The Grapevine

Wine Shop Wine Tastings: Open the Good Stuff

July 13th, 2016

When I first glanced at the headline for this Food & Wine article, I assumed it would be another lamentation of soaring prices and snobbery. But as I read the article I realized there is a silver lining here. [level-members]

Granted, $190 for a glass of wine is more than a bit much. One could argue that spending that on a bottle is gilding the lily, but that’s another conversation entirely. The silver lily is that the same technology that makes serving really high-end wines buy the glass in restaurants in bars, should also make it possible for us to offer tastings and samples of the really good stuff for our best customers.

Our weekly tastings are a bit of a balancing act, when you think about it. You can’t open anything to pricey – no matter how delicious the wine may be, if it’s priced beyond what your core customer normally pays, you’re fighting an uphill battle. (Though you should always be pouring wines that are just a little above your average per bottle price – call it the aspirational pour.)

But, by pouring these mid-market wines, we’re leaving a huge opportunity on the table with our best and most passionate customers.

So while it’s not practical to pour DRC every Saturday afternoon, you can perhaps earmark a few truly high end wines for your best customers and, at very little risk, test the waters with some customers you think may be ready to take a step up in quality.

Worst case, you wind up, after some time, with three-quarters of a really great bottle of wine that you’ll just have to take home for yourself. If ever there was a reason to love owning a wine shop, that has to be it …