What Makes a Great Wine List?

wine list design

Technically speaking, a good list is all about well-executed typography. It has to be clear, legible (sometimes under low lighting), informative and encompass the identity and values of the venue with its design.

In its purest form a wine list is data visualisation, taking a basic product list and prices and creating an easily navigated, organised and attractive proposition to the customer. In practice, there are several simple steps to avoid the pitfalls of poor wine list design.

  •  Try and avoid listing your wines in columns in order of price. Many customers are wise to the “Second cheapest wine” i.e. pricing your house wine as the second cheapest wine to increase margin, and a layout in price column will do nothing to change their opinion. Doing so isn’t supposed to hide the price but ensure wines are chosen based on what they want to drink rather than solely on price.
  • As soon as someone looks at a menu, their eye is drawn to the top right corner in what's known as the “Price Anchor”. Make sure premium products are placed here to ensure they receive maximum exposure. Then, surround this area with products with higher margins and they’ll seem more reasonable.
  • Use boxes to draw attention to certain items on your menu. This could be anything from special bin end deals, food and wine matches or more profitable wines. 
  • Removing the '£' sign can make customers less price sensitive and mean premium wines seem more attractive.
  • Choose the right language for the list, some words will put people off rather than help sell the wine. In an ideal world, people would already know the difference between wine styles and grape varieties. However in reality this isn’t the case, make sure you aren’t making it more impenetrable and use more emotive language to set your list apart from the norm. Our insights can help you along with this process.

It's important to remember that a good wine list will entice the customer who didn’t want a glass of wine to pick it up, a great wine list will make the customer buy the wine.

To find out more about how our Design Team can help your business, speak to your Account Manager or get in touch.

Matt Ellis
23rd October 2013

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

Drink Aware - know the facts