It’s Friday in Wine Country. And, although a daily staple in this land of grapes, growers, vineyards, valleys and vintners, wine as we know it here may not be taken as religiously to diners in other parts of the country. Yet, the popularity of wine, in a variety of price ranges, labels, appellations, tastes and quality is becoming more popular with restaurant goers with the passing of each season. That’s a perfect opportunity to tastefully capitalize on seasonal celebrations with flights of wine.
With the recession taking its toll on the top of the wine lists in many restaurants across the country, combining wine with food – preferred pairings- is a profitable way to entice customers to experience a trilogy of tastes without spending more than they expected. This works well for the house and the customer as wines can be moved rapidly without tying up cash in inventory. Since the pours are minimal – (ranging in size from 1.5 oz. for a five glass flight to 2 or 3 oz. for a three glass flight) – the profit on the flight can be attractive.
For bartenders, managers and owners less familiar with wine flights, there are a number of websites that pair wine with a variety of recipes. Time Inc. just launched a wine pairing channel on myrecipe.com. And although chefs seldom use recipe sites the wine pairing information on the site is informative. Through partnerships with Yahoo, Snooth.com and Gary Vaynerchuk, Myrecipe.com makes wine selection and pairing easy for users.
Aside from a variety of websites there are numerous books on the subject. Last year Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page wrote one of the most informative books on drinking and eating. What to Drink with What to Eat is a must read for every owner and Sommelier.
And finally your wine salesman should have a plethora of information on wine flights and pairings developed by many of my neighbors, the vintners and growers. Most wineries gladly offer advice to their customers on pairings and recipes that go along with them.
This holiday season develop a flight pairing menu. You will find it not only increases wine sales while offering a celebratory air in your restaurant but allows your customers to take flight to tastes from corners of the wine world.