Spice up offerings

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sauvignon blanc, Fermentation, Wine, Chardonnay

More e-mails have hit my desk recently, and the majority of them relate to roughly the same issue. The general theme is more or less like this: you...

More e-mails have hit my desk recently, and the majority of them relate to roughly the same issue. The general theme is more or less like this: you stock three wines and sell them by the glass or bottle. Sales are steady, but not exactly setting the world on fire. Customers are beginning to ask if you would consider stocking a slightly wider variety. Some of them even ask for a specific wine by name. Where do we go from here? Experience has shown that a very basic selection of wines is fine as far as it goes, but our customers do like choice. Most pubs stock a wide range of beers and other drinks, so why restrict the choice of wines to just two or three? Variety, as the saying goes, is the spice of life and wine drinkers are no exception. By doing nothing and keeping your selection of wines to a minimum, sales will remain in the doldrums or even dwindle. The time has obviously come to upgrade the wine list and take advantage of the very real boom in on-trade wine sales. Working on the assumption that your basic selection already consists of a nice fruity red such as a Merlot, a fruity dry white such as a Chardonnay and a fragrant, medium dry white such as a Piesporter Michelsberg, the way forward is obviously to provide a wider, more interesting and tempting selection. Here are some ideas. l Sauvignon Blanc. Wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc are wonderfully fresh and dry, with an incredible herbaceous aroma that some people describe as grassy. They also have lively, mouth-watering acidity. Widely planted around the world, the Sauvignon Blanc's spiritual home is in the Loire valley where it is used exclusively for the wines of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou Salon, Quincy, Reuilly and Sauvignon de Touraine. They are all good, but if price is a crucial factor, Sauvignon de Touraine might be the more affordable. Sauvignon Blanc wines are wonderful as an aperitif or just for fun, but are also excellent as an accompaniment to tomato-based dishes, shellfish, pizzas and Indian food. l Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine. Clean, crisp and perfectly dry with subtle fruity hints, this is the white wine to drink with plainly cooked fish and shellfish. It is also versatile enough to accompany grilled or roasted chicken, spaghetti carbonara, quiches, flans and salads, as well as being good to drink on its own as an aperitif or just for fun. The "Sur Lie" version is especially good and only a little more expensive. l Côtes du Rhône. Basic red Côtes du Rhône is a pleasant, soft, moderately priced wine that is as easy to drink on its own as it is with steaks, sausages and stews, all of which are time-honoured pub fare. l Beaujolais. A light, agreeable, fruity, eminently drinkable red wine whose lively acidity enables it to complement a variety of foods. Good examples have a special, almost spicy quality with no trace of harshness. Interestingly, it is one of the few red wines that is rather nice when served lightly chilled. Those wines labelled Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages account for around three quarters of production. The rest, considered to be the best of all, come from 10 Crus that are entitled to their own appellations: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnié and Saint-Amour. l Cava. Dry, sparkling wines are always popular and can be enjoyed with just about any food or on their own. Cava is especially good in that it lacks the stomach-gripping acidity that is a feature of many Champagnes. It is also much more affordable. Great for parties and celebrations.

Related topics: Menu Ideas

Property of the week

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more