS SERVED FROM IT.
EuroCave wine by the glass dispenser in Le Jefferson’s Club restaurant in Pommard - France.
by Yohan Castaing