What’s The Best Way to Sell Fine Wine?

Fine wine - coravin

The benefits of preservation systems are significant when it comes to wine. Reducing wastage on open bottles is part of every training session up and down the country, but preservation systems aren’t cheap.

So it makes sense to use more premium wines to tempt consumers to trade up. Two of our customers have done this by ramping up their fine wine offer. If you are not sure how to list fine wines, following their example would be a good place to start.

The Enomatic option

 The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate, north London, had an Enomatic machine installed in February of this year. Previously they offered only a small number of fine wines as part of their regular wine list, but now they offer a wide range with four wines on rotation with a small cash mark up. Owner, Heath Ball worked with our Fine Wine team to develop the list. He says “some nights we’ve had people trying all the wines in the Enomatic. It creates an interest in the wines and shows we are serious about offering quality wines to our customers.  We’ve been having loads of fun.” Installation took one hour and it’s helped create a good buzz for the pub on social media. He adds that it helps to “have an understanding of your customer’s tastes” – he knew Burgundy sold well so included a Clos de Vougeot in the opening offer. Each wine was accompanied with a tasting note and score from either Jancis Robinson or Robert Parker.

What works best for you

 Heath Ball found that working on a cash margin “really helped to sell the wines and keep things interesting.” With wines sales on the up and plans to showcase more fine wines in the future, it's clear that the Enomatic has been very successful for Heath. This model may not suit all businesses but if you can invest some time in staff training to grow confidence, there are massive benefits to be had and a bit of fun to have along the way.

The case for Coravin

 Since we covered the launch of Coravin last year, a number of restaurants up and down the country are now using the equipment to offer affordable tastes of fine wines. It works by inserting a hollow needle into the cork and pressurising the bottle with argon; once the wine is poured the cork re-seals itself. One of the main benefits of Coravin is its small size. Xavier Rousset MS  was one of the first to use the technology. He pioneered the use of Coravin in the On Trade for wines that cost a £100 or more in restaurant. The running costs are slightly different as you need to buy gas that works out at around 80p a glass. But Rousset is delighted with the new technology saying, “It’s really helped to generate excitement.”

Find out more

Both systems are capable of stoking enthusiasm for your wine list by making those more expensive bottles far more accessible. Our Fine Wine team can help you explore the many ways you can engage your customers and inform your decision on what to list and why. And it's not guesswork – we use Market Insights data to make sure your serving the right wine for your customers.  So get in touch with your Account Manager if you want to discuss how Fine Wine can help your business.

28th July 2015

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