I'll add my
, from Toronto:
- Our restaurants have ample direct purchase and "private import" options from our state monopoly, the LCBO. They can also buy direct from the many Agencies that import into Ontario. So they have sufficient choice to build a wine list. No excuses there.
- Despite this choice, many restaurants make poor selections in terms of QPR. Assuming a 2 to 3x markup, many are selecting wines that of significantly subpar quality at too high cost and end price. So so many times, I wonder whether the restaurant even tastes the wines they sell. So so many times, I wonder, why in heck did you ever put this wine (and in fact many of your wines) on your wine list. So many times,I struggle to find a wine that is decent (or even fit to drink), but not wildly over priced. It's as if these restaurants either don't know, don't care or don't make the effort.
- Yet I may like their cusuine, atmosphere and/or service, and so BYOB (if possible) or just put up with yet another subpar wine.
- If restaurants would actually make an effort to assemble a wine list offering good QPR at a variety of price points, and also offered good QPR in cuisine/service/decor, then I would beat a path to their door, and support them.
- If reality is that restaurant wine sales do not make money, then they should atleast use their wine list as a selling point, to bring in patrons and create demand for their main business lines.
- And offering both a decent wine list (at sufficient but not unduly inflated prices) and BYOB can create a compelling value proposition for patrons to dine at your establishment and perhaps even pay a premium for the cuisine. If and only if the restaurant actually makes an effort to market that value proposition.
- If a restaurant truly offers good wine QPR and choice at varying price points, they could charge a higher corkage fee (say $30 or $35, rather than $25 or $30). The message could/would be: we have a fantastic wine list with lots of QPR wines at all price points. We want you to try them. Don't expect or plan to save money by bringing your own. Do bring your own, if you have something special that we don't have, but be prepared to pay a suffucient BYOB charge to offset our costs of maintaining a great wine list and stemware / decanter service.
- where oh where are our local wine consultants, to help our restaurants design and build their wine lists / cellars? Or perhaps they just can't afford them.
You restauranteurs out there. Don't be defensive. Rather, think, how can we use our wine list, to optimize client satisfaction and thereby revenues,