Wine List Training


server wine noteIf it's your list, you need to share that information to all who serve wine. Getting servers to pay attention in staff meetings is seldom ever going to happen. You must turn them on to wine, get them writing real notes on ANYTHING they taste. Ask them about the wines, coach them. At the minimum, you should make a note card for every wine with quick notes on region, varietals, flavor and aroma characteristics, selling points/features.

In case of out of stock (OOS), have the ability to cross sell. Don't attempt the upsell, your margins should allow you to bring the price down on a higher tier replacement. Proper use of this technique will give your guests exposure to higher priced and hopefully higher quality items at an "introductory rate". We have created regular Brunello drinkers from Chianti drinkers with a single application of this procedure. You may even use this technique as a customer loyalty ploy, knowing your customers who will appreciate the upgrade will build trust and increase check averages.


You can't sell wine that you can't find. Utilize simple and predictable organization for your wine storage. Mirroring your list structure in your storage area can help servers know where to look. Add the wine's full name into your POS, and/or have a map with multiple entries for a single wine. Someone ordering the Chateau Palmer Margaux may ask for it that way or may say "Palmer Margaux" or just say "Margaux". Make it easy for staff to find wine from the list without having to find you.