I am a wine drinker. However, I can appreciate an establishment catering to beer lovers. At the same time, in my opinion, many bars and restaurants are missing the boat. Not having wine, or having a really bad wine, are just not good options. The thing is, many of those beer and shot drinkers have friends, family, and significant others, that drink wine. Furthermore, plenty of wine lovers want to go out and watch sports too.
I understand the argument; only a few people drink wine hence it will turn, and the bottle will go to waste. One solution is to require a bottle purchase. I have no problem doing so if I can take the unfinished bottle home – in some situations, even if I can’t. If your bar doesn’t have many patrons that drink wine, consider having a case in the back room. When the situation arises, this gesture will show that you get it.
Moreover, there are plenty of good, inexpensive wine options. So, instead of chucking the idea of wine or putting something terrible on your menu, ask your distributor for advice and taste a few in your price range.
In no way do I expect a sports bar or brewery to have Chateau Lafite Rothschild on their menu. For that matter, I don’t even expect King Estate. What I am proposing is a value wine that tastes good. Jack up the price if that makes it worth it. Most wine drinkers will be happy to pay.
It is not my mission to call out the bars that have disappointed me, you know who you are. I will, however, name a few that are doing a very nice job in the wine department (in east valley, Phoenix, Arizona). Tap That Downtown carries Grace Bridge and Cedar Brooks Pinot Noir, Patent 139 Brewing Co. has both Westmount and Truchard, Freely Taproom & Kitchen has Consentino’s The Franc, Hundred Mile Brewing Co. has Planet Oregon, and Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers has Angeline. So, if my husband wants to go to one of these places and/or there is a good game on, I can count on a quaffable glass of wine. And, for that, I tip my hat to these spots.
Maybe for some, the response to my plea is that they do good business without selling wine. Even so, I hope they will reconsider. It is a minimal cost and takes minimal effort.
Conversely, wine bars should have a stash of beer on hand. And, of course, a variety of wines from regions across the globe — California is great, but unless you have an extensive list, you don’t need six Cabs from Napa.
My business, About Wine & Travel, provides consulting services for bar and restaurant owners who want guidance on wine choices. Another resource I offer is staff training to enhance wine knowledge. I realize you can’t please everyone but, isn’t it worth the effort?