Wine+ offers basic wine training

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Related tags: Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay

WINE IS on the rise in the on-trade. Whatever your level of knowledge on the category, the Wine+ trade show should help you unlock its...

WINE IS on the rise in the on-trade. Whatever your level of knowledge on the category, the Wine+ trade show should help you unlock its potential.

Let's start off with what you can do if you and your staff are relatively new to focusing on wine.

There are still plenty of pubs in this situation, with significant differences from area to area in the extent to which pubs have been able to master selling wine.

Take red wine, for example. Data- gatherers CGA say that between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, this category saw increases in all 10 TV regions in the on-trade. However, the increases in Wales and the West of England and the North East were far smaller than for the rest of the country.

Wine+, which takes place at London's Olympia on February 3 and 4, 2009, can set you on your way to some 'beginner-level' training.

Exhibitor the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) delivers a day-long Foundation Certificate in Wines specifically for the on-trade.

The foundation course is designed to provide basic skills that will give otherwise inexperienced frontline staff confidence in serving wine.

Candidates who successfully complete the course will be able to:

• Identify the main types and styles

• Describe the characteristics of the main grape varieties

• Produce tasting notes

• Correctly store and serve the main styles of wine

• Understand the importance of merchandising

• Sell using basic techniques

• Have a sense of social and professional responsibility

• Understand the main principles of food and wine matching.

Out of 24,000 students taking WSET exams over the past academic year, more than 6,000 of those sat the foundation course level, which involves a multiple-choice paper of 30 questions.

There are multiple options for attend- ing these courses including custom courses where the WSET's UK development team comes to your premises.

• Visit www.wineplus.co.uk Look out for next month's feature in The Publican on how Wine+ can help pubs which are intermediates in wine.

Upselling wine

• You do not have to be an expert to sell wine well. Encourage your staff to learn the grape varieties and the main differences in flavour

• Ensure staff are happy with pronunciation of wines and have some basic product knowledge

• Make wine visible in the outlet - staff should use blackboards and put out relevant tentcards

• Educate staff about the 'perfect serve' - temperature, glass cleanliness and liquid quality, emphasise storing wine correctly

• Do not pour wine away, encourage staff to use ends of bottles for customer trial tasting. Ask customers for feedback

Tips for wine in pubs supplied by WaverleyTBS

The difference between sauvignon blanc and chardonnay

This is a sample of teaching from the WSET Foundation course:

Sauvignon blanc and chardonnay are two of the most widely planted white grape varieties globally but produce very different styles of wine.

Sauvignon blanc's defining qualities are its refreshing acidity and grassy and gooseberry nose. The acidity and fresh fruit qualities mean it is best when young.

The best examples of sauvignon blanc come from cooler regions such as the Loire in Northern France, South Africa and the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

Chardonnay, on the other hand, is less aromatic than sauvignon blanc and so can be easily moulded into different styles.

It is best known for producing full-bodied oaky wines from New World countries, but it can yield complex light-bodied wines when produced in cooler regions such as Chablis.

Because of its high acidity and ability to age, chardonnay is also one of only three grapes varieties used in champagne and is commonly found in other sparkling wines from around the world.

Related topics: Wine

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